Miami is a preseason top-10 team due to its defense and talent at the skill positions, with the wide receivers being arguably the most talented unit. The leader of that group is junior Ahmmon Richards, who has started garnering some attention of his own leading up to the season:
Top 10 college football wide receivers to watch in 2018— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFLDraft) July 4, 2018
10. @renfrowhunter, @ClemsonFB
9. Preston Williams, @CSUFootball
8. Ahmmon Richards (@AhmmonR2), @CanesFootball
1-7: https://t.co/lW8UGDZxNI (via @LanceZierlein) pic.twitter.com/ONCNnimm4G
You can read more about the rest of the WR group here: Miami Hurricanes Position Preview: WR
The Wellington, FL native has been building a solid resume from day 1, taking advantage of some early playing time en route to a 49 catch, 937 yard, 3 touchdown freshman season that ranks among the best in program history, and earned him recognition as a Freshman All American (ESPN, FWAA, 247Sports, Pro Football Focus). Naturally, the expectations were sky high for his sophomore season, but injuries delayed the start and caused a premature end to 82’s second campaign. The result was only 24 catches, 439 yards and 3 touchdowns in 8 games. Despite not producing the numbers everyone was hoping for before the season, Richards left no doubt as to which Miami receiver possessed the most talent, as evidenced by his first game back from injury to start 2017:
Richards came out firing on all cylinders, racking up 106 yards and a touchdown on only 3 catches. Even with such a small sample size, the potential first-round draft pick gave NFL scouts plenty to salivate over, and opposing defensive coordinators plenty to lose sleep over. His first two catches showed his ability to create separation with quality deep route running and his high spatial awareness to leave himself enough room on the sideline to complete the catches in-bounds. The second catch specifically served as an example of Richards ability to locate a deep ball and use his great hands, as well as his ability to use his body to shield off a defender from making a play on the ball. The third catch was a touchdown that warrants comparisons home run threats Odell Beckham Jr and Antonio Brown, as Richards catches a short slant route and turns on the jets in the open field to break through the secondary en route to a 49 yard trip to the endzone. At 6’1” 190 lbs, he isn’t the largest receiver on the roster, but he also isn’t one-dimensional (let’s not forget the hit stick he gave out against Florida State).
Richards ability to stay on the field will likely dictate whether he finishes the season as one of the nations best, as he has shown on multiple occasions that he has all the tools to be great. The nation has begun to take notice of Richards’ talent, and hopefully his contributions will help the offense develop some consistency that eluded the Canes last year, especially late in the season. How do you think Ahmmon Richards will perform this season? Check out some more highlights below and let us know in the comments!