What we all suspected for the final month of the season will become a reality soon: UM quarterback Jacory Harris will have surgery to repair torn ligaments on his right thumb and will be out at least a month, likely leaving him out of passing drills during spring football, according to a source close to the situation.
Jacory was of course referring to backup A.J. Highsmith and Stephen Morris, who is the quarterback from Miami Monsignor Pace expected to sign with the Hurricanes in February. By Tuesday morning, Harris' Twitter message was no longer posted. But according to the source, Monday afternoon was when Harris learned he would need surgery.
Harris was on crutches for at least a couple days after the Hurricanes' 20-14 loss to Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl. Harris also strained ligaments in his ankle and knee. He slightly injured the foot on his other leg during the game when a Wisconsin defender stepped on it. The source said none of those injuries, however, will require surgery.
Harris first injured the thumb on his throwing hand when he banged it against a helmet during the first quarter at North Carolina on Nov. 14. He threw a season-high four interceptions in the 33-24 loss to the Tar Heels. His thumb bothered him the rest of the season.
Harris still became the first quarterback at UM since Ken Dorsey in 2002 to throw for 3,000 yards in a season. He finished the year 242 for 406 with 3,352 yards, 24 touchdowns and 17 interceptions and was named a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Quarterback Award.
Harris still obviously could have benefitted from another spring throwing the football with his receivers. According to the source, Harris will still be around during spring football, studying and working with offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. But he likely will not be cleared to throw until after camp ends.
If Morris does not graduate from Pace in two weeks, the Hurricanes will have one only scholarship quarterback at full strength when spring football begins the last week of February. Walk-on Spencer Whipple is the scout team quarterback. Pace, a private school, does not usually permit its students to graduate early.