Christopher Smith

Miami QB Ryan Williams Tears ACL

Created on Apr. 06, 2014 1:44 PM EST

Miami quarterback Ryan Williams, the leading candidate to replace Stephen Morris, tore his ACL on Friday during a non-contact drill.

Williams, a 6-foot-6 senior to be, will have surgery next week. If it's a complete tear, Williams likely will be out for six months and miss the season, according to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

He threw for nearly 2,100 yards as a freshman in 2010 after leading Miramar High School to a state championship the previous year, entering college as a touted prospect, but fell behind Morris the last two seasons. He does have a redshirt available.

In the meantime, the Hurricanes will turn to redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen to run the first-team offense for the remainder of the spring. Other options, should Williams miss the season, include sophomore Gray Crow, currently third on the depth chart, and true freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier, both of whom will join the team this summer.

"He's really doing the little things that you need a quarterback to do and it's showing on the field," coach Al Golden said earlier in the spring, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "... He has to raise his confidence level and continue to lead, but that's going to come the more comfortable he is with the offense."

Though Golden never named Williams the starter publicly, every indication was that he'd take over the job. It's not always injury — sometimes a quarterback will stall, or a younger option will develop faster than anticipated — but it's a reminder why some coaches wait until August to officially name a starter, even if a clear option appears available. Now Golden can avoid making Olsen feel like a second-rate choice, even if everyone else knows he was behind Williams.

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