Mark Richt On Why Rosier Won Starting QB Job: “Focus, Discipline, Accuracy.”

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Mark Richt announced early Tuesday morning that the starting quarterback job has been won by redshirt junior Malik Rosier.

After Tuesday’s practice, Richt detailed the ways Rosier separated himself from the competition.

“Focus, discipline and accuracy,” Richt said. “He showed up focused every day on his job. He was disciplined in his fundamentals, his footwork, his reads, his passing fundamentals. And he was hitting his target. He did a very good job.”

With Rosier getting the nod for the starting job, sophomore Evan Shirreffs will be the backup. True freshmen N’Kosi Perry and Cade Weldon will keep competing for playing time.

Richt was asked if Rosier made the decision a difficult one.

“He did stand out above the rest,” noted Richt. “It wasn’t an unbelievable amount, but it was apparent that he was having the best camp. Evan [Shirreffs] did extremely well. I felt like there was enough of a difference to feel comfortable that Malik is the guy. The young guys (Perry and Weldon)…they got to know what to do and own it for a while before they can really compete at a high level at that position.”

Richt explained how he shared the news with his quarterbacks prior to the full team meeting.

“I grabbed Evan [Shirreffs], [Cade] Weldon and N’Kosi [Perry] individually, because they were wandering into the segment meeting room. I didn’t feel like I had to tell Malik [Rosier] anything prior to, and I was running out of time, anyway, for the meeting to start. I actually grabbed Malik as well. I had a little talk with him afterwards.”

Richt emphasized that today’s announcement doesn’t mean the competition truly ends. He wants all of his quarterbacks to keep fighting throughout the year.

“Evan (Shirreffs) is a great competitor. Anytime you don’t get what you’re fighting for, it’s tough. I thought he handled it like a champion. He practiced like a champion. That’s the thing that I tell him – you keep competing. You keep playing. Last year, trying to decide who number two was, that thing changed about three times throughout the season.”

Rosier played in 13 games over the past two seasons as Brad Kaaya’s backup. He has one start under his belt. In October of 2015 he filled in for a concussed Brad Kaaya to defeat the Duke Blue Devils in the “Miracle in Durham” game. Rosier threw for 272 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Shirreffs has only played in one game at Miami, and hasn’t yet thrown a collegiate pass. Miami will likely see multiple quarterbacks play in mop up duty in the season opener against Bethune-Cookman.

All in all, Richt was pleased with the three week quarterback battle. The hope will be that with every quarterback approaching practice with a starter’s mentality, they’ll be more prepared to handle such opportunities in the future.

“I loved the competition,” said Richt. “They all gave their best. They all did it like gentlemen. I think they all showed they’re capable of running the system and being the starting quarterback here.”

The Hurricanes host the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats on September 2nd at Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff is set for 12:30pm. You can hear the game on 560 WQAM.

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