The slow wait on the Miami football team hiring an Offensive Coordinator could mean more than a play-caller joining the Hurricanes. News broke late on Wednesday afternoon that Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts entered his name into the transfer protocol.
The speculation about Hurts transferring to Miami is that he could be tied to former Houston Coach Major Applewhite being hired as the Hurricanes Offensive Coordinator. Manny Diaz discussed Wednesday morning on the Joe Rose show that the Miami football team is looking for a quarterback to add to their roster.
The reports about Hurts transferring to Miami have been mixed. The ultimate authority on anything happening, the Las Vegas oddsmakers don’t list the Hurricanes as an option for Hurts next college destination.
Andrew Ivins who runs the Miami 247Sports website Inside the U Tweeted out the odds on where Hurts, Texas quarterback Shane Buechele and Notre Dame’s Brandon Winbush could transfer to. Buechele is the only one who is considering the Miami football team according to the Las Vegas odds.
Winbush is the only quarterback that the current Miami football staff defensively and the fans got to see up close. The Miami defense stymied Winbush and Ian Book who beat out Winbush for the starting job this season. The Hurricanes dominated the Fighting Irish in a 41-8 victory.
Winbush finished 10-21 for 119 yards one touchdown, two interceptions and added 11 carries for 24 yards. Winbush’s 50.5 career completion percentage is eerily close to departed quarterback Malik Rosier and the Hurricanes incumbent starter N’Kosi Perry.
Odds on Jalen Hurts, Brandon Wimbush and Shane Buechele from BetDSI. pic.twitter.com/7JrWGBmdSI
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) January 9, 2019
One of the most memorable plays of the 2017 season came against Notre Dame when then Freshman Trajan Bandy returned an interception for a touchdown to give Miami a 27-0 lead right before halftime to send Hard Rock stadium into a frenzy.
Susan Miller Degnan the Miami Herald’s beat reporter for Miami football questioned if Hurts decision to come to Miami could be based on if Manny Diaz decided to hire Applewhite as the Offensive Coordinator.
“Hurts is from Houston, where Major Applewhite, reportedly a candidate for Miami’s offensive coordinator job, was the head coach before he was recently fired. Applewhite recruited Hurts, as he did UM rising redshirt freshman Jarren Williams.”
It’s been a generation, multiple generations in football terms since Miami had a great quarterback. Ken Dorsey was the last quarterback for the Miami football team to be a Heisman Trophy finalist. Brad Kaaya was very good, but there were other elements prevented him to get national attention.
Kaaya broke Dorsey’s school career passing record in 2016. Kaaya led the Hurricanes to three bowl games in his three seasons as the starting quarterback. That included Miami’s first bowl win in ten seasons in 2016.
Diaz did not shy away from Miami’s great history of quarterbacks. That includes Dorsey, Kaaya, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks Vinny Testaverde and Gino Torretta and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.
Diaz spoke about the great history of quarterbacks at Miami with Rose as transcribed by Christy Chirinos of the Sun Sentinel.
“Look at the great Miami Hurricanes teams of the past. They weren’t just winning all those games with an OK guy at quarterback. They weren’t winning games with a guy that was just sort of managing things. They were winning with big-time guys…
This was ‘Quarterback U’ for a long time. We have to create as much competition at that spot to have a guy not sort of win [the job] because he’s the best of the OK guys. We need a guy that can win and that can behave and act like a big-time guy in everything he does to take us where we need to go.
The second paragraph fits what Hurts would bring to the Miami football team. Hurts is 26-2 as a starter in college. He would also provide the Miami offense with a more accurate passer. In three collegiate seasons Hurts has completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 5626 yards, 48 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
With Rosier and Perry taking the vast majority of the snaps in 2018, Miami quarterbacks completed just 51.1 percent of their passes. That number was slightly better with Rosier throwing most of the passes in 2017 at 53.3 percent.
Hurts is an exceptional dual-threat quarterback who could fit perfectly into a modern offense that Diaz seems intent on running, Diaz has said that the Hurricanes will be as aggressive on offense as his defenses have been at Miami over the past three seasons. Applewhite coached dual-threat QB D’Eriq King with Houston.
King threw for 2,982 yards, 36 touchdowns, six interceptions and ran for 674 yards and 14 touchdowns this past season. They could be the perfect complement for each other in the first season of what will be a new offense under Diaz. It’s hard to decipher if Applewhite is waiting for Diaz or vice-versa.