The 2024 Miami football team is set to once again be greatly impacted by the transfer portal. Head coach Mario Cristobal has once again leaned into the portal in hopes of building, at the very least, an ACC contender, with the hopes of making the conference title game for the first time under his leadership and the first time for the program since 2017.

Cristobal didn't quite go as heavy in the 2024 transfer portal winter cycle like he has in the past two years. Miami football will only be adding nine new transfer commits, ranked as the 5th best transfer portal class in the ACC and 32nd overall in the nation. Eight of the players will be three-stars, with just one four-star.

That one four-star is perhaps the most important transfer in Cristobal's tenure, however. That being former Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward.

Cameron Ward will have a lot to prove as the next Miami football quarterback in 2024

Cameron Ward, Miami, coming out of the transfer portal

In a previous article, I noted that Cameron Ward was the sneakiest transfer portal commit for the Hurricanes in the 2024 class. And that still remains true. The way that Cristobal and the rest of the Hurricanes staff were able to convince Ward to hold off on going to the NFL in favor of playing for Miami was impressive, massive NIL swaying or not.

Ward also had multiple offers, including from the Hurricanes' archrival Florida State, who under Mike Norvell has done integral roster building through the transfer portal. So, yes, not only is Ward the sneakiest portal addition, he likewise has a lot to prove as the Miami football signal caller.

As mentioned, Ward is the only four-star transfer and highest-rated player in this year's cycle. That in and of itself puts a lot of pressure on a player. But the fact that Ward is coming in to be Miami's quarterback, The U's quarterback, puts an even larger amount of pressure on him.

In case you've missed the last two decades of Miami football, you would have seen a program that has been completely void of superior quarterback play, where often times it's been only partially good, mostly mediocre, and even at times, abhorrent.

There's been so many so-called answers at the position over the years that they in turn only led to more questions. That of which includes last year's starter and new Wisconsin commit Tyler Van Dyke. The new Badgers quarterback had a statistically great freshman season down in Coral Gables in 2021, that led to early Heisman talk the next season. But that quickly fell apart in 2022, and wasn't much better in 2023.

Of course, who could forget who Van Dyke had to replace due to injury, that being Houston transfer D'Eriq King, who was then supposed to be the answer at quarterback for Miami. King had his moments but ultimately had a similar fate like all Miami quarterbacks post Ken Dorsey have had.

Ward comes in with a lot of hype, much like that of King, with hopes from Miami fans that he can be a spark at the quarterback position that hasn't been seen in Coral Gables in ages. Looking at Ward's numbers post his transfer from Incarnate Word, his time with the Cougars was statistically impressive.

In two seasons at Washington State, Ward threw for nearly 7,000 yards, completed 65.5 percent of his passes and threw for 48 touchdowns to just 16 interceptions, with another 13 scores rushing. The big concerns with the new Hurricanes quarterback is his inability at times to hold onto the ball. The last two seasons, he's coughed up the ball 19 times, losing 10 of those per Fox Sports Stats. He's also 12-13 as a starter, although that could be attributed to the team around him and not all on him. He looks to have a much better roster surrounding him with the 2024 Hurricanes roster.

But make no mistake, Ward has a lot to prove for the Hurricanes in 2024, and a lot of that will just be fighting off years of bad quarterback play at The U, hoping he doesn't end up like the rest.