The Miami Hurricanes and Florida Gators are both getting a week early jump on being able to practice, as they are slated to meet each other on August 24th in Orlando. And in the Canes opening practice, transfer quarterback Tate Martell stepped to the forefront with the first team in the quarterback battle.
While Jarren Williams and last year’s part-time starter, N’kosi Perry, also took reps with the starters on Friday, Martell has gotten the early nod.
However, as our colleague Chris Fischer of NBC6 in Miami tweeted, first-year head coach Manny Diaz said after practice not to read too much into day one:
Manny Diaz on #Canes QB situation and #OhioState transfer Tate Martell leading the trio N'Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams vying for starting role in drills to start @CanesFootball first Training Camp practice pic.twitter.com/dWgkvCLUcy
— Chris Fischer NBC6 (@FischerNBC6) July 27, 2019
It’s easy to make an assessment off of: A. One throw, or one drill or one practice,” Diaz said. “I think they all made a throw that showed that they are good enough (to start), and they all made a mistake that shows that you could make a case any way you want to Day one. We have four weeks to sort this out.”
Still, make no mistake, the Hurricanes want Martell to take charge after he was granted a waiver to be immediately eligible transferring from Ohio State back in January.
Martell was a five star recruit from famed Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, and left as the second greatest passer in Nevada history. That included, a combined nearly 5,000 yards passing and rushing and 64 touchdowns in his senior season, as they won the state championship.
He played only sparingly last season with the Buckeyes, who took in Georgia transfer QB Justin Fields this off season to likely start for them. Also, Martell is re-uniting with former Bishop Gorman teammates Bubba Bolden and Brevin Jordan in Miami, now that he is eligible after he successfully appealed to the NCAA to play in 2019.
Finally, new offensive coordinator Dan Enos is a noted “quarterback guru” having worked with both Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama the last two seasons. And, he will help Diaz with the development of all the the QBs and assess the starter to begin the season.
Not so fast on QB D’Eriq King coming to Hurricanes?
24 hours later it doesn’t look dead certain that Houston transfer quarterback D’Eriq King will end up at the University of Miami after all.
In fact, it may be several days before we know the coveted grad transfer QB decides to do.
This after a report Sunday out of Houston from Fox 26 Sports director Mark Berman ,who got comments from King about his short term plans and visits:
D’Eriq King (@DeriqKing_), who is transferring from @UHCougarFB, says he has yet to make a final decision on where he’s going: “I haven’t committed to anybody yet. I’m still looking at my options. I visited Miami. I liked it, but there are other options I’m still trying see to..” pic.twitter.com/E4kz2xypWR
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 19, 2020
It is interesting that King is considering Maryland in the mix in addition to powerhouse LSU and possibly trying to revitalize Miami.
As our Jamil King wrote on Sunday it looked like the Houston standout quarterback was “e-ticketed” for Coral Gables and to come as a package deal with newly hired offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. Lashlee, who has previously been at Auburn and the SMU offensive coordinator the last couple of seasons, was hired two weeks ago to help jump start the Canes disastrous offense from the second half of last year.
Quarterback play plagued the Canes in 2019 with Jarren Williams showing flashes of great play followed by freshman mistakes and inconsistency. N’kosi Perry found his way into some games, but was also inconsistent in his own right. Miami suffered humiliating losses to FIU and at Duke to close the regular season.
Then, the Hurricanes were completely inept in the Independence Bowl, while being shut out 14-0. This, while rumors were swirling everywhere that coach Manny Diaz would be firing his first year offensive coordinator, Dan Enos. Enos, who had been the QB coach at Alabama, was fired the next day.
Back to King, if the Hurricanes are able to land him, they get a player who over his career at the University of Houston threw for 4,925 yards for an average of 8.2 yards per attempt and tossed 50 touchdowns with only ten interceptions.
King also completed almost 62% of his passes with the Cougars, adding another 28 touchdowns on the ground. He promises to bring some explosives, something the Canes desperately needed, if they can land him.
Hurricanes land Houston QB transfer King
Miami Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz found out very quickly that the life if a head coach isn’t an easy one. He saw his Miami Hurricane offense move nothing like a “Hurricane” at all.
Instead of fast and lethal, it was often slow and stagnant.
Thus, Diaz had to go in a different direction for his offense replacing his first-year offensive coordinator Dan Enos, and he made what looks to be like a strong hire in Rhett Lashlee, bringing his spread offense over from SMU.
Quarterback play plagued the Canes in 2019 with Jarren Williams showing flashes of great play followed by freshman mistakes and inconsistency. N’kosi Perry found his way into some games but was also inconsistent in his own right.\
With New OC Lashlee coming in, it was going to be interesting if either Williams or Perry could run the new system or if seldom used 2019 transfer Tate Martell may be the best fit?
All of those questions may be answered for us already with news coming out today on a new Miami quarterback entering the fold. Houston transfer D’Eriq King has decided to play for the Canes in 2020.
— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) January 19, 2020
King is an immediate upgrade in the QB room for a few different reasons for the Hurricanes in 2020. First, over his career at the University of Houston (above), King has thrown for 4,925 yards for an average of 8.2 yards per attempt and tossed 50 touchdowns with only ten interceptions.
King also completed almost 62% of his passes with the Cougars, adding another 28 touchdowns on the ground. The young man can flat out play ball, something the Canes desperately needed.
King is also going to be a leader in the locker room and the quarterback room. He is an older guy and will be someone everyone can look up to and listen to another coach on the field. King also brings the most to this offense.
He has the ability to make deep throws to the far side or hit a man in stride. He also brings the running ability to the offense that opens up a Pandora’s box for Lashlee. He can use the QB designed run, an option here and there, and lots of RPOs.
The addition of King is certainly an exciting one, and once again, for the second offseason in a row, there is new optimism on the offense in Coral Gables.
The question is this time will the excitement last longer into the season, and will it produce?
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