Could Marve wind up playing against USF?
There's been a bit of an information blackout in the last several days from the Robert Marve camp, with little news as to where the former Plant and Miami quarterback could wind up playing next. Figuring out where Marve will be is a complex, complicated matter.
Today is the last day of the second week of USF's spring semester, the final day in which a student can enroll for spring classes. So at this point, we can say with relative certainty that Marve won't be at USF this spring, but that doesn't necessarily mean he won't be playing quarterback for the Bulls in 2010.
I talked with Plant coach Robert Weiner on Saturday, and at that point, he said the Marves were still deciding how they wanted to proceed, as much as where. Miami had lifted some of its restrictions on where Marve would be released to, and I asked if the family was ready to proceed with its available options or continue trying to find ways to get to schools not on Miami's list. He didn't know.
For all the fuss with Miami blocking some schools, there are certainly loopholes that would allow Marve to play wherever he wants in 2010. Perhaps the easiest would be spending one year at a community college -- someplace close to home, like HCC, or if he wanted, a junior college where he could play in 2009 and even upgrade his options without changing the two remaining years of eligibility he'd have. If Marve can get his AA degree, he could then go anywhere with two years to play. Marve could also walk on at a school for a year, though he'd had to make it into that school as a regular student, and coaches without a release couldn't talk directly to him about assurances of a scholarship down the road.
Anyway, Weiner said the Marves are seeking a school that will have a senior starting QB in 2009, setting up a wide-open competition for the 2010 starting nod. USF would definitely qualify, with Matt Grothe as as senior this fall. Assuming Grothe stays healthy, Marve would enter 2010 at USF with more college experience than B.J. Daniels or anyone else he would be challenging for the starting role. Weiner said USF is "certainly a possibility," though if he chose the loophole route, Florida would be in much the same position.
Weiner said Saturday that Marve had targeted 10-12 schools, and mentioned four by name: the Big 12's high-scoring Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, as well as Purdue and Syracuse. Geographically, none are close to the Marves' Tampa home, so it would seem to go against the family's public statements about Marve's father battling prostate cancer and a desire to have Robert closer to home.
Syracuse has a new coach in Doug Marrone, with a senior starter likely this fall in Andrew Robinson -- little competition to suggest Marve couldn't be a two-year starter for the Orange. Late this week, I've heard another school mentioned as a possibility -- no confirmation from Marve or the school yet -- but Cincinnati has been mentioned. The Bearcats, too, will have a senior starter in Tony Pike, with no backup with significant college experience. Cincinnati also has a quarters system (not semesters), so Marve would have more time to get to campus and still have the year in residency he'd need to be eligible to play in fall 2010.
So while it's still possible Marve could take an indirect route to a school like USF, it's also possible he could be lining up against the Bulls with a Big East rival in 2010.