Miamis Brad Kaaya can be best quarterback in ACC

  • CHARLOTTE, N.C. Brad Kaaya has matured, simple as that.Miami’s junior quarterback took control of the Hurricanes offense as a true freshman, and hasn’t loosened his grip on the reins in the25 games since. Now,Kaaya enters his third year at Miami with playingexperience far beyond that of most20-year-olds.MORE: Ive seen it all, Kaaya said Thursday at ACC Media Days in Charlotte. Ive seen the worst po sible situations. Ive seen the best situations. Ive seen all kind of scenarios. Ive seen every crazy defense you could po sibly see in college, every kind of blitz. Just about everything, Ive seen.This, of course, includes a coaching change midway through his career. Kaaya now takes direction from Mark Richt, not Al Golden, who oversaw Kaaya’s freshman and sophomore campaigns.Kaaya trust his new coachand his playbook. ExceptRicht doesnt want to callall the shots.I like to teach the quarterbacks to know what to do, Richt, aformer Miami quarterback himself, said. Bradwill be orchestrating whats going on up front the entire ballgame.The third-year starter has proved hes more than qualified to do just that.Kaaya was named to the Davey OBrien Award preseason watch list, given to the nation’s best collegiate quarterback. Granted,so were 29 other quarterbacks, including Clemson’sDeshaun Watson, the likely favorite to take home the award. ButKaaya can compete with Watson this season,including for title of best quarterback in theACC.A lot of buzz surrounds these two quarterbacks who have known each other since high school but Kaaya believes neither of them are buying into their own hype. MORE: Its cool to see how far weve come, Kaaya said, but me and him both realize that we still have ways to go. There are still things we both want to accomplish in our careers.Although Watson dominated competitionlast season whilebeing named the 2015 ACC Player of the Year andtaking the Tigers to the national championship, a comparison ofcareer totals between the two showsKaaya still has a statisticallead overWatson. He has pa sed for 6,436 yards off 459 completions and delivered 49 touchdown pa ses.Watson has thrown for 5,570 yards and 42 touchdowns. Kaaya averages a solid 15-plus yards per game over Watson, as well (257.60 vs. 242.17).Watson is catching up, thanks to his incredible 2015season, but that only motivates Kaaya to play even better and push himself harder. Not that Kaaya actively measures himself against Watson.A lot of guys around the country, you see these great players and they arent really too worried about themselves, Kaaya said. The reason theyre so great is because, I gue s, theyre so unselfish.MORE: Kaaya recognizes thatWatson constantly puts his body on the line and takes shots for his team but so does he. His fearle sne s is part of the reason many NFL mock drafts have him leaving Miami early, rather than finishing out his senior year. I havent really thought too far ahead yet, Kaaya said. I owe it to my team just to focus on this year, give them my full undivided attention.Kaaya’sonly long-term goal is to win an ACC championship, the first in school history; the 2014 ACC Rookie of the Year isnt thinking beyond that.And hes in the strongest position to helpwrite history.More games are lost than won at the quarterback position, Kaaya said. Playing quarterback at Miami is kind of a hallmark of what Miami is, and for us to be succe sful, I have to be consistent as po sible.

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