Miami Hurricanes Likely to Have Surprise Starters Offensively

BOONE, NC - SEPTEMBER 17: Braxton Berrios
BOONE, NC - SEPTEMBER 17: Braxton Berrios /

Miami Hurricanes Head Coach Mark Richt named some potential surprise starters for Saturday’s season opener against Bethune-Cookman. The lineup on offense might have some shuffling after some injuries.

Appearing on the Joe Rose Show on WQAM Richt discussed the Miami Hurricanes week ahead and what the starting lineup might look like against Bethune-Cookman. Miami had a few injuries on offense and the starting lineup might be in flux this week.

Wide Receivers Ahmmon Richards and Braxton Berrios have both been dealing with injuries during training camp. Berrios is expected back for Saturday’s game. Richards status is presently unknown.

Richt said that if Richards cannot play that the Miami Hurricanes would start Freshman Mike Harley in his place. Miami is going with a three wide receiver set this season. The Hurricanes often started two tight ends, two wide receivers and a running back last season.

Miami had the luxury of a two tight end set last season with David Nkoku and Christopher Herndon IV as their tight ends. With the tight end depth thin and an abundance of talent at wide receiver the three receiver set makes more sense for 2017.

Richt discussed how they plan to shuffle the starting receiving core if Richards cannot play.

"“Normally, if Ahmmon [Richards] is healthy he’s X and Cager would be flanker,’’ Richt said. “Harley and [Dionte] Mullins both of those kids will play a good bit if Ahmmon is out.’’"

Berrios is fully recovered from a groin injury according to Richt.

"“Berrios is fine. His groin was bothering him a little bit one day and we just held him. He has nothing to prove. He’s fine. He looked wonderful last night.”"

Harley is not likely to be the only Freshman wide receiver to make an impact. Jeff Thomas caught six passes for over 100 yards and a touchdown in the final scrimmage on Thursday. DeeJay Dallas is also another Freshman to watch.

Several returnees who have not made an impact on UM’s offense can also be impact players this season. Mullins and Cager are likely to be a big part of the offense. Darrell Langham has been impressive in training camp and Dayall Harris gives UM another receiver with size.

With the depth of talent Miami has at wide receiver the rotation will see a lot of players in and out for at least the first couple of weeks. Richt mentioned that he will play everyone.

"“I want every one of our receivers to play a good bit, every scholarship guy should get in there and play a good bit.”"

Harley is only 5’9 160 pounds but has impressed the offensive coaching staff with his speed and route running ability. Both Harley and Thomas have game-breaking ability. They should both make a big play or two during the season on special teams and/or offensively.

Richt discussed Harley’s skills and passion.

"“Mike Harley is not a huge guy, but he’s fast, he’s a great route-runner…And this guy loves football, man. He will do anything he can do to help this team win.”"

With Richards likely out Saturday the Miami Hurricanes are likely to have new Starting Quarterback Malik Rosier throwing to an all new receiving core. UM will have two games that they are heavily favored in to work out the synch between Rosier and his receiving core.

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Week three Miami will face what is largely regarded as the best secondary in the country, Florida State.