With most teams a week into training camp, coaches have begun to release updated depth charts to the media. One of the notable developments from the recent update in position battles was Miami naming a staring quarterback.
Al Golden said the competition heading into the fall was neck-and-neck between junior Stephen Morris and Memphis transfer Ryan Williams. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch informed Morris of the decision Monday evening, and the junior said he was "very humbled" to receive the tap from the coaching staff.
Earning the starting role will not alleviate any pressure on Morris. The Hurricanes lost 23 letterman - including 12 starters, the most in the ACC - from their 2011 team. Morris took over for the injured Jacory Harris for six games as a freshman in 2010, and now he must pass along that experience to a young Miami roster.
"We will have a lot of freshman playing, and my job as a leader on this team is making sure everybody is ready to play," Morris told a group of reporters after Tuesday's morning workout. "Make sure that guys on the field know what they're doing, in case we have to check a play or do anything like that they'll be ready to go. They can play fast, they can play 100 percent."
Morris received compliments from coaches and teammates for his vocal leadership during summer and early fall workouts, and many reporters believe he has looked like the best quarterback in camp since the Hurricanes took the field. But while the leadership appears to be there, the performance must follow. Miami starts the season with two straight road games against Boston College and Kansas State, and the new starter made it clear another .500 season won't cut it for The U.
"We're not trying to have another 6-6- or 7-6 season," Morris said. "That's just not what this program was built on. We can't be happy with a mediocre season like that, so our job is to continue to get better."
With Jacory Harris suspended for the first game of the season, Morris' only start in 2011 was in the season-opener against Maryland. He completed 19 of 28 passes for 195 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns. Morris saw spotty action in place of Harris in four other games, but the 2012 opener at Boston College on Sept. 1 will be his first significant time under center in nearly a year.
For more on movements along the ACC Depth Charts, check out the ACC Rapid Reports from Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski.
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