CORAL GABLES, Fla. – It seems Miami will be without redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen for at least one game this season.
WQAM, the Hurricanes’ flagship radio station, reported the quarterback will be suspended for at least one game after failing a drug test.
Olsen, who was elevated to the No. 1 spot on the depth chart after projected starter Ryan Williams tore a knee ligament in April, was expected to be one of the top competitors for Miami’s quarterback job — along with recently arrived Jake Heaps.
Heaps, a former standout at Skyline High School in Sammamish, is a fifth-year player who transferred to Miami from Kansas. The 23-year-old previously played at Brigham Young and has made 25 college starts.
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Heaps completed 128 of 261 passes for 1,414 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season at Kansas.
Heaps said “it’s absolutely vital” he wins the Miami job.
Incoming freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier are other healthy quarterbacks on Miami’s roster.
Heaps said there hasn’t been division among the quarterbacks, but added, “I didn’t come here to be the backup. But you have to come and earn (the starting job). No one’s going to give that to you.”
Heaps noted he is a prostyle quarterback who won’t be “taking off for 80-yard touchdowns or anything.” He is confident in his abilities as a passer.
Junior tailback Duke Johnson said Heaps showed the best ability to read defenses of any of the four contenders. “He’s just in rhythm with every throw,” Johnson said.
Hurricanes coach Al Golden declined to discuss specifics about Olsen’s suspension, such as whether it was tied to last December’s suspension for violating team policy before Miami’s 36-9 loss to Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Miami opens this season Sept. 1 at Louisville.
Golden said Olsen will be present for Tuesday’s opening of training camp.
Golden said finding a consistent starter is a top priority heading into camp. “We’ve got to settle the quarterback situation quickly, and get a quarterback who plays with poise and manages the game,” he said.
Golden said he will cut the competitors from four to two after the first scrimmage.
Olsen admitted he “wasn’t fully focused” last season when he was Miami’s third-stringer.
“I came in probably a little immature, probably thinking there’s an established starter there (Stephen Morris),” Olsen said recently. “That’s kind of the approach I took, and it kind of backfired a little bit.”
Williams has told media he hopes to return for Miami’s Sept. 20 game at Nebraska.