Young quarterbacks leading a new era

University of Miami quarterback Robert Marve has not taken a snap on the collegiate level, but his demeanor was one of calmness and confidence when he spoke about the Hurricanes’ showdown with the Gators this Saturday. 

Marve believes in his ability to turn the program around on a national stage at The Swamp.

“You’ve got to realize you’re playing a game that you’ve been doing since you were little,” Marve said. “The crowd and stadium will be bigger, but my goal is to stay focused as a leader and do whatever is best for the University of Miami to win the game.”

Marve noted that he’s excited to start under center after redshirting last season due to an injury he suffered as a result of a car accident. 

“I can truly say it’s a blessing to be on the field,” Marve said. “The car crash is pretty serious in itself. Some doctors said they didn’t know if I would be able to play anymore.   I am going to have fun and look forward to the challenge.”

Marve did not play in the season opener after head coach Randy Shannon handed down a one-game suspension stemming from an incident last October. 

“It’s a little strange,” Marve acknowledged, of how the last two weeks has played out. “It’s not that big of a deal, and I’m not worried about what happened in the past. I believe in the coaching staff and they thought it was the right thing to do.”

Marve replaces true freshman Jacory Harris after winning the starting quarterback battle in preseason camp.  

Harris, from Miami Northwestern High School, won Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Week honors after throwing for 190 yards and a touchdown in his debut. Harris also ran for a 30-yard score on the Hurricanes’ opening drive. 

Shannon said Harris will play in each game this season, including the first and second half this Saturday. 

“I’ve got to prepare myself mentally and physically to be ready to go in when the coaches call on me,” Harris said.  “It’s a bigger game with more hype because it’s on ESPN. I’m excited to go up there because I’ve never been in The Swamp.”

Harris is one of three quarterbacks (Harris, Marve and Florida’s Tim Tebow), who were previously named Florida’s Mr. Football that will take the field this Saturday.

Harris prides himself on having broken some of the record that his predecessors – Tebow and Marve – set.   

“My first goal was to beat Tebow’s passing touchdowns record,” Harris said. “When I accomplished that, my next goal was to beat Robert’s. It was something that I strived for, but it wasn’t something I depended on because I was a team player. Individual things come when you get better as a team.”

Harris may serve as the backup quarterback for the season, but he said his relationship with Marve is strong on and off the field.

“The defenses are going to throw different looks at you every time,” Harris said. “If [Robert] sees something, he tells me. He’s on the sideline and helping me through everything that is going on.”

Shannon’s advice for Marve was brief and was similar to what he told Harris last week.  

“[If he can] just be himself and get the ball to the guys that can make plays [then] he’ll do a fine job for us,” Shannon said. 

Marve and Harris are looking to be the faces of this program and reverse the recent futility and lack of productivity from the quarterback position. 

Marve said the Hurricanes are going to play Canes football this season. Harris without hesitation said the Hurricanes are still The U, with tradition and prestige. 

While prophesies, predictions and “guarantees” seem great in print, only time will tell if these two quarterbacks can lead the Canes back into the upper echelon of college football.