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Posted: Tuesday August 14, 2012 5:16PM ; Updated: Tuesday August 14, 2012 5:27PM

Hurricanes name Morris starting quarterback

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Stephen Morris starter Miami's season opener last season, but served as a backup the rest of the way.
Stephen Morris starter Miami's season opener last season, but served as a backup the rest of the way.
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Stephen Morris was the starting quarterback for Miami's opening game last season by default.

This year, he flat-out won the job.

Miami offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said Tuesday that Morris will be the starter when Miami opens at Boston College on Sept. 1. The decision seemed obvious on Monday when the Hurricanes' latest depth chart came out with Morris listed over transfer Ryan Williams, and on Tuesday it was confirmed.

Morris seemed to be leading the competition anyway, and sealed the job with a strong performance in a scrimmage on Saturday.

"That's the most celebrated question around here, who's the starting quarterback," Miami coach Al Golden said. "I just think Stephen earned it."

Morris said he was told of the decision on Monday.

"I was very humbled," said Morris, who has completed 108 of 190 passes for seven touchdowns and with 11 interceptions in parts of two seasons at Miami. "It's a great opportunity for me and this team to just keep moving forward. My main focus right now is just continuing to be Boston College, getting my mind ready for that, and just finish out this camp strong, really."

Morris started the first game of Miami's season a year ago at Maryland, filling the role when Jacory Harris served a one-game suspension for NCAA violations. He completed 19 of 28 passes in that game, and was just 7 for 9 the rest of the season as a backup.

Williams is eligible to play for Miami for the first time this season, having been redshirted in 2011 after transferring from Memphis.

"Just got to go out there and treat it like you're still competing for it and getting ready for the first game as a starter and not let it change your mindset of what you bring to the table as a player," Williams said Tuesday, when asked how he'll keep preparing throughout the remainder of camp.

Morris missed spring football after back surgery, and has said in recent months that he was worried about what that would mean for the start of this season. But both Fisch and Golden said Morris took his time away from the field and used it smartly.

Morris was a fixture at spring practices wearing a whistle, becoming an unofficial coach of sorts.

"Had a great offseason, had a great summer, he's the unquestioned leader right now and his performance is backing that up," Golden said.

Miami still has plenty of personnel decisions to make, including on the offensive line, where Seantrel Henderson - once the nation's top overall high school recruit - missed time at the start of camp because he needed to attend a funeral. Henderson was planning to leave the team again by Wednesday for another funeral, Golden said.

Henderson's time to impress and get on the depth chart is running short, Golden said.

"The issue is not really about how I feel," Golden said. "The issue is there's not as many opportunities any more to compete. ... He needs to go perform."

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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