Third in a series of position-by-position looks at the Hurricanes heading into spring practice, which begins March 21.
We won’t truly know what the Hurricanes’ offense will look like until September rolls around, but we know Ahmmon Richards will play a starring role.
The 6-foot-1, 192-pound Wellington native stepped in as a true freshman last year, lit up defenses and rewrote UM’s record book. No freshman in the country — or in Miami’s 90-year history — had more receiving yards (934, with three touchdowns on 49 catches) than Richards, who also led all freshmen in yards per catch (19.06). Like teammate Mark Walton, he is far and away the ACC’s most productive returning player at his position.
This fall, we may see how great Richards can truly be, whether he truly fits in the company of Hurricanes legends like Michael Irvin, Lamar Thomas, Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss and Andre Johnson or he was a one-year wonder. Certainly the starting quarterback, currently unknown, will have something to do with his production. Regardless, Richards should be outstanding. What’s behind him is another matter.
Projected spring depth chart (with fall class year listed)
82 — Ahmmon Richards, Soph.
84 — Dionte Mullins, Soph.
8 — Braxton Berrios, Sr.
80 — Dayall Harris, R-Jr.
13 — DeeJay Dallas, Fr.
81 — Darrell Langham, R-Jr.
*18 — Lawrence Cager, R-Soph.
* possibly limited because of injury
Expected starters: Richards, Mullins and Berrios, assuming Cager doesn’t participate fully.
Major storyline: What else does Miami have besides Richards? UM hopes Mullins, who should have redshirted last year, is ready for his first consistent action since his high school junior year. He was held back by academics, mostly, but was an All-American recruit. Berrios had a big spring last year, but come the fall, Stacy Coley and David Njoku were better options. Now UM’s only senior, can he carve out a role? Can Harris, a 6-3 former junior college transfer who didn’t make an impact last season? What about Dallas (5-10), a potential two-way player with a knack for scoring touchdowns? Cager (6-5) appears on track to start this fall, so Miami won’t rush him this spring coming off last year’s ACL tear. It’s seemingly now or never for Langham (6-4), who hasn’t caught a pass yet. This unit gets a lot better this summer, when All-American speedsters Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley and tall tree Evidence Njoku (6-6) enroll. The spring will be about seeing who has No. 2 and 3 potential — and who might be a bit player.