BY DAVID FURONES
Eight months after nearly transferring out of the University of Miami, redshirt freshman Jarren Williams has been named the starting quarterback for the Hurricanes, the team announced Monday morning.
Williams earned the job after beating out redshirt sophomores Tate Martell, who transferred from Ohio State this offseason, and N’Kosi Perry, who played in 11 games for the Hurricanes last season.
“All three guys showed tremendous improvement and development, which is a credit to their hard work and the work of Dan Enos and his offensive staff,” coach Manny Diaz said in a statement. “We believe we can win with all three guys, however, we feel like Jarren has the greatest upside due to his passing ability, his instincts and his determination.
“As we move into preparation for the Florida game, we will continue the competition to determine who will serve as the backup quarterback.”
Dream since kid
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Williams only played sparingly in one game last season — a 77-0 win over Savannah State. Due to his lack of playing time, the former four-star recruit out of Georgia’s Central Gwinnett High was reportedly close to transferring last December but had a change of heart.
“It means the world,” Williams said in a statement. “This is something that I’ve always strived for growing up. It’s been my dream since I was a kid. When I was six years old, I used to sit in front of the TV and watch Michael Vick play. That’s a dream I have always had and I’ve strived for it. Having the opportunity to lead this team is the opportunity of a lifetime and I am going to take full advantage of it.”
In Saturday night’s scrimmage, in which Diaz said none of the three quarterbacks played well in the first half that was dominated by the defense, Williams had a touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Will Mallory.
“I feel like I’m an elite passer,” Williams said. “I can make all the throws, even in tight windows. What a lot of people don’t know is that I can extend plays with my feet. I’m not a slow guy. I can tuck the ball and get 15 yards. I can make a guy miss, but I am a pass-first guy. I stand in the pocket and trust the pocket and get the ball to my receivers.”
Williams has also previously stated he feels he has the right approach to be a successful starting quarterback.
“I feel like I’m a tough guy,” he said on Aug. 9. “I have a passion. I feel like I have the intangibles to really be that guy.”
A fair shot
Heading into Saturday’s scrimmage, all three quarterbacks said they felt they were getting a fair shot at the starting job and were content with the distribution of first-team reps in practice.
Perry was in and out last season in a quarterback carousel with Malik Rosier, who has since graduated. While he threw 13 touchdowns to six interceptions, Perry only completed 50.8 of his passes and averaged just 5.7 yards per attempt.
Martell, playing behind Dwayne Haskins at Ohio State last season, completed 23 of 28 passes for 269 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions in six appearances.
Face Gators Aug. 24
The Hurricanes will play with their guy, Williams, for the first time in less than two weeks against the rival Gators in the season opener on Aug. 24 at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium.