When it comes to veteran quarterbacks in the ACC, there is only one -- unless you’re counting true sophomores or second-year starters as old guys.
If Miami’s Jacory Harris wins the starting job this summer, he will be the only senior quarterback in the ACC this year. Despite his past experience, though, Harris is facing a lot of uncertainty in his future. Here are the three main questions facing Harris as he prepares for his final season as a Hurricane:
1. Will he win the starting job, and will he keep it? Even if Harris wins the starting job this summer, there’s no guarantee he’ll finish the season at the top of the depth chart, especially if he continues to turn the ball over and make poor decisions. Harris will constantly be looking over his shoulder, as Stephen Morris will be pushing him at practice every day. The competition between the two will either make Harris better -- like it did when Robert Marve was still on the team -- or it could rattle his confidence.
2. How will he adapt to the new offense? First-year offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch will run a pro-style offense, and Harris has had to spend the offseason learning new terminology and concepts. Fisch has already said they’re likely to hand the ball off a good amount, so the offensive line and running backs should help take some pressure off of Harris. As far as the balance between the run and pass, though, your guess is as good as mine. Fisch has said that he plans to do whatever it takes to win, whether that’s throw it 40 times or run it 40 times. Fisch has only called plays once before -- in 2009, as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator.
3. Will he stay healthy? In 2009, Harris had a thumb injury, though just how bad it was we’ll never know. Last year at Pittsburgh, Harris suffered a shoulder injury. There were conflicting reports about the exact injury, but The Miami Herald reported it was a bruised AC joint. And then, arguably the worst of his injuries was the concussion he suffered at Virginia, which sidelined him for three games. Like most quarterbacks, Harris isn’t the same when he’s injured, but the true extent of his injuries has been a mystery. How much more can he take?