COMMENTARY Berlin should be starting QB against FSU

When looking at the University of Miami’s quarterback situation, there is one obvious answer regarding who should start against Florida State Labor Day weekend.
His name is Brock Berlin. Yes, the same Berlin who looked confused and awful at times last year, the same guy who only put six points on the board against Tennessee and got routed by Virginia Tech. Yes, that’s the man.
The reason Berlin should start is simple: the Hurricanes have no one else.
This is not a ringing endorsement for Berlin; it is simply my opinion that he is the best man for the job.
Let’s think about this situation logically. While I like Derrick Crudup, he obviously has not done well enough to impress the coaches in his opportunities to play. Crudup’s time has come and gone. He has had his opportunities, and he did not take advantage of them. Simply put, when you look at all the factors, Crudup has not shown enough talent to be the starting quarterback.
Kyle Wright has all the tools for the future. He has been impressive when Hurricane fans have seen him play. The coaches are raving about him. So why should he not play now? If Wright is so good, why should he not get his chance?
The answer is a simple word: experience. Wright does not have any collegiate football experience. I would find it very difficult to give a young quarterback his first-ever start in the Orange Bowl against the Hurricanes’ biggest rival, the Florida State Seminoles. That seems to be far too big of a task for a young quarterback to handle. If Wright struggles against the Seminoles, it could shatter his confidence and ruin him for the future.
So that leaves last year’s man, Berlin, who is not all that popular among students and fans here at UM. Berlin looked atrocious at times last season and made his biggest supporters turn into his biggest naysayers. He made too many poor decisions, threw too many interceptions, and did not put enough points on the board.
However, Berlin did make big plays when he needed them. The comeback against the Gators and the fourth-down play against West Virginia are just a couple examples of huge plays that Berlin made last season.
When it comes to playing the Seminoles, who the Hurricanes have owned over the last few years, the quarterback has to be Berlin. He is the only signal-caller with the big-game experience, has faced adversity, and would be able to bounce back from a rough start. All Berlin did last season was bounce back from bad starts and plays. He is practically an expert at it.
Now, if the Hurricanes lose to the Seminoles, then all bets are off. If Berlin comes out and plays terribly and Miami loses, at that point one would seriously have to think about putting Wright into the games. Wright’s debut needs to come against a team that the Hurricanes can have success against, not against a perennial powerhouse like the Seminoles.
So as the football team looks toward the fall, one thing has become clear: the quarterback position is Berlin’s job to lose again. If he plays well, he will be the quarterback for the Hurricanes this season. If he struggles, he will once again become the most despised athlete at the university.
That’s the life of a quarterback, and Berlin knows it. When you have success, everyone loves you and when you struggle, it is your fault and no one is your friend. Berlin is the only one who has the mental strength and experience to accept that fact. Next year will be the year of Kyle Wright. This season, it’s The Brock Berlin Show – again.

Darren Grossman can be contacted at

April 20, 2004


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.