The quarterback situation at the University of Miami is in flux again.
Redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen, whose status was elevated when formerly declared 2014 starter Ryan Williams tore his anterior cruciate ligament in April, has been suspended for at least one game, WQAM’s Adam Kuperstein first reported and the Miami Herald confirmed through a source early Friday evening.
The reason for the suspension, Kuperstein said on the radio and the Herald source confirmed, was for failing a drug test.
UM did not respond to multiple Miami Herald requests to verify the report, and Olsen’s father did not respond to a message left on his cellphone.
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Olsen was also suspended for the Russell Athletic Bowl in December for violating team policy and had gotten into trouble before he arrived at UM when he was initially charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident and careless driving after a May 2013 incident in his hometown of Wayne, New Jersey.
Olsen’s suspension for at least UM’s Sept. 1 opener at Louisville — the same team that soundly defeated the Hurricanes in the Russell Athletic Bowl — means the competition for the starting quarterback in Williams’ absence will be between recently transferred graduate student Jake Heaps and true freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier.
Former UM scholarship quarterback Gray Crow was recently switched to H-back, UM coach Al Golden revealed at the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff.
The Herald source said “thankfully” Heaps was brought in to compete.
“Otherwise there would be two true freshmen competing for the starting job,” the source said.
Heaps, a 23-year-old married player about to begin his final year of college football, came out of Skyline High in Sammamish, Washington, ranked the No. 1 pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com. He spent two seasons at BYU, playing every game in a successful first season. But his sophomore season wasn’t nearly as good, and he was benched for the backup and a new system.
Heaps transferred to Kansas, sat out in 2012 to comply with NCAA transfer rules, then started nine of his 11 games last season as a redshirt junior who completed only 49 percent of his passes for 1,414 yards and more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (8).
Olsen, 6-3 and 210 pounds, was a four-star athlete ranked 10th nationally among pro-style quarterbacks by Rivals.com and seventh by 247Sports.com when he arrived at UM. He is the younger brother of former UM star tight end Greg Olsen, now with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
It is believed that coaches wanted, if possible, to redshirt Kaaya, the highest rated true freshman vying for the job. But Golden said recently the competition was “wide open” and first he would have to see what each quarterback could do in camp.
Fall camp opens Tuesday for the Canes, and the question remains whether Olsen will be there.
In other news, UM announced Friday evening that the football program has signed rising senior tight end Bowman Archibald to a grant-in-aid agreement earlier Friday.
Archibald, out of Pasco High in Dade City, is 6-6 and 244 pounds and rated as the fifth best tight end in the Class of 2015 by ESPN. Rivals.com and 247Sports.com have him as the 17th-best tight end in the nation.