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Colbie Young: let the man play ball!

It took Miami too many games to figure out Colbie Young can play ball. The six-foot-four, 220 pound receiver has the ball skills and hands you just can’t teach.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 15 Miami at Virginia Tech Photo by Brian Bishop/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Colbie Young has garnered a ton of attention the past two weeks as he’s quickly becoming quarterback Tyler Van Dyke’s go-to outside threat. Young, a six-foot-four wide receiver, was a three-star prospect per 247 Sports.

After high school, Young spent a year at Lackawanna College in Scranton, PA. As a freshman in 2021, Young caught nine touchdowns in nine games at the JUCO level. The long body, soft handed wide out from Binghamton, NY was fielding offers from Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Florida State and Pitt before choosing Miami.

When Miami needed a wide receiver to free up Xavier Restrepo, and then to replace him as a main target after a foot injury, Young was planted on the bench blocking the view of the first three rows of fans.

Per Luke Chaney of All Hurricanes, Young was overcoming an adjustment from JUCO to the Power 5 level. The climate and culture change from Scranton and Binghamton can be a drastic shift to Coral Gables, too. But ballers can ball and Young could clearly do the natural things others on this roster just can’t do.

I understand that it can be a difficult transition from lower levels of ball to major college football, however, no one was asking Young to line up in a dozen formations and run a dozen variations of “Mesh.” What Miami needed was a sure handed red zone threat against Texas A&M and Middle Tennessee State (I can’t believe I had to type that).

In Adam Lichtenstein’s piece from the Sun-Sentinel called, “Covered isn’t really covered when he’s on the field” the point is made that, “He (Young) needed to learn Gattis’ offense in a short period of time if he wanted to see the field.”

Sure, if he needed to play the 65 snaps he played against Virginia Tech. But in the limited snaps he saw against UNC, he made an impact. In limited action, Young already has two touchdowns on just 12 receptions.

Young could have made a red zone impact against Texas A&M and MTSU, before those losses ended any chance at a good season or entertaining bowl game for Miami. Much like Jacurri Brown just made an impact against the Hokies in a special package of plays, Young could’ve had 2-3 things he did by the goal line.

In another quote from Lichtenstein’s piece, Tyler Van Dyke was in awe of Young when the team was playing summer 7on7. Young’s impression on Van Dyke is quoted below:

“He went up and got the ball, and I was like ‘Damn,’ ” Van Dyke said. “He’s got unbelievable ball skills.”

You can see Young’s ball skills in his Hudl tape from Lackawanna. In my piece for SOTU called, “What college coaches look for in a wide receiver prospect,” I use materials from recruiting offices of Power 5 and Group of 5 recruiting coordinators. The first four qualities a WR coach looks for in a prospect are: toughness, hands, ability to adjust to the ball, and body control.

From an ACC staff, they reported back their top qualities for a WR were: size and length, ball skills and hands. No one is going to argue that Colbie Young fits these major qualities that P5 and G5 recruiters and WR coaches are in the market for.

Young does things naturally that others have to work on for years, like catching the ball at its peak, in his hands, and with his eyes. While other Miami wide outs suffer from drops (post about the drops from 2020), he’s flashing soft hands and the ability to catch the ball away from the body.

Above- You didn’t put this guy in the damn game and played some other WR’s instead for WEEKS because of the playbook? Then all you did was throw him fades anyway.

Above- A seam, aka a damn fade but to the middle of the end zone instead of the back pylon. If he couldn’t grasp this he shouldn’t be attending the University of Miami.

Let’s also keep in mind...

Above- Matt Canada was throwing TD’s to offensive linemen.

Above- Baylor managed to throw TD’s to a 390 pound big hoss.

Above- Lower levels of football are running the Billy Bob play from damn Varsity Blues and scoring touchdowns with it.

Above- Oh yeah, and linebacker Mike Vrabel has been catching TD’s for years, at the highest level of the sport.

But hey, Josh Gattis and Mario Cristobal can’t figure out how to get a six-four, 220 pound wide receiver to run a fade route for four weeks.

I do think that this situation says a lot more about Gattis’ coaching (see above), as he’s not only the OC, but also the WR coach, then it does Colbie Young’s ability. Obviously Van Dyke saw it. Now let’s hope Gattis doesn’t forget about Young again before playing the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday.