Miami Legend Jim Kelly: 'the U Is Going To Be Back' Under Mark Richt

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  1. still

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    Jim Kelly is excited for the future of the Hurricanes' program under new coach Mark Richt.

    Kelly returned to the University of Miami on Monday and was honored during halftime of the Hurricanes' basketball game for regaining his health following a two-year battle with cancer.

    While in South Florida, the Pro Football Hall of Famer spoke to the Sun Sentinel about the direction of the football program and his thoughts on Richt coming in as the new coach.

    “You want quality, character people and Mark Richt is going to be that," said Kelly. "He's all about that. You have to have guys that can play too. I think it's going to take a little bit of time. It's not going to happen overnight, but once he has his influence on this program, and people start to realize the U is going to be back, I can't wait. I'm excited for him.”

    Kelly knows Richt well as the two played together from 1979-82 with Richt serving as a reserve quarterback behind Kelly. Not only does Kelly think that Richt can revitalize the Miami program that has been mired in mediocrity recently, he also hopes Richt can once again make Miami "Quarterback U."

    “We all know it's been a while,” Kelly said. “Me, Vinny [Testaverde], Bernie [Kosar], Steve Walsh, Gino [Torretta], I can go on and on. We need to get that back. We need that, starting with Brad. We've had some ups and downs in the past 10, 15 years, but we need to get that little mojo back into the U and have it really get back to being the Quarterback U we all knew from before.”

    Current quarterback Brad Kaaya has shown flashes of brilliance in his two seasons with Miami, and Kelly hopes that under Richt, Kaaya can take the next step in his junior season.

    "He's very smart, he reads defenses, he makes his living in the pocket," said Kelly. "And that's what Mark Richt will bring to this team, his coaching experience from being a quarterback. That was the style of quarterbacks he had with him at Georgia and the type of quarterbacks he recruited. This fits perfectly with what Mark is all about.”

    There is plenty of optimism in Coral Gables with the Richt hire and even though Kelly knows it will take some time for Richt to really put his stamp on the program, fans will be expecting a lot from Richt early in his tenure.

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