University of Miami coach Randy Shannon didn't give reporters at Thursday's Florida Sports Writers Association meetings in Tampa any insight into who will be the starting quarterback this fall (I say its Robert Marve). But he did say something that might not sit well with fans of the U -- there's probably going to be another two quarterback system this fall (which I was counting on).
"Whichever quarterback that we name, we're going to play the other one," Shannon said without specifying any of the quarterbacks by name (as if Cannon Smith or Taylor Cook really have a shot). "We need depth at every position on the field and that's the one position that we don't have depth at because they're young. They're good quarterbacks, but they're young."
Shannon explained it won't be a platoon situation and said the way he envisions it, one person will emerge as the clear starter, and another will play at certain times to get a feel for game action -- in case that person gets called upon for a bigger role, for injury or any other reason.
Can't say I'm surprised. It's the only move that makes sense. While Shannon probably made a mistake last year by putting Kirby Freeman in the starting spot, he's got four guys who have never thrown a pass in college available to play quarterback. He's got to play at least two, one more than the other to develop rhythm (Marve) while letting the other (Jacory Harris) feel important and ready should they need them.
While all Canes fans might not like the move, they can at least take solace in this: at least its not Kyle Wright or Freeman who will be behind center. I know it was just the spring, but Marve and Harris looked so much better than their predecessors I honestly believe either one would have beaten them out last year for the starting job if they were around.
* In other tidbits from the meetings, Shannon confirmed defensive end Courtney Harris will miss the season and expects defensive end Allen Bailey (who is now up to 290 pounds) to recover from his pectoral injury in time for the start of the season. That's great news since I think Bailey is probably going to be the best defensive player Miami has this coming season.
J-MAC STILL GRINDING: As much as I'm itching for football info just like U (because getting basketball interviews are easier than football interviews) I was able to catch up with Jack McClinton Wednesday after his whirlwind camp tour this summer which included hook-ups with Chris Paul, Steve Nash and LeBron James. Jack, who is taking this week off from workouts to rest his tired knees (he's got tendinitis), told me he's become so close with Paul, an All-NBA First Team selection, he can call him whenever he wants to talk hoops. Paul named him the MVP of his camp in June after McClinton outplayed Florida's Nick Calathes, Davidson's Stephen Curry, Boston College's Tyrese Rice and about a dozen other collegiate studs at the camp. I'll have a full fledged story on Jack's travels in Friday's paper and maybe a full Q&A with him later this week... as for his teammates, McClinton told me all of them are excelling. But he -- like Julian Gamble -- pointed to freshman DeQuan Jones as impressive. "I saw highlights of him in high school, but it's his athleticism, how hard he goes that's impressive. He's really impressing me. We've never really had someone as athletic on the wing as him."
MERCADANTE PROMOTED: If getting basketball news four months before the start of the season bothers you, then this baseball night is going to send you off the deep end. Thursday, Jim Morris promoted Joe Mercadante (a former volunteer assistant the last four years) to fill in one of his vacant assistant coach spots. Mercadante will continue working with hitters and catchers, but now he'll get to recruit. Mercadante was basically Gino DiMare's right hand man when it came to hitting. Mercadante is a 2003 graduate of Florida, where he played catcher.
* NEW PODCAST: And lastly, I've finally recorded a new podcast of The Countdown with Larry Blustein, Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat and Andre C. Fernandez. It's mostly high school talk, but I do talk to Larry about some Cane recruits as well with Rudy about some of the basketball players UM is recruiting.