It’s Independence Day, a day that is celebrated in different ways— by heading to a fair, watching a hotdog eating contest, enjoying a BBQ, or being thankful for the people around you and the freedom you share with one another. Whatever the Fourth of July means to you personally, we bet it’s best served with fireworks.
We know that not all fireworks are the same, with each tending to have their own effect, their own flare that separates themselves from the others in the air. When it comes to the Miami Hurricanes, which players could be labeled as a firework player? Who could be the the showstopper among the firecrackers, ground spinners, sparklers, and roman candles to cap the night?
Below we’ve compared some Miami Hurricane football players to their explosive counterpart.
Dallas has the talent to be explosive; the question remains whether we will see him explode from scrimmage to make the big plays. A similar case could be made for fellow incoming freshmen Mike Harley and Jeff Thomas, but the early edge goes to Dallas, who has practiced with the team this spring.
Berrios always had the potential to produce explosive run-after catch gains, as well as the ability to flip the field with a punt return. The loud noises should follow in the form of touchdowns this season —he had two touchdowns and a punt return touchdown in 2016. Berrios has the opportunity in his senior year to make plenty of noise on both offense and the return game.
In his freshman season Travis Homer had more tackles (8) than carries (7). Through attrition and improvement, Homer has risen up the depth chart to sit firmly behind Mark Walton at running back. The ability to stay low to the ground and get under defenders is what makes Homer the ideal candidate for the label of ground spinner on the offense.
Standing at six foot two, Harris employs his leverage to get under blockers. He also uses his speed to rush or spin past offensive tackles to get into the backfield. Harris, known for his dependability, put together 9.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks in 2016.
While it’s tempting to put N’Kosi Perry here because of how much his name has skyrocketed this spring before even taking a single snap in a Miami uniform, Malik Rosier is the convenient comparable. Although Brad Kaaya has been entrenched as the team’s starting quarterback the past three seasons, Rosier was the starter for the incredible finish against Duke in 2015. He has also come in for mop-up duty here and there the past two seasons. After a quiet entry into the college football landscape, this season could potentially see Rosier light up the sky.
A skyrocket is known for its cylindrical body and the sparks it makes when it reaches its peak. It is also not noticeable upon launch. Like a skyrocket, Jaquan Johnson has gone under the radar at Miami due to some truly talented individuals at safety and the outstanding trio of freshman linebackers. Entering 2017, Johnson will be on center stage, playing center field as the starting safety in the ’Canes secondary. Players such as Mark Walton, Kendrick Norton, and Dee Delaney have gotten praise for their NFL potential; Johnson should take off this season, placing his name in the conversation about Miami players who have a great opportunity to improve their NFL Draft stock.
Palm Tree (The Big Finale)
Quarterman has dazzled fans since his days at Oakleaf High School. After his first season as a Hurricane, he’s already established himself as a team captain, a defensive leader, and one of the best all-around players in the country. Finishing second on the team in tackles (84) and third on the team in sacks (3), Quarterman looks to light up the college football landscape with an even brighter season as a sophomore.
The light show that is Ahmmon Richards is a spectacle that one wants to bring their family to see. Richards is definitely the climax of the show for the Hurricanes. Having impressed us with 934 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in his freshman season, the wide receiver has an opportunity to shine even brighter in his upcoming sophomore year.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!