Miami Hurricanes second scrimmage most important of training camp

CORONADO, CA - MAY 27: Tate Martell of Ohio State University attends Steve Clarkson's 13th Annual Quarterback Retreat on May 27, 2017 in Coronado, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
CORONADO, CA - MAY 27: Tate Martell of Ohio State University attends Steve Clarkson's 13th Annual Quarterback Retreat on May 27, 2017 in Coronado, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /

Miami Hurricanes head football coach Manny Diaz has been stating throughout training camp that the second scrimmage will be the most important of training camp. The starters should be determined after Saturday night.

Manny Diaz and offensive coordinator Dan Enos have big decisions to make. Who will the Miami Hurricanes first-team quarterback and left tackle on offense? On defense, the biggest decisions are one cornerback and both safeties. Saturday night’s second scrimmage will provide most of those answers.

Quarterback is the position on the minds of most of the Miami Hurricanes fan base and media. It has been overdocumented that Tate Martell, N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams are battling to be the starting QB. Diaz and Enos will likely make a decision following Saturday’s second scrimmage on the starter at QB.

Diaz stated earlier this week they have not decided if they will make public who their starter following the scrimmage. The Miami football staff might choose to keep the decision in-house to make Florida prepare for all three Hurricanes QBs over the next two weeks.

It would be difficult to keep the decision within the Miami football program. Enos broke down when and how the decision on the starting QB would be made and who would be told after practice on Friday. David Furones of the Sun-Sentinel quoted Enos in an article published Friday afternoon.

"“We’re not sure on that yet. It’s something that we’re going to kind of see how we want to do it. In terms of when the guy is told, maybe you’ll find out, maybe you won’t. I don’t know.”"

Expect whoever emerges as the Miami Hurricanes QB for the staff to stick with him barring injury. Diaz has routinely stated that they are looking for a QB who takes care of the ball and is accurate. He spoke after practice on Friday.

"“When we get a guy, we’re going to get our guy and we’re going to go play with our guy. That doesn’t mean that there’s still not a competition at every position, but you know, you got to have a guy, right?Everyone’s like, ‘Hey, get a guy.’ Now we got a guy. Now we’re asking if we have a guy, do we have another guy? So let’s get a guy. Let’s get behind our guy. And let’s go play with our guy.”"

The back and forth between Perry and Malik Rosier in 2018 hindered the Miami Hurricanes offense. Diaz and Enos’ statements throughout training camp have indicated that back and forth between the QBs is not likely to happen in 2019 because of ineffective play. Whoever is chosen will have a variety of skills.

The battles at left tackle, cornerback opposite returning starter Trajan Bandy and both safeties are also still being contested. Diaz spoke about the challenge for Zion Nelson at left tackle and for the other players challenging to start in general. Nelson lost some of his first-team snaps to redshirt freshman John Campbell this week.

"“This is it. All the preparation they’ve done is for tomorrow. We just challenged them to play the best game of their footballing lives. Whether you’re Shaquille Quarterman and you’re a four-year starter – did you get better this offseason?Put it on tape tomorrow night and give yourself confidence that you’re a new guy when the game starts. You might be Zion Nelson. It’s your first college game ever and just show that you’re better than you were a week ago.We challenged them all to get better and we want to see the details that we felt like were lacking last Sunday night, get cleaned up. We did a little mock deal at yesterday’s practice that I thought was cleaner, but that was on our practice field.Now we have to go to a different location, somewhere different, and just see if we can translate that in more of a game setting.”"

The cornerback battle is likely to come down to sophomores Al Blades jr and D.J. Ivey. Keep an eye on freshman Te’Cory Couch who has been very impressive in training camp and could surpass Blades and Ivey to start opposite Bandy.

Whatever happens in Saturday’s second scrimmage we will learn a lot about who will likely start against Florida on August 24. Sophomore Gurvan Hall and junior Amari Carter have primarily been the first team safeties throughout training camp.

Carter and Hall are being challenged by Senior Robert Knowles, Junior Derrick Smith and USC transfer Bubba Bolden who arrived in Coral Gables this week. Bolden’s performance in the scrimmage will be closely watched and scrutinized. He arrived in camp too late to be a starter.

Next. Bubba Bolden's role depends on what he processes. dark

How much Bolden contributes early in the season will be determined how quickly he picks up the defense and how well he performs in practice and the scrimmages. Bolden is a big talent and key addition to the Miami Hurricanes roster.