Miami’s version of Neo in The Matrix, billed as a savior and heir to throne at Quarterback U.
All this talk about the quarterback situation for Miami being a ‘wide open’ race is a sham. True freshman Jacory Harris will get some necessary snaps this year and can be a capable #2 guy year one, but the future of the Miami Hurricanes rests on the right arm of Marve.
When success happens, a slew of things take place. Hard work and preparation are your main ingredient, as is natural talent and ability. From there, timing, a little bit of luck and the stars aligning.
My gut tells me Marve is the right guy at the right place at the right time. The antithesis to Kyle Wright. Marve is primed to be the “ying” to Wright’s “yang”.
Like Wright, Marve headed to The U with substantial high school success and a handful of post-season accolades. Highly touted. Tons of potential and upside. Sky could be the limit if all goes according to plan.
For Wright, everything that could go wrong, did. Riding in on the coattails of another Northern California native, Ken Dorsey, the Danville product landed in Coral Gables half a decade ago when things began falling apart.
Miami had the defense to carry them in 2003-2004. The running game was still semi-potent with a banged up Frank Gore and promising frosh Tyrone Moss. Gritty QB Brock Berlin had enough chutzpah and game to step up in big games and rally the Canes to victory.
Wright was given the keys in 2005. ‘Cokerization’ was in full force. The effects of less than stellar recruiting and poor development of players was coming back to bite these once proud Hurricanes.
In five seasons on Miami’s campus, Wright saw four offensive coordinators, two head coaches and a drop-off in talent that seems unfathomable after what the Canes accomplished between 2000-2003.
Wright walked in when the Miami program was fat, happy and resting on its laurels.
Marve came aboard when The U was gasping for it’s last breath and in need of salvation.
Last year was almost the start of The Marve Era. With neither Wright or Kirby Freeman able to get the job done, Randy Shannon would’ve quickly thrown the true freshman in the fire, a la Dorsey in 1999, but a wreck on Interstate 75 a year ago yesterday changed everything.
Marve fared much better than his flipped-six-times, totalled Dodge Charger, driven by teammate Jermaine McKenzie. The quarterback and wide receiver who were supposed to inject life into a limp Canes bunch instead spent 2007 on the sidelines, lucky to be alive and starting the countdown to 2008.
2008 is finally here.
Marve’s non-throwing hand, healed but still baring the scar of a life-changing July evening. The broken left wrist again strong, but nerve damage between the ring finger and pinkie will force Marve to sport a precautionary glove for the rest of his playing days.
‘Fate’ is defined as ‘the will, principle or determining cause by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are, or events to happen as they do’.
Not only did Marve walk away from a wreck that should’ve killed him, but had the cut been positioned a quarter-inch the other way, his pinkie might’ve been lost.
Last year, the loss was seen as a tragic blow to a desperate team. Entering 2008, Marve is calling it a “blessing in disguise”.
While Harris entered The U a skinny true freshman a few months back, Marve has been the Canes scout-team quarterback since the mid-season. He attended the meetings, broke down film and learned the offense. Come fall, Marve will be as ready as any hungry redshirt freshman in the nation.
He’ll also be the most humble.
Gone are the glory days at Plant High, where Marve’s Panthers went undefeated and where the QB is revered for breaking Tim Tebow’s high school records.
Also gone? Marve’s high school helmet, crushed in the wreckage. For those believing in fate, quite possibly a sign that it’s all about looking forward and not dwelling on the past.
“It was like we could do no wrong my senior season at Plant – but that accident humbled me. Everything was taken away from me. I think there was a reason for it,” said Marve.
“It could’ve been my throwing hand. It could’ve been one of my arteries, or something. But I was spared and now I’m allowed to continue. Am I different? No doubt. I’m going to appreciate every day, every snap. I’m going to work my butt off.”
A few more tidbits for those believing that destiny has a hand in things? Marve’s first game as a Cane will be on the same field as where he brought home the Class 4A State Title in 2006: Dolphin Stadium. Just over three months later, the ACC Championship will be held in his hometown of Tampa.
From a boy to a man in the matter of a year, without even taking a snap.
Mentally, Marve grew more from a vicious car accident than he ever would’ve lining up behind center last fall. Physically, he’s packed on 25 pounds of the ‘man weight’ Harris won’t gain until next season.
Life-changing experiences make or break us. Sometimes we need a jolt to wake us up or shift our perspective. Whether Marve was in need of it, he certainly took a big hit and is better for it.
Over the next few years we’ll see how much of this is fate versus chance. For now, Miami has reason to be optimistic for the first time in a long time.
Wright and Freeman have been put out to pasture and new life has been injected into the veins of this Miami program; not only at quarterback but receiver, as well. Shannon and staff reeled in a half dozen highly-touted, ready to go wide outs to go along with McKenzie and Leonard Hankerson of last year’s class.
Marve will see more talent at receiver in 2008 than Wright saw the last three years combined.
Action kicks off August 28th when Charleston Southern heads to town. Tune in to see Marve’s debut and what could be the beginning of something very special.