Miami names Jarren Williams as starting QB for opener against Florida

Nick Bromberg
Miami quarterbacks N'Kosi Perry (5) and Jarren Williams (15) do drills during NCAA college football spring practice, Thursday, April 18, 2019, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami quarterback Jarren Williams (15) has been named the team's starting QB. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

It won’t be Tate Martell or N’Kosi Perry starting for Miami against Florida on Aug. 24.

Miami made its starting quarterback announcement on Monday and it’s a bit of a surprise. At least for casual football fans. Redshirt freshman Jarren Williams has been declared the winner of the three-player quarterback competition.

Williams appeared in one game for the Hurricanes in 2018 and attempted just three passes. But he impressed enough in fall camp to surpass both Perry, who split time as Miami’s starter in 2018, and Martell, a transfer from Ohio State.

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"All three guys showed tremendous improvement and development, which is a credit to their hard work and the work of [offensive coordinator] Dan Enos and his offensive staff," Miami 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."

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Williams wins job after considering transfer

Williams, a four-star recruit in the 2018, nearly transferred from Miami in December but ultimately had a change of heart. Eight months later, he has been named the starter.

"It means the world," Williams said. "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.”

With Diaz and new offensive coordinator Dan Enos in place, the competition was wide open after spring practice and entering preseason camp.

"I think I've progressed a lot under coach Enos," Williams said. "Being able to go out there and get meaningful reps with the 1s and really get the speed of the game down and get chemistry together is so important. I feel like it is night and day if you watched from the spring until now. I feel like I have gotten a lot better, but my goal is perfection and I am still striving for that."

Miami QBs struggled mightily in 2018

Martell, the primary backup to Dwayne Haskins in 2018, came to Miami after Justin Fields arrived at Ohio State from Georgia. Martell, who was controversially granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA, has struggled with accuracy problems since coming to the Hurricanes.

Perry wasn’t too accurate in 2018 either. He threw for 1,091 yards and 13 touchdowns but had just a 50.8 completion percentage with six interceptions. He was also plagued by off-field issues.

Quarterback play was a bugaboo for the Hurricanes in 2018 as Miami went 7-6 after a 10-win season in 2017. Perry and senior Malik Rosier threw 19 touchdowns with 14 interceptions and combined to throw for just over 2,100 yards.

Can Williams improve upon those paltry numbers in 2019? Miami certainly thinks so.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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