Miami football not naming starters during spring practice

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13:(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13:(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Asked “If the season started tomorrow, who would be your quarterback?’’ head coach Manny Diaz said the Miami football program will not name any starters this spring. Diaz did clarify that the name of the Hurricanes starting quarterback rhymes with Ming. D’Eriq King is returning for his second season with Miami in 2021.

After tearing his ACL in the Cheez-It Bowl loss to Oklahoma State, there has been some speculation during the offseason that King will not be ready for the season opener against Alabama on September 4 in Atlanta. Diaz dispelled the conjecture last month by saying King is crushing his rehabilitation.

While Diaz will not name any starters this spring, the Miami football team returns 19 starters in 2021. Defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche and tight end Brevin Jordan are the only starters Miami lost following the 2020 season. With the NCAA freezing eligibility, all college athletes gained an extra year.

Several Miami players other than King are taking advantage of another year of eligibility. Safety Amari Carter, right tackle Jarrid Williams, DE Zach McCloud, defensive tackle Jon Ford and wide receiver Mike Harley are all returning in 2021 when their eligibility would have expired in normal circumstances.

"“That’s the whole point…The season doesn’t start tomorrow. If we said who the starting quarterback would be tomorrow, that’s against everything we made this spring out to be. We’re trying to not have somebody feel like they could walk on the field today and be our starting quarterback.If you got a dollar that you’re going to bet on who our starting quarterback is, he probably wears No. 1 with the last name that rhymes with Ming. That’s the best answer I could give you. We’re not trying to name any starters for anything right now. We don’t want anyone to feel like they’ve accomplished anything.We want a really good competition and I want that to go all the way through training camp. The last thing we need, especially with as much experience that we have, is guys to be complacent from what they’ve done so far.”"

Diaz spoke to reporters on Tuesday to update where the Miami football team currently stands during spring practice. Miami will have one of its most experienced teams in 2021 with the 19 starters returning. King and McCloud are entering their sixth seasons of college football and Williams his seventh.

Carter, Ford and Harley are all entering their fifth seasons of college football. Having six players on the roster will help a Hurricanes team that often has lacked leadership in recent seasons. Diaz has often spoken about wanting players on the Miami roster who want to be there. The above six prove they care about Miami.

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Harley and McCloud are likely starters with Carter, Ford and Williams being challenged for their returning spots. Creating competition this spring is good for the Miami football program. Another player who is a near lock to start is tight end, Will Mallory. Miami should have a deep roster in 2021 who will challenge each other.