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Monday, May 9, 2011
Miami QB competition just beginning

By Heather Dinich

If you think Miami's quarterback competition is interesting now, it should only get better next season.

As to whether or not the 2012 starting quarterback is actually an upgrade? Well, that remains to be seen, but Miami took another step towards building the position's depth recently when it announced the addition of transfer quarterback Ryan Williams, who played for one season at the University of Memphis.

Ryan Williams
Ryan Williams, competing to be the starting quarterback at Miami, showed effectiveness as Memphis' starter in 2010.
While Williams -- a record-setter who led nearby Miramar High to its first state title -- obviously wasn't an attractive prospect for the previous staff, Miami coach Al Golden and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch just got a steal in a 6-foot-6, 225-pound prototypical drop-back passer who fits in perfectly with what the Canes want to do offensively. The reason he left Memphis is because of the program's switch to a spread offense.

And the fact that Williams took the starting job from a former Hurricane, Cannon Smith, who suffered a concussion in the second game, is just too ironic to ignore. (Current Cane Jacory Harris suffered a concussion in the Virginia game last year, opening the door for Stephen Morris and leading to the current ongoing competition.) Williams started 10 games last year and completed 165 of 290 passes for 2,075 yards and 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He'll have a wee bit more talent to help him out at Miami.

If, of course, Williams actually wins the starting job.

Once Harris leaves, the Canes will have Morris, Michigan transfer Tate Forcier and Williams to choose from, along with whomever they land in the 2012 recruiting class -- and that is where Golden needs to make his biggest impact. While Morris and the transfers will have an opportunity to compete for the starting job, Miami still needs to land some stud quarterbacks in its next recruiting class -- a position Golden swung and missed on in 2011 due in large part because of the timing of his hire. So far, the Canes are off to a good start with two, including David Thompson, and ESPNU 150 watch list member Gray Crow.

Miami's depth is getting better, but the talent must improve, too, and while Williams will help the Canes in both areas, the 2012 recruiting class should help more.