CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami/AP) — Solid quarterback play could be the different between a generic bowl game and a potential playoff appearance for the Miami Hurricanes this season.
N’Kosi Perry posted a video of his dance on the sidewalk as he arrived Tuesday for the start of Miami training camp.
The Hurricanes hope highlight videos follow.
Camp is open at Miami, where the top priority over the coming weeks will be finding a replacement for quarterback Brad Kaaya, the Hurricanes’ starter for the last three seasons and the school’s career yardage record-holder. Kaaya is with the Detroit Lions after forgoing what would have been his senior season and turning pro.
Miami has six quarterbacks in camp, and it’s expected Perry will eventually get the job. No matter the winner, he’s got big shoes to fill.
“I hope they don’t feel any more pressure than any starting quarterback around the country feels,” wide receiver Braxton Berrios said. “Whoever wins the job, we’re going to believe in and think he can do the best job for us. I hope they feel comfortable in that.”
Kaaya’s replacement will guide a team picked as the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division favorite. Miami went 9-4 last season and has the majority of its starters back, but the quarterback issue is the biggest question the Hurricanes — who open the season against Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 2 — face right now.
Perry’s top competition likely is Malik Rosier, who went 2-for-4 in relief of Kaaya last season. Rosier started Miami’s win over Duke in 2015, the game where the Hurricanes got an eight-lateral kickoff return for a touchdown on the final play. All 33 of Miami’s touchdown passes since that game were thrown by Kaaya, who left the Hurricanes with 9,968 passing yards.
Miami coach Mark Richt said Day 1 was predictable: plenty of big plays, plenty of mistakes, like Perry struggling with the quarterback-center exchange and fumbling the ball. Still, he gave the freshman plenty of praise after his first Miami practice.
“He’s got very good passing fundamentals, which is what I’ve thought,” Richt said. “In the context of what we’re asking him to do, he really does have good quarterback passing fundamentals. Not a lot of wasted motion, got a nice zip on the ball, he does understand touch. He’s a passer, not just a thrower like some guys are.”
Rosier has thrown for 370 yards at Miami; everyone else on the Miami roster has combined for zero passing yards as Hurricanes.
Others in the mix are Cade Weldon, Augie DeBiase, Evan Shirreffs and Vincent Testaverde — the son of former Canes QB Vinny Testaverde.
Weldon’s father Casey was second in the 1991 Heisman Trophy balloting while at Florida State, with Richt as his position coach. Neither Testaverde nor Shirreffs has thrown a gameday pass since 2014; Testaverde when he was at Texas Tech, Shirreffs when he was in high school in Georgia. DeBiase is a walk-on.
Rosier and Shirreffs worked with the first team Tuesday, Richt said. He said it may take Miami up to 12 practices to have everything fully installed, which means not a lot should be read into presumed depth-chart spots at this point.
What the quarterbacks think about the competition is unknown. Richt is not planning to let them speak to media until Aug. 14.
“They all looked pretty fluent today,” tight end Christopher Herndon IV said.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)