University of Miami head football coach Mark Richt said the backup quarterback race is down to a pair of redshirt sophomores.
“As far as the quarterback position is concerned, the No. 1 guy, of course, is Brad [Kaaya],” Richt said. “Right now what I'm going to do is work [Vincent] Testaverde and Malik [Rosier] with the twos, and give them all the reps with the twos and kind of let them battle it out. The rest of the guys, I want them to keep competing.”
Despite recognizing Testaverde and Rosier as a step ahead for the backup job, Richt said the race is far from over – even for redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs and freshman Jack Allison.
“They're in still a lot of drill work...if somebody struggles in that two unit match, it might be someone [else] bumps in there,” Richt said. “It's not 100-percent solid that one of those two will be the No. 2, but they're in the driver's seat right now. They'll get all the reps with the number twos."
Kaaya said there is plenty to like about both Rosier and Testaverde.
“[Vincent] has gotten a lot better, getting his mechanics down pat. He’s smooth,” Kaaya said. “He delivers the ball and throws a tight spiral. He’s just gotten more of the offense down pat and operate more efficiently.”
Rosier made one start in 2015, throwing for 272 yards in a 30-27 win at Duke in Durham, N.C. He also saw action in the team's matchup with Clemson. Testaverde, who redshirted in 2015 to retain eligibility, transferred to Miami after spending the 2014 season at Texas Tech.
“Just seeing him do the right thing consistently,” Kaaya said of the coaching staff’s focus with Rosier. “There may be a deep route downfield that he might be able to force and might be a close ball that he might be able to catch, or might not. He just wants him to focus on taking the more high-percentage throws.”
Kaaya said between spring ball, summer workouts and fall practice, all of the quarterbacks should feel comfortable in Richt’s offensive scheme.
“They look pretty close to [mastering the offense] right now,” Kaaya said. “There shouldn’t be any excuses for why they can’t get in there and be able to operate. We’ve all been in this offense the same amount of time. It should be pretty close to natural for them at this point.”