ESPN metrics guru Bill Connelly, who created the college football stat SP+, named Miami quarterback Cam Ward when asked during a roundtable, "Which true freshman or transfer are you most excited to see?" The question was part of a bigger discussion about "College football 2024: What we're most excited to see."
Ward is a consensus top-three 2024 transfer QB. The projections for Miami in 2024 are significantly increased with the addition of Ward. Miami returns their top two receivers in 2024. Xavier Restrepo set the Miami single-season reception record with 85 and became the sixth receiver in Miami history with over 1,000 yards in 2023. Miami also returns second leading receiver Jacolby George.
Ward will play behind a much better offensive line at Miami. The Hurricanes finished 17th last year, allowing 1.23 sacks per game. Washington State, where Ward previously played, allowed 3.17 sacks per game in 2023. Miami returns left tackle Jalen Rivers, right guard Anez Cooper and right tackle Francis Mauigoa in 2024.
Ward needs to cut down on a propensity to fumble. Ward led the country with seven fumbles lost during the 2023 season. Miami tied for 108th nationally in 2023 with 22 turnovers. Miami can be an elite offense in 2023 with Ward at QB. The Hurricanes were 31st, averaging 431.2 total yards per game in 2023.
"Cam Ward at Miami- Bill Connelly, ESPN
I think I'm most excited about the uncertainty here -- I have absolutely no idea what to expect from Ward, who was beautifully prolific at Incarnate Word, then tantalizing but inconsistent in two years at Washington State. Ward seemed to want to go pro, declaring for the draft but apparently not getting the draft grade he was looking for, and that could make him particularly hungry for a big year. He's a pretty accurate passer with a scrambling streak. Can he unlock what has been a very frustrating Miami offense? Or will he frustrate too? -- Connelly"
Miami offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson will adapt the offense to Ward. Ward provides a more athletic QB than Miami had during the 2023 regular season with Tyler Van Dyke and Emory Williams. Ward is a more accurate passer than Jacurri Brown.
Ward leads returning QBs nationally, averaging 311.1 passing yards per game in 2023. Miami needs consistency from Ward this season. Ward had consecutive games under 200 yards at the outset of a six-game Washington State losing streak in 2023. Miami had four games under 200 yards passing in 2023.
Ward transferring to Miami should be a good fit for both. Miami and Ward both have a lot to prove in 2024. Miami needs to be a factor in the ACC and compete for a College Football Playoff berth in the third season under Mario Cristobal. Ward is seeking to improve his NFL Draft stock.