Ahmmon Richards’ Freshman year showed us his super-star ability and play-making skill. Whether it was burning DBs, or eluding multiple defenders, Richards was a machine, and his talent was recognized nationwide. Breaking Michael Irvin’s Freshman receiving record, we expected Ahmmon to come back in 2017 and do the same as the year before.
However, instead of rivaling the 934-yards he put up as a Freshman, Ahmmon posted 439 yards in 8 games. Surprisingly, he caught 3 TD passes in both years, yet one year was obviously more productive than the other. Richard’s troubles can’t be blamed on lack of skill though, as he sat out the first, and last 2 games of the season due to a hamstring injury. Unfortunately, his injury continuously plagued him, as we commonly saw Ahmmon hobble to the sidelines after being tackled. When the news of this injury broke, we were hopeful that it would halt after the first 2 games of the season, but the case was quite the opposite.
As of now, Ahmmon reminds me a lot of former Cane, Stacy Coley. As a Freshman, Stacy reeled in 591 yards with 7 TDs, and a huge 73-yard TD run against Pittsburgh. We had high hopes for him as a Sophomore; but instead, he disappeared. 184-yards was the season total for Coley that year, who had the quintessential Sophomore slump. Coley however, would catch 13 TDs combined in his Junior and Senior years, and became Miami’s most solid receiver. His hands were strong, and his speed was unmatched. This bounce back, assures me that Ahmmon will find his way again in his Junior year.
Last year, the Canes lost their starting receiver and tight end in the last regular season game. These losses hurt the Canes more than expected, despite having players behind them that seemed like more-than-capable replacements. A 100% Ahmmon may have negated those issues, and we can only hope for a clean bill of health in 2018.