Miami Hurricanes: Should Stephen Morris or Jacory Harris Be the Starter?
The Miami Hurricanes have often been called "Quarterback U" because of the stars that they produce at the quarterback position. Vinny Testaverde, Bernie Kosar, Gino Toretta and Ken Dorsey are some of the big names to hail from Coral Gables, FL.
Two athletes in Stephen Morris and Jacory Harris have been battling all offseason and spring to earn the favor of new head coach Al Golden. Golden has stated that it is a "neck and neck battle".
Alot of fans have a dim view of Harris, as he has been the target of criticism because of his poor decision making and his penchant to commit devastating mistakes when games are on the line.
Morris showed his potential as he almost led the Hurricanes back to a dramatic win over Virginia, and he directed the team to a win against Maryland.
I will compare the two quarterbacks and will give a fair decision as to who should be the Hurricanes starting quarterback:
1. Jacory Harris
Jacory Harris vs. North Carolina in 2009
We will start with Jacory Harris. He is the incumbent starter and has been since 2008, taking over for Robert Marve who left the team in a big mess after an open feud with ex-Coach Randy Shannon.
Harris has all the tools at 6'4, 200 pounds and can occasionally make the big throw, anywhere on the field. He has the ability to beat the blitz and move outside the pocket.
The big knock on him is that he has poor decision-making and he has the nagging penchant for making game-changing, critical mistakes.
One game that fans will not easily forget, the video above that recapped the 2009 contest versus North Carolina. Harris was highly ineffective, throwing four interceptions in a 33-24 loss that dropped the Hurricanes out of contention for a BCS bowl and the ACC championship.
Harris missed a lot of time last season with a concussion and again, split time with No. 2 quarterback Stephen Morris.
Bottom Line: Harris is held in poor regard by a lot of fans. He makes crushing mistakes at critical times. He wilts under pressure. I believe Harris still has a lot of maturing to do before he makes the jump to the NFL, even if he does. He has all the physical attributes to be successful, he just needs coaching to correct a lot of his mistakes, and he also has to be more patient with the ball and not be so eager to make a big play.
2. Stephen Morris
Stephen Morris leading the 'Canes back to win against Maryland!
We have the next one in this faceoff, sophomore quarterback Stephen Morris. Listed at 6'2 and 186 pounds, he too has all the tools to play quarterback and be successful.
Brought in with the stud 2009-2010 recruiting class, Morris beat out A.J. Highsmith for the Hurricanes backup quarterback position to become Jacory Harris' primary backup.
As seen in the above video, Morris flashed his ability to make plays. He led the team to a near-comeback against the University of Virginia and led the team back from a deficit to beat the Maryland Terrapins.
Morris flashed leadership ability, the ability to sidestep the rush and make any throw as evidenced in the 35-yard strike to Leonard Hankerson to complete the comeback.
He has a rocket arm and has not had the plaguing bug of making crushing mistakes as his counterpart Harris has had.
Bottom Line: This kid is the real deal. He shows a coolness in the pocket that hasn't been seen in a long while in Coral Gables. He has the talent to lead the team to a win on any given weekend. Surround him with the talent that the Hurricanes have on offense, and the sky is the limit for this kid. I believe he will flourish under Coach Golden and should be the starting quarterback for the 'Canes.
3. The Bottom Line
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The Bottom Line is that the edge should rightfully go to Stephen Morris. The kid shows a lot more potential to be great in Miami than Jacory Harris.
He has the arm strength, the presence on the field and the smarts to play the position.
I believe Morris gives the Hurricanes the best opportunity to win. He should be given the nod to start over Jacory Harris and quite possibly become the next great quarterback to come out of "Quarterback U".