Miami Hurricanes Wideouts Searching For Consistency

Miami Hurricanes Wide Receivers
File photo. Wide receiver Jeff Thomas #4 of the Miami Hurricanes. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

The Hurricanes received good news when Jeff Thomas decided to return to the team. He had been rumored to be transferring to Illinois. At one point last season, he was leading the country in yards per reception. However inconsistent quarterback play hindered the entire offense as well as Thomas. The Miami Hurricanes wide receivers as a whole need to find a rhythm.

Miami Hurricanes Wideouts Searching For Consistency

He is the least of Miami’s problems. Coaches are aware of his play making capabilities. Miami’s questions remain with the rest of the group. Out of eight receivers, only two of them were rated as three star prospects according to 247Sports. For all of the potential that is in the building, there is a lack of production. Miami added KJ Osborn, as a graduate transfer, from the University of Buffalo. Last season he had 53 receptions and seven touchdowns, which would be more than all of Miami’s returning receivers combined. The hope is for Osborn to use his experience to give the Hurricanes a reliable target.

Time To Grow Up

Miami’s 2018 recruiting class featured four receivers, although one has already transferred. After losing star receiver Ahmon Richards to a career ending injury last season, Miami expected one of the freshman to help fill in the gap. Mark Pope came in as the highest rated receiver in the class but finished the season with only one reception. Brian Hightower began the season with a touchdown catch against LSU but only finished the season with three catches after that. Dee Wiggins was the lowest rated receiver in the 2018 recruiting class. However despite being underrated, he finished the year with the most receptions among freshman receivers with seven. He also showed that he was capable of drawing pass interference penalties against defensive backs.

Another receiver that Miami needs to have some output from is Mike Harley who will be a junior this season. With speed such as his, Miami will have to find ways to get him involved. Although he had 21 receptions a year ago, he has yet to score a touchdown in his career at Miami. Evidence Njoku may be the most physically gifted wideout at Miami, standing at six foot six and over 225 pounds. Even with all of his physical traits, he’s only caught one pass his entire career at Miami. There is hope that he will become a factor in the Hurricane’s game plan in the red zone but he needs to show more consistency.

Miami only signed one freshman receiver in the 2019 recruiting class and luckily for the Hurricanes, Jeremiah Payton is a good one. The Under Armour All-American enrolled early and could find playing time this season.

Final Thoughts

With a an overhaul on the offensive side of the coaching, every receiver has a chance to make a new first impression. That includes freshmen and transfers alike, but this group as a whole needs to find order. This Spring is a pivotal time for this position to figure out who needs to play and who is making progress. With the majority of the group being either a freshman or sophomore, they’ll have to grow up quickly this year as the passing game will depend a lot on them.

Jeff Thomas will be the center of many game plans but besides him there are no notable names yet. Dee Wiggins is a breakout candidate for the Hurricanes, he enrolled early last season as a freshman. This season he revealed he’s gained 15 pounds to help be stronger making contested catches. He also runs good routes and at six foot three can be a target within the red zone.

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