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Was Brad Kaaya leaving early best thing for Miami football?

Ari Russell



(Photo by Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire)

You normally don’t go around saying things like this, but it may be worth discussing and that’s how the Miami football program may indeed be better off that Brad Kaaya left early for the NFL. I know it’s not quite often that the school’s all time passing leader in yards can actually improve a program, but in this case it seemingly may be true.

Kaaya finished his career after his junior season with 9,968 passing yards beating out Ken Dorsey as the school’s all time leader. He bounced to the NFL Draft and was selected in the sixth round by the Detroit Lions. He was cut during the pre season by the Lions and then picked up by the Carolina Panthers and then just this week, cut by the Panthers. Obviously this wasn’t a great path for Kaaya, he probably would have been better off staying an extra year. However that may not have been great news for the Canes.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past several weeks, current Miami QB Malik Rosier has been ice water on the past two final drives. Whether it was going the length of  the field to snap a seven game skid against rival FSU, or if it was driving the team to a game winning field goal in the pouring rain in the final seconds against Georgia Tech, Rosier gets the job done. 

Miami is now 5-0, ranked 8th in the AP and 7th in the coaches poll with a favorable schedule with the toughest games at home. Would Miami be 5-0 if Kaaya were the QB? That’s a hypothetical, but one this is for certain, Rosier seemingly fits Mark Richt’s system better than Kaaya. Also Rosier’s mobility has made their offense more dynamic than it was under Kaaya.

During their four game skid last season Brad Kaaya had significant struggles under duress taking a lot of sacks. We have seen Rosier under similar duress, however it’s hard to tell since, Rosier doesn’t take nearly as many sacks. He usually evades the pressure and finds a way to make some level of a positive play.

With Kaaya leaving it left the biggest question mark this offseason regarding the most important position on the field. Miami had only one player on the roster who started only one total game at QB and that player was Malik Rosier. That said the keys weren’t just handed to Rosier, he faced stiff competition both in the Spring and Fall camps and came out the clear winner. Though Hurricane fans wanted to see true freshman N’kosi Perry win the job, they reluctantly accepted Rosier as the man to run the team. Now with hindsight, clearly this was the right choice.

Though one wouldn’t thing Rosier would be an upgrade over Kaaya on paper, on the field he really is. It’s not just the skill set his arm or his mobility. Rosier possesses a very important intangible that’s required to be as a QB if you are looking to win a conference title and that’s poise. Rosier has a poise to him that isn’t common for a college QB. The Canes went from having a huge question mark this offseason, to having a certain answer to being in position to win the ACC.

You never want to say losing Kaaya was addition by subtraction, but if what we have seen thus far isn’t enough to convince you, perhaps maybe by this weekend you will finally be a believer.

NOTE: Kaaya was picked back up by the Lions Wednesday afternoon. Good for him too.

Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.

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