Backup QB Highsmith to see time

Updated: February 22, 2010, 4:37 PM ET
Associated Press

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami quarterback Jacory Harris will participate in some non-throwing drills during spring practice as he recovers from surgery on his throwing hand.

When the Hurricanes open the spring season Tuesday, most of the throws will be handled by returning backup A.J. Highsmith and incoming freshman Stephen Morris, coach Randy Shannon said, and they'll essentially be competing for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart this fall.

"Going to be kind of a bad, but a good situation just to find out who is going to be our No. 2 quarterback," Shannon said Monday. "With Jacory not going to be able to participate as far as actually running plays, you'll find out on developing a No. 2 guy, which is very key to the stages of getting your football program ready."

The Hurricanes were 9-4 last season, with Harris throwing for 3,352 yards and 24 touchdowns. He struggled with a sore thumb much of the second half of last season, and had surgery Jan. 6.

Shannon said Highsmith, who played in three games and completed 4 of 6 passes for 53 yards last season, enters spring camp with a slight edge on Morris, who enrolled at Miami last month after graduating from Miami Monsignor Pace High.

"It's going to be a big challenge for him because he'll probably be the guy lining up with the 1's on the first day," Shannon said, referring to the son of former Miami great Alonzo Highsmith. "Like anything else, everybody has to get better."

Morris threw for 1,531 yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior high school season.

In other news, Shannon said Monday that:

• Six players will miss some spring-ball time because of commitments to Miami's track team, those being Travis Benjamin, Brandon Harris, Lamar Miller, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Micanor Regis and Corey Nelms.

• Linebacker Colin McCarthy will not shift to middle linebacker to replace the graduated Darryl Sharpton this fall, except in certain situations.

• Defensive lineman Adewale Ojomo, who missed the 2009 season after a training-camp fight that broke his jaw and caused him to lose more than 30 pounds, is back up to around 260 pounds. "Kind of excited to see where he's at," Shannon said.

• As expected, senior Orlando Franklin will start the spring as the first-string left tackle, replacing the graduated Jason Fox.


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