That smoky stench you should be smelling is the burning redshirt of quarterback N’Kosi Perry.
Yes, Miami’s true freshman needs to start when the Miami Hurricanes take the field in the Orange Bowl later this month against the Wisconsin Badgers. I can already see the Twitter mob invading my mentions explaining how ludicrous this course of action would be but please here me out.
While Malik Rosier probably still gives the Canes their best chance of winning their first major bowl game in what feels like decades, their season essentially ended last weekend in Charlotte. It’d be pleasant to end it with a W, but Miami needs to think bigger. It’s time to look to the future. To set this program up for sustained dominance. That’s so much easier to achieve when you have a dynamic weapon under center.
As Mark Richt confirmed this week, all jobs are up for grabs this spring and that includes quarterback. That QB competition should start much sooner. We already know what we’re getting in Rosier. He’s an experienced quarterback capable of making big plays whose legs add another dimension to the offense. However, his accuracy can be iffy as we saw late this season, and that really shackles an offense against elite competition.
We also know No. 2 quarterback Evan Shirreffs does not appear to be a legitimate starter in a Power 5 conference. And Miami landed another ballyhooed quarterback commit in Jarren Williams.
Perry may not have been ready to be handed the keys to start the season but he’s a de-facto sophomore right now and it’s time to unleash the hyped four-star recruit out of Ocala. We need to see at least a semblance of what he’s capable of in a game environment against high-end competition.
While conventional thinking would be to preserve his redshirt so he enters next season with four years of eligibility, burning it now wouldn’t be as big a deal as many might think. If Perry proves to be the real deal, an impact player capable of catapulting this offense to new heights, he sure as hell isn’t staying until his redshirt senior year.
All of these kids have NFL aspirations and the truly elite quarterback prospects — for the overwhelming majority — depart to the pros as soon as they’re elligible. So if Perry were to thrive, Miami gets a jump start on the QB battle and not only has an idea of who their starter would be next season but for at least the next two seasons.
If Perry were to struggle, which wouldn’t be out of the norm for a quarterback’s collegiate debut, at least he’ll have gotten some game experience, which will at the least better set him up for development in the offseason. Miami would have a clearer idea of what Perry is and the sooner they find that out the better.
While the instinct for Richt may be to win the Orange Bowl at all costs, he needs to think bigger. Take the long view. Starting N’Kosi Perry now puts the Miami Hurricanes on a quicker path toward returning the U back to national prominence.