There’s definitely been way too much attrition at wide receiver for the University of Miami. We know the names and how much they meant to the Hurricanes’ production in the passing game, yet those departures give way to significant opportunities. Already the early contenders — made up of freshmen and sophomores — are poised to step up at the position. One candidate who could gain more snaps entering the 2019 season is a legacy commit, redshirt freshman WR Evidence Njoku.
Of course, when you hear the Njoku surname it’s hard to not have flashbacks of the older brother and current Cleveland Brown tight end, David Njoku. While big bro continues to establish himself as an up-and-coming star in the NFL, Evidence is merely trying to carve out a role among the throng of competition at receiver. Njoku has just a single reception for 11 yards during the regular season, but there’s plenty of promise in the Cedar Grove, New Jersey, resident.
The 6’6”, 225 pound receiver possesses the athleticism to become someone the Canes can count on moving forward. It’s evident that No. 83 has the quick feet in and out of his breaks when it comes to running a route. To borrow some basketball terminology, Evidence has an above-the-rim quality to his game. He’s able to locate and attack the ball in 50/50 situations. Njoku has enough size to create seperation at the college level.
With some fine-tuning in his route-running, Njoku’s game would see significant improvement. He’ll need to put in time, have patience and build a rapport with whomever will be the starting QB in 2019. For now, the Pinstripe Bowl provides a final exam of sorts to showcase his progress from 2018.
According to 247 Sports, the Wayne Hills HS graduate was the 37th ranked receiver in the 2017 class. Njoku transferred from Cedar Grove HS to Wayne Hills in his senior year, where he recorded 27 passes with 415 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
Njoku received plenty of scholarship offers from across the country. Fortunately, the Canes were able to convince another Njoku to come to South Florida to continue his football career.
Unfortunately, Njoku’s first season in Coral Gables did not go as planned. In his freshman season, Njoku hyperextended his left knee during UM’s fall camp. Determined to get as many reps as possible, the setback did not deter the young wideout from continuing to practice with the team…. That was until the receiver suffered a lower leg injury in an October practice. His season was over before it started. After UM entertained the idea, they were forced to redshirt the receiver, officially closing out his season.
Hurricane fans are impatiently waiting for a breakout from big No. 83 now that he’s made a full recovery from injury. With the departure of fellow big body target Darrell Langham, Miami needs Njoku to play to his size. With the Pinstripe Bowl upon us, there’s no reason why Njoku, who has good hands and great upper-body range to make a reception, can’t become a productive possession receiver for the Canes. Njoku grew up less than 40 minutes from Yankee Stadium, so this bowl game serves as a homecoming of sorts for the young receiver. Don’t expect the northeastern local to receive a high volume of targets in this game, but if he’s able to secure the catch and earn the trust of Miami’s QB and coaching staff, it would be a huge confidence boost entering the offseason.
For the latest in the line of Njoku’s to the U, the Evidence will need to be left on the field come December 27th.
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!