Miami quarterbacks making their case for starting job

Manny Diaz says he plans to stick with whoever wins competition

Redshirt sophomore Tate Martell, redshirt sophomore N'Kosi Perry and redshirt freshman Jarren Williams are all vying for the starting quarterback job.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – With the season opener against Florida in Orlando just two weeks away, the starting quarterback job for Miami remains up for grabs.

First-year head coach Manny Diaz said Friday the competition will continue until one quarterback separates himself from the others.

That said, whoever gets the reins of the offense will likely hold onto it throughout the season.

"When we get a guy, we're going to get our guy and we're going to go play with our guy," Diaz told reporters.

Redshirt sophomore Tate Martell, redshirt sophomore N'Kosi Perry and redshirt freshman Jarren Williams are vying for the No. 1 listing on the depth chart entering Miami's Aug. 24 game against the Gators.

Diaz said all three are capable of winning the job, but he doesn't anticipate a quarterback derby, as was the case last season under predecessor Mark Richt.

Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz speaks to fans on the University of Miami campus, Aug. 3, 2019, in Coral Gables, Florida.

Richt went back and forth between fifth-year senior Malik Rosier and Perry throughout the 2018 season. The instability at the position probably, in part, led to Richt's surprise retirement after the 35-3 loss to Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl.

"Everyone says, 'Hey, get a guy.' Now we get a guy, and now we're asking if we have a guy," Diaz said. "Do we not want to have a guy? Let's get a guy, let's get behind our guy and let's go play with our guy."
Martell is widely believed to be the favorite after transferring from Ohio State in the offseason.

Perry was 4-2 as a starter last season, throwing for 1,091 yards and 13 touchdowns with six interceptions.

Williams has the least experience of the trio. He played in one game last season, finishing 1-of-3 for 17 passing yards. He also rushed for a 1-yard score against Savannah State.

Here's what Diaz had to say about each candidate:

Tate Martell

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tate Martell transferred from Ohio State in the offseason and is eligible to play immediately.

"Tate has got a toughness that the team respects. Obviously, he can run. He can throw. He has some different things in a game plan that can feature, with Tate in there."

N'Kosi Perry

Miami Hurricanes quarterback N'Kosi Perry was 4-2 as a starter in 2018.

"He's, again, a guy that can move and buy time in the pocket. I think he throws the ball very effortlessly. He can make all the throws. N'Kosi has been in games. He understands that. I think he's more of a mature guy than he was a year ago. Like I said, the arrow has been pointing up on him as well."

Jarren Williams

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jarren Williams played in one game during the 2018 season. He was 1-of-3 for 17 passing yards. He also scored on a 1-yard touchdown run.

"Obviously, Jarren is a gifted passer. He has learned, I think, the maturity that comes with being the starting quarterback at a place like Miami. He is becoming more and more comfortable with the offense. I think Jarren, also, is a guy that hit 20 mph [running] this summer. Jarren is a better athlete than, I think, people give him credit for -- all the reasons he was recruited to come here in the first place."

Here's what the quarterbacks had to say about their chances of winning the job:

Tate Martell

"It's not up to me. We're all doing really well. I mean, we'll see who goes out there, really. There's not much I can really say about it."

N'Kosi Perry

"I am not sure with the coaches, but I am in a good place. I feel like I am in a good place in my mind, in my heart and with the team. So, I am just ready to see."

Jarren Williams

"Honestly, I don't really know. But my focus has just been taking it a day and a step at a time. My focus for (Saturday) is getting ready for the scrimmage and just making sure I perform good."

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