‘Canes success hinges on signal-caller under center

So-called pundits and fans have been backing University of Miami junior quarterback Jacory Harris recently, going as far as throwing his name in the same breath as uber-quarterback Ken Dorsey.

Let’s start pumping the brakes quite a bit, shall we.

Dorsey is probably the best to play quarterback for the Hurricanes – and he didn’t even win a Heisman Trophy.

Say what you want, the California-born Dorsey was a monster, throwing for 9,565 yards and 86 touchdowns on 668-of-1,153 passing. He only threw 28 interceptions.

Read the last sentence of that paragraph again.

Harris, who isn’t even out of his junior year yet, has thrown 36, including a costly interception with five seconds left in regulation Nov. 27, in a game that was already tied at 17-17 against the South Florida Bulls (7-4) and Miami (7-5) already in field-goal range.

The Hurricanes lost, 23-20, in overtime.

Say what you want, and I know some fans have a man-crush on “J12,” he’s not a good quarterback.

Nobody in the Miami system has been since – gulp! – Brock Berlin and he was a transfer from the University of Florida.

I drank the Kyle Wright Kool-Aid, and how did that pan out?

How did Kirby Freeman pan out?

Let’s not forget the 2008 debacle that was Robert Marve. I will admit I was advocating for a one quarterback system – literally rooting for Marve even though he was throwing into triple coverage down the middle of the field almost the entire time he played with the Hurricanes.

And now Jacory Harris, Stephen Morris and Alonzo Highsmith. How’s that been working out?

For those of you ready to call former head coach Randy Shannon a bad recruiter, again, pump your brakes.

He’s brought in playmakers at every position but quarterback. Which, is kind of weird, seeing as though offensive coordinator Mark Whipple was Ben Roethlisberger’s quarterbacks coach in Pittsburgh with the Steelers.

Miami’s receiving corps of senior Leonard Hankerson and juniors LaRon Byrd, Aldarius Johnson, Travis Benjamin is one of the best in the nation. They just don’t have good quarterbacks getting them the football.

Let’s mention the running backs, too. Seniors Graig Cooper – OK, we’ll give that one to Larry Coker – and Damien Berry, sophomore Mike James, red-shirt freshman Lamar Miller and freshman Storm Johnson can certainly all be feature backs in any other offense and have been working as a five-headed monster for the Hurricanes.

Yes, Dorsey had Santana Moss, Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne at wide receiver and Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow at tight end, but he knew what to do with them.

Yesterday, with Miami driving before the end of regulation, and without being pressured, Harris threw a ball into triple coverage over the middle of the field. The closest receiver was Hankerson who was five yards off the ball. Just unacceptable.

One final note on Dorsey, who, by the way, chose to go to Miami over Southern Cal and Tennessee (that won’t happen again anytime soon); on third downs he was 205 for 333 for 2,531 yards, 25 touchdowns and four interceptions and in the fourth quarter he was 91 for 158 for 1,359 yards, 11 touchdowns and ONE interception. That’s right, one.

Bottom line, Miami needs to start recruiting quarterbacks as seriously as they do backs and defensive players. Until that happens, this program will never get into the upper echelon of college football, no matter who you got for backs.

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