Why did Jarren Williams win it? Was it simply that final, failing Hurricanes scrimmage, where he kept composed and then got hot? Was it the way he surprised offensive coordinator Dan Enos with his mobility?
Did Williams really not win the University of Miami starting quarterback job until he actually knew it, when he sat in coach Manny Diaz's office Monday morning and heard: "Congratulations, you're our guy."
Or did he start winning it last January, when he sat in his car with the application filled out on his phone to enter the transfer portal and leave Miami?
"Don't do it," tight end Brevin Jordan said as they sat in the parked car for the more than an hour. "Stick it out. You can win the job."
Williams didn't do it. He did something else instead.
"I looked in the mirror," he said.
There's one less question about Miami with the Florida opener 11 days away. It has a quarterback winner. But no one quite knows what that means other than the frustrated freshman who was so ready to transfer looked in that mirror and didn't like what he saw.
"I needed to grow up in some ways," he said.
That's a common, college story. Here's what accelerated the process, Williams feels: Mark Richt left. That meant a new offensive staff was coming it. That gave Williams the fresh start he wanted.
"I knew there were some ups and some downs, but I planned to keep fighting," he said. "That's what I did, too. I just kept fighting."
From the outside, Williams was the surprise choice. Tate Martell was the hot transfer from Ohio State. N'Kosi Perry started much of his freshman year at Miami.
Williams? Who knew? He completed 1 of 3 passes for 17 yards as a freshman. Since last spring, Diaz and Enos kept waiting for the next quarterback to announce himself on the field and before the team.
That never fully happened. It really didn't. All three quarterbacks stayed in the competition right to the final scrimmage last Saturday
Williams played well in the second half. Maybe it was that close that decided things. Behind the scenes, Diaz and Enos say they hadn't talked much until then about who they liked on purpose.
"Coach didn't want to sway what I thought – he wanted to hear what I really thought," Enos said. "And he didn't want me to tell him. He wanted to make up his own mind."
When they sat down Sunday night, they say they agreed Williams looked the best in that final scrimmage that started so wrong for the offense. Maybe that's all it took Maybe he got hot at the right time.
"What separates Jarren is Jarren has a little bit of an instinct," Diaz said. "Once you get past the arm talent, is just an instinct of knowing where to go with the ball and a feel for the game that I think is really different from the other two, and I thought that might've been the deciding factor."
"He's an excellent passer, very accurate, great touch," Enos said. "And he has very good mobility. I actually underrated his ability to move and extend plays. But he has the presence to extend a play a tick or two and throw an accurate pass."
It's been a quick victory lap for Williams. He called his parents Monday with the news. "Tears of joy," he said.
He heard from former Miami quarterbacks Stephen Morris, Brad Kaaya and Malik Rozier. "They told me, 'Now's the time. Time to focus up,' " Williams said.
When the decision was announced in a team meeting on Monday, the team cheered and defensive end Jonathan Garvin picked him up and paraded him around the room.
Now reality hits. The opener is coming fast. No one is sure how Williams will play considering his small portfolio. No one is sure how the new offense around him will work against a strong Florida defense.
All you know is Miami has a new quarterback who understood one thing Tuesday as he sat in Miami's indoor practice facility.
"Now the real work begins," he said.