‘He was flying’: Miami Hurricanes encouraged by Ahmmon Richards progress after injuries

Ahmmon Richards caught a touchdown pass over Virginia’s Juan Thornhill last week. (Getty Images)

[Tidbits from Richt’s Tuesday presser]

[Can Pitt play spoiler to Miami?]

[Jaquan Johnson having ‘spectacular’ season]

[Rosier is best running QB in Miami history]

[Turnover chain sparks Miami merch madness]

Ahmmon Richards hasn’t had the type of season he expected after a record-setting freshman year. UM is encouraged, however, that he might be more of a factor in the bigger games to come.

Richards, who is perhaps UM’s fastest player when full-go, strained his hamstring in camp and added an ankle injury to his list of woes in the first month of the season. Coach Mark Richt revealed Tuesday the former Wellington High star also has a “problematic” Achilles’, “whether it’s tendinitis, I’m not sure exactly what it was.”

“He looked good this week, Sunday night when we ran our gassers,” Richt said. “He was flying pretty good. It was good to see. You go from sideline to sideline and back, but he stuck his foot in the ground, and changed direction and did it with a lot of energy.  I thought that was a good sign.’

Richt said Richards “hasn’t missed any reps” this week,  after catching a 10-yard touchdown pass against Virginia. It was his first score since Sept. 29 at Duke, and second this year. Richards was targeted four times against Virginia and caught four passes for 51 yards; he was targeted four times in the first half the week before against Notre Dame and didn’t record a catch.

Richards, who missed three games because of injury this year, had never been kept off the stat sheet during a game in which he appeared. He has 21 catches for 392 yards this year, after setting a UM freshman record — and garnering freshman All-American status — with 934 yards and three touchdowns on 49 grabs a year ago.

“He’s doing well when he’s in there and feeling healthy,” Richt said. “He’s still not 100 percent. But he’s fighting through it.”

Senior Braxton Berrios has been Miami’s top receiver, with a team-high 522 yards, eight touchdowns and 41 catches. Eight different  players have caught a touchdown for Miami.

Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown admitted it was surprising to see Berrios have a quiet junior year (12 catches, 178 yards, two touchdowns), even though Stacy Coley and David Njoku played the slot, his natural position. “He’s the model of consistency for our program,” Brown said.

Richt called Berrios the “smartest player on the team.”

* Brown, on how Miami might use freshman DeeJay Dallas next year: “Football player.” Brown will stick on offense, and needs to improve his pass-protection, but remains a weapon UM will use.

* Who has been the best UM offensive lineman of late? Brown said “all of them,” but mentioned right guard Navaughn Donaldson and left tackle Kc McDermott by name.

* Brown on Travis Homer’s touchdown celebration: “He has to explain all of them to me. … I knew it was Dragonball Z. I used to watch that when I was a kid. I haven’t watched that in a while. He’s a big anime guy, in case you haven’t realized. He’s educated me on the difference between anime and cartoons. I thought they were the same thing.”

More Canes over here

[Rosier close to Canes TD record]

[Richt on run game, uncalled holds vs. UVa]

[Miami holds at No. 2 in the polls]

[5 takeaways from Miami-Virginia]

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