Miami Herald columnist Barry Jackson weighed in on the quarterback situation the Miami Hurricanes and Mark Richt are currently facing—starting N’Kosi Perry now, versus sticking with the veteran Malik Rosier.

It’s become a huge topic of contention amongst fans—many of them battling it out daily on social media fan pages, or message boards—feeling that their take on the situation is superior to their opposition, as both sides continue selling and working to change minds. Truth be told, the battle is almost as heated as the current political climate here in fall 2018.

Seemingly lost in all this; the fact that Miami’s veteran head coach has more of a vested interest in the Hurricanes succeeding than any fan ever could. Flirting with retirement and a path that would’ve had him dedicating his remain time to his faith and missionary work, Richt took the Miami job in 2015 as he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to his alma mater—a final go-around at ultimate success.

One would also believe there was a burning desire to prove his detractors wrong; many in SEC country feeling Richt “couldn’t win the big one”—claiming the SEC East six times in 14 years, while winning the conference outright twice. A mid-season loss to Florida was the only blemish in 2002, where Georgia finished third behind Ohio State and Miami. In 2012, a four-point loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship kept Richt and his Dawgs from playing LSU for a national title.


Year three of the Miami gig and knocking on the door of 59 next February—Richt knows he’s on borrowed time and the backside of his career arc. There are only so many more cracks at championships, so he’s building his program and motivating players in a way he feels will build him a true contender.

Where the average fan can scream at the television and lament what they’d do in the same situation—start this guy, sit this one, bench another or throw someone else off the team—this is real-life for coaches who go all-in this time of year, living in their offices, the film room and practice field—seeing their families minimally and bleeding for the cause.

Richt made clear early-on at Miami that Rosier wasn’t his guy and most-likely would never play for him. The Hurricanes’ depth chart told a different story, leaving Richt stuck with Rosier in 2017—the then-junior heeding the warning and working to improve; which he did. Rosier shone at times last season, but obviously hit his ceiling in regards to talent and skill-set. While this year’s roster has a few players more talented than Rosier, getting their heads to match their capabilities hasn’t worked to plan.

They key component of Jackson’s article; quotes straight from the horse’s mouth as Richt weighed in on the matter and explained the “why” that so many miss—too busy shouting and armchair quarterbacking, opposed to listening and understanding.

Richt spoke of his quarterback situation on Wednesday—after giving Perry snaps with the first team offense, while still listing Rosier atop the depth chart on Tuesday; clearly sending some type of convoluted message to any working overtime to read the tea leaves.


Improved maturity overall has been the x-factor in Perry getting recent playing time that some fans have been clamoring for. Prior to, that lack-of-maturity is what left the r-freshman back home in Miami when the Canes traveled to Dallas to take on LSU. Jackson’s article also shed light on the fact the spring misstep wasn’t Perry’s only setback—that there was another minor situation in August “that did not go overlooked”, according to a team source.

Again, Richt wants to take the ball out of the hands of a guy he never felt had the “it” factor to run his offense—yet the heir apparent screw up twice in a six-month period, despite knowing what was on the line and growing up fast to win a job that was his for the taking.

This is the part many will just gloss over due to a thickheaded mentality; hyper-focused on Perry’s physicality—while ignoring the fact that Richt and staff want to see his maturity and leadership mirror his superior skill-set.

Where Richt stated that both Perry and Weldon started, “a little slow on the maturity level”—word internally is that Perry has “matured considerably since then”, per Jackson. Richt elaborated on WQAM’s Hurricane Hotline days back.

“They were not ready to push for playing time … They were doing the football part OK, but being a responsible human being, doing the things you’re supposed to [needed to happen]. There’s a trust factor.”

From there, Richt dropped the hammer—19 words that explain why the head coach is still back and forth between turning the reigns over to Perry, or leaning on Rosier until completely comfortable with the decision.

“I am not going to put you in a position of leadership until you prove you can be a leader.”

Doesn’t get any more crystal clear than that. Show you’re ready to be “the man”—and you’ll get treated like the man and given the opportunity to take control.


Richt even gave examples of where this is happening at other positions—proving that he doesn’t simply stick with upperclassmen for the sake of doing so; that a good starter can lose his job, simply because the guy behind him is doing some great things.

“Guys may be starting and playing well and do nothing wrong, but another guy is growing and getting better and has a good talent base too and is earning the right to play,” Richt explained—noting that D.J. Scaife “earned the right to play” at tackle in relief of Tyree St. Louis and Navaughn Donaldson.

He continued.

“Is Travis Homer or DeeJay Dallas doing anything wrong? [No.] But we’re getting to the point where we’re getting a bigger trust factor with these guys—Lorenzo Lingard and Cam’Ron Davis.”

From there, Jackson closed the sentiment with one final Richt tidbit from Hurricane Hotline.

“We have guys getting to the point where they can play and play well,” he explained. “Guys who are inexperience can make mistakes that can cost you. [They ask] ‘Why can’t I play?’” His response to those players:

“Son, you are talented enough but can you function in this system and not have the mental errors that can cost us the game or the possibility of a Coastal Division championship?”

In theory, many of these personnel decisions look like no-brainers. This guy is “more talented” than the other guy and what not. In reality, so much more goes into all of this. Any misstep this regular season—especially now in conference play; it could cost Miami a division title repeat that is completely in reach, if the right decisions are made.

No, the quarterback quandary hasn’t fully been solved—but in hearing Richt’s take on the situation, it’s time this fan base breathes a bit easier, knowing the guy in charge is fully vested in getting this thing done—and done right.

The last yahoo around these parts destroyed this phrase, but is still holds water with the right guy in charge—trust the process.

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