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There’s A Big Difference Between Talent And Production

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Production is very important when placing expectations

Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The other night, I was discussing the Miami Hurricanes with fellow fans on Twitter, as I usually do. As the evening went on, I began talking to several people about the Canes wide receiver room, and the players we have at that position. In what is often the case with me, I disagreed with several Miami fans.

Call me negative, but I prefer to be labeled as an honest and realistic Hurricanes fan, which is rare within the Miami community. I’m not saying that the wide receiver room isn’t talented, of course they are. UM has Dee Wiggins (who I’m a HUGE fan of), Mark Pope, Mike Harley, Jeremiah Payton and several others who could very well turn out to be superstars in the future. However, to say that the wide receiver room at Miami is “stacked” or “loaded” is completely false.

You know what program has a stacked WR group? The Ohio State Buckeyes, with guys like Garrett Wilson and Chris Olavem, or the Purdue Boilermakers with the incredible duo of Rondale Moore and David Bell.

The LSU Tigers this past season had two wide receivers with over 1,000 yards, and two more WR’s who had over 500 yards, with three of those guys catch 10-plus touchdowns. That is what you would call a stacked WR room. In the same year, Miami had one receiver who went over 500 yards, and only one with 5 touchdowns.

This has been a problem for the Hurricanes for a while now, and not just for the wide receivers, but for nearly every position, and the team at large. Miami fans, and I've been guilty of this hundreds of times, we always seem to label a certain position group and also the team before they’ve actually proven anything.

And there's several reasons why we do this. When it comes to individual players and in-turn position groups, we’ll hype them up based on the high school they attended, or the stars they received while in high school. We’ll carry that same argument sometimes until these players are juniors or even seniors, even though they haven’t proven anything at the college level.

It’s another thing to say that Miami is loaded with their defensive ends, because that actually has some truth to it. When you have Gregory Rousseau and Quincy Roche at DE, then you can say loudly that the Canes are “stacked” at that position, because you have past production to back up that statement.

Perfect example of this is with the Hurricanes quarterback situation these past two off-seasons. Last year, Tate Martell was labeled early on as the guy who will be the next great Miami QB, and many picked him to be the 2019 starter, and this was before anybody saw him throw a pass at UM. We did this because Martell was such a highly-touted prospect out of high school, and made some plays while at Ohio State.

Fast-forward to the actual season, and Martell was in fact not the guy, struggling with Dan Enos’ offense, resulting in Jarren Williams winning the starting job.

On the other hand, there’s been a lot of hype surrounding D’Eriq King, along with an equal amount of doubt and questions. With this situation, the excitement and expectations placed upon King are valid, as he’s a quarterback who has put up incredible stats at the college level, and has proven that he can be a top player at this position.

Now, I will again say that Miami’s wide receiver have the POTENTIAL to be a very dangerous group, if they’re able to actually produce. Same goes for the entire Hurricanes team.