Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman walked into the gymnasium together Friday, took seats next to one another and spent much of the next hour saying the same things.
For now and over the next month, they're equals as they vie to become Miami's starting quarterback. And new coach Randy Shannon said they'll remain equals until he announces the starter Aug. 28, four days before the opener against Marshall.
"Whomever's going to give us the best chance to win is going to give us the best chance to win," Shannon said during the Hurricanes' media day. "This summer, those guys did a great job of being with their teammates as teammates, not quarterbacks. And those players got a better perspective of who they are."
Wright, the nation's top-rated quarterback when he signed, took over in 2005. He's 14-7 with 4,058 yards, 26 touchdowns and a 60 percent completion rate.
"You've got to prove you're the best player every day," the senior said. "And that shouldn't matter whether you're a guy who's a three- or four-year starter or a new guy coming in as a first-year starter. You've got to go out every day and prove to your teammates that you're the best guy for the job. Kirby's always pushed me and vice versa, and I don't think that's going to change."
Freeman got his chance last season, after Wright broke his thumb. He went 2-2, including an upset of Boston College not long after the death of defensive lineman Bryan Pata and a victory in the MPC Computers Bowl over Nevada.
"Obviously, people see a quarterback controversy or whatnot. There's not one," the junior said. "There's not a controversy at all because we're doing whatever it takes to win."
But 2006 is irrelevant to Shannon.
"I don't worry about what happened last year," he said.
That's a mantra Shannon has preached since he replaced the fired Larry Coker. All that matters, he often says, is "team." That's why Wright and Freeman made sure to spend time with each other during the offseason, golfing and driving to team functions together.
Only one will start against Marshall. But both say it's their mission to help Miami bounce back from a 7-6 season and contend again for the ACC and, perhaps, national titles.
"It's all about 'The U,' " Freeman said. "It's not about me. It's not about a quarterback controversy. It's about team. And for the first time, I actually feel really good about that."
TEXAS: Freshman defensive tackle Andre Jones, among the nation's top recruits, was suspended indefinitely soon after being arrested on suspicion of aggravated robbery. Jones was arrested in connection with an incident at an Austin apartment complex on July 27, his 18th birthday, in which cash, video game equipment and cell phones were stolen. Safety Robert Joseph, suspended July 28, also has been arrested in connection to the case.
VA. TECH: Tests showed reserve running back Elan Lewis tore his right ACL during practice Thursday and will miss the season. He finished as the career rushing leader in Virginia's largest high school classification with 7,156 yards. As a redshirt freshman last season, he had 47 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.
N.C. STATE: A judge closed proceedings against swingman Gavin Grant, who faced deportation. Grant, a Jamaican with a 2-year-old daughter, can apply for permanent-resident status. Federal officials said Grant, second on the Wolfpack last season as a junior at 14.7 points per game, entered the country illegally 13 years ago.
WASHINGTON: Coach Lorenzo Romar signed an extension through 2015-16 worth $1.105-million per season. In five seasons, he is 103-55. He has made the NCAA Tournament the past three seasons and the Sweet 16 the past two.