Story by Yousaf Khan
University of Miami starting quarterback Malik Rosier has been doubted his entire college career and has patiently waited his turn. He is probably used to the comments, “career backup”, “game manager”, “fill in starter”, the list probably goes on and on. However, after a game winning drive at FSU, a 4-0 record, and #10 ranking the Mobile, AL native is starting to make a name for himself.
The redshirt junior came in the same recruiting class with 3 year starter QB Brad Kayaa. Rosier was relegated to a redshirt year and served as the primary backup QB the last 2 seasons. His only meaningful action came in the 8 lateral last second win over Duke 2 years ago when he started for an injured Kayaa. In spring camp, many fans and media expected 6’5 redshirt freshman Jack Allison to win the job after Kayaa left early for the NFL, however Allison transferred after falling behind Rosier and Evan Sherriffs on the depth chart. Then in fall camp highly regarded dual threat N’Kosi Perry enrolled and again fans and the media were appointing him the starter and a future star. Even Miami head coach and de-facto offensive coordinator Mark Richt hinted at his excitement of Perry and that he would be given a chance to win the job. Rosier never flinched in any of these situations and kept plugging away at practice and was named the starter days before the first game. Even then many fans were expecting Rosier to struggle and that Perry would eventually get a chance to start this season.
Well Rosier has put all doubters to rest and entrenched himself as the starting qb on a top 10 team. Through 4 games and 4 wins, he has passed for 1,074 yards, 11 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, and a 58% completion percentage. He also brings a running element totaling 126 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Traditionally, the Hurricanes have not had many running QB’s but his running style opens up RPO’s (Run Pass Options) for the Hurricane offense which brings a new element that opponents need to prepare for.
His biggest test came yesterday on the road to rival FSU and their talented defense in a series where Miami lost 7 in a row. At different moments during the game it looked like it would be 8 in a row. The Hurricanes were shutout 3-0 at halftime and held to 57 yards, then once the game picked up FSU took a 20-17 lead win a 1:24 left in the game. Rosier proved that no moment is too big and that he is a gamer in a career defining drive in a big rivalry game that fans will be talking about for years. The Canes QB calmly marched down the field and hit 6’5 WR Darell Langham on a beautiful 23 yard thrown with 6 seconds left to give Miami 24-20 win. The Hurricanes are now ranked #10 in the latest poll and have fans excited for the first time in years. There is already some chatter about a being possible darkhorse playoff team but the Canes must still play Virginia Tech and Notre Dame in back to back weeks in November. However, Rosier should be up to the challenge and might make himself a household name in the process.
Photo by College Pressbox