Miami Hurricanes salute to seniors: WR Stacy Coley

Stacy Coley signs for a flock of Carver Elementary students. (Matt Porter)

Stacy Coley signs for a flock of Carver Elementary students last summer. (Matt Porter)

One in a series of short pieces about each Miami senior leading up to the Hurricanes’ final home game of 2016, Saturday against Duke. 

The rest of the series: 

S Jamal CarterC Alex Gall | RG Danny Isidora | S Rayshawn Jenkins | P Justin Vogel | TE/DE Stan Dobard | CB Corn Elder | WR Malcolm Lewis | CB Adrian Colbert | WR Stacy Coley | FB Gage Batten | FB Marquez Williams | LS Frank Gabriel, five others

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Despite a lost 2014 and an injury-marred 2015, Stacy Coley has had one of the most productive careers of any Hurricanes wide receiver.

And yet, his freshman All-American 2013, acrobatic catches and field-length scoring dashes will always make some wonder how much more he could have done.

Coley returned to school in 2016 rather than enter the NFL draft, and it seems to have paid off. He leads Miami in receptions (49) and touchdowns (eight) and is second in receiving yards (585) to a young star having a Coley-like debut, freshman Ahmmon Richards. He has warmed to a leadership role, which he admits has not been easy because of his shy nature.

“It’s kind of tough, knowing my personality,” he said. “I try to work on that every day and try to be a leader for the young guys.”

Coley is one of eight UM receivers to reach 2,000 career yards. With 2,049, he is 83 shy of Phillip Dorsett for seventh place in UM history. With 222 more yards, he could pass Lamar Thomas (2,271) for fourth. His 3,641 all-purpose yards — boosted by his freshman and sophomore years as UM’s top kick and punt returner — ranks sixth. He could move into fourth place (Travis Benjamin, 3,876) with 235 more yards.

It was worth it — “most definitely,” he said — to finish school. Earning his degree, in liberal arts, “means a lot to me and my family, especially my mom.”

Coley, who comes from the Oakland Park neighborhood called “Money Lane,” wants to provide for her, and be an example to those back home.

“Where I stay at, where my mom stays at, there’s a lot of kids that are out there doing wrong,” he said last summer. “The kids out there that wanna play football, I try to grab a hold of those kids and show them the right way to go.”