The Miami Hurricanes will soon be entering fall practice, and the team's prevailing headline is a particularly volatile quarterback situation.
Once August arrives in Coral Gables, Florida, the revamped Greentree Practice Fields will host a five-man competition largely dependent on a certain player's rehabilitation.
The depth chart is sure to be a fluid scene throughout August, but a general idea of the current status helps preview what will be a hectic month at "The U."
|Miami QB Depth Chart|
|Player||Class||Career Games (Starts)|
|T1. Ryan Williams||RSr||21 (10)|
|T1. Kevin Olsen||RFr||0|
|T2. Jake Heaps||RSr||33 (25)|
|T2. Brad Kaaya||Fr||0|
|3. Malik Rosier||Fr||0|
Having been in the system for three years now, Ryan Williams is the most prepared option mentally. Physically, on the other hand, his well-documented ACL injury makes him the least prepared at the moment.
According to Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald, Williams' goal is to be ready for the season-opener, which means he must be ready for fall camp:
I feel like where I'm supposed to be, is where I'm at. No setbacks yet. As long as I'm not going to go out there and re-injure myself and the doctor feels confident I can play in Week 1, I will play. But if I can't, if he wants me to hold off a couple weeks, then I will. ... As soon as [Dr. Lee Kaplan] gives me the full go, I'll be back out there.
Undeniably, the senior's official return date is the dominant factor in the competition. If Williams is not fit, however, all eyes remain focused on Kevin Olsen.
According to David Lake of 247Sports (subscription required), Olsen acknowledged he arrived at Miami "immature" and unfocused because immediate playing time was highly unlikely. Olsen said he flipped a mental switch once Stephen Morris graduated, and Williams' injury has now forced him into the physical change of being the starter.
Considering head coach Al Golden and his staff definitely do not want to rely on someone who loses concentration, the freshman's focus is a concern. But if Olsen proves his words are true throughout August, he is the No. 1 option behind a healthy Williams.
While transfer Jake Heaps possesses the most game action, he also packs the most baggage—though not literally—after mediocre stints at BYU and Kansas.
But Heaps was not offered a spot to simply watch from the sideline, and his experience gives him one notable advantage over Olsen and two younger quarterbacks.
An 18-year-old with near-prototypical size at his position, 6'4" Brad Kaaya is considered a high-ceiling prospect. During his state championship-winning 2013 season, Kaaya completed 62.2 percent of passes for 3,853 yards, 27 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
Malik Rosier is the lone dual-threat weapon as opposed to a quarterback merely capable of some running. Over his final two years in high school, Rosier complemented his 4,126 passing yards with 2,277 on the ground.
Kaaya and Rosier are already turning heads on the practice field, one of which belongs to senior wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.
"They are looking good," Dorsett said, per Lake. "Brad is more of a pocket passer. He has a real strong arm and he is accurate too. Malik can get outside of the pocket and make plays. He has a strong arm too. They are both real smart and they know a lot more than I thought they would coming in."
In the future, Rosier is a legitimate potential challenger for the starting position. Legitimate, as opposed to filler players on the roster who have no realistic chance to win the job. With that being said, "future" is not the upcoming campaign.
Should Williams return for the majority of fall practice, both true freshmen will have their practice reps extremely limited. Kaaya's will be extremely limited, and Rosier's may be virtually nonexistent.
And so, everything comes full circle: The Hurricanes and their following are awaiting official word on their long-expected No. 1 guy, because his status next month affects every potential starter.
Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter: @Kenyon19_BR.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!