The Miami Hurricanes are right to be concerned about their situation at quarterback this season. After the departure of Stephen Morris, it was presumed that his former backup, Ryan Williams, would take over. Then Williams went down with a knee injury during the spring and the starting job fell to redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen.
But the news, broken by the Associated Press, that former Kansas Jayhawks QB Jake Heaps is transferring to Miami and will be eligible to play immediately does not mean that Olsen lost his job.
The Hurricanes need depth at quarterback, and Heaps will provide that. He will be a decent backup if Olsen gets injured, but recent history suggests that that he is not a viable option to take over the starting job. Last season with the Jayhawks, he threw for more interceptions than touchdowns (10 and eight) and completed fewer than 50% of his passes. Heaps apparently lost the starting job to Montell Cozart during spring practice as well, which is most likely the reason for his decision to transfer.
Heaps was one of the top quarterbacks coming out of high school in 2010 when he signed with the BYU Cougars. But his college career has permanently sullied the reputation he enjoyed back then. Meanwhile, the heavily-recruited Olsen has a year in the Hurricanes’ system. If nothing else, Olsen should have a better command of the playbook than Heaps will.
Head coach Al Golden probably recruited Heaps with a promise of being able to compete for the starting job, and he’ll likely get that opportunity. But when the Hurricanes take the field in 2014, Heaps won’t be the man under center. Olsen may or may not be the future for the Hurricanes, but, for good or bad, he is the present.