Miami Hurricanes WR Berrios and Thomas Making a Huge Impact

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 08: Braxton Berrios
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 08: Braxton Berrios /

The Miami Hurricanes marque players have made the big time plays this season in the clutch to provide the difference between a 7-0 start and a loss along the way. Explosive plays and late plays in key moments have defined the Miami season.

Mark Richt packed a lot of topics relating to his Miami Hurricanes on his weekly appearance with Joe Rose on the WQAM morning show on Monday, Among the topics discussed were the performances of quarterback Malik Rosier and wide receivers Braxton Berrios and Jeff Thomas.

Rosier has been the team’s undeniable MVP this season. Berrios has been his most reliable receiver and Thomas is providing the team the deep threat they didn’t have in 2016.

Berrios has the Miami triple crown in receiving this season. He leads the team with 32 receptions for 415 yards and six touchdowns. His fourth-quarter touchdown on Saturday provided the winning margin against North Carolina.

Thomas has 11 receptions for 249 yards and two touchdowns for an average of 22.6 yards per reception this season. He has three receptions that have gone for 48 yards or more this season. He burned North Carolina for a 78-yard touchdown on Saturday.

Asked about the play of Berrios Richt said:

"“He has done great. That was the thing … One of the third-down conversions we had, that was one of those balls where I use the term it was the difference between a completion and a bullseye.He makes a nice move, the guy slips and stumbles down or the safety’s too far away, if we hit him on a dead run, he may go 50, 60 yards for a touchdown. He kind to kind of turn back, slide, we got the first down yardage which was great, moved the chains.But like I talk about the game of inches, if you hit a guy on the dead run, you might get a huge play. Berrios has done a wonderful job for us and I know it’s very important for him. He’s from the state of North Carolina, so that had to be real meaningful for him.”\"

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Thomas has come on the last three weeks for the Miami Hurricanes after primarily making an impact on special teams through the first four weeks of the season. He has made a difference with Sophomore Ahmmon Richards struggling with a hamstring injury. Richt talked about his prized Freshman.

"“We thought he could help us a lot this season. Our biggest problem was where to put him. We had a long. … Does he go on the outside as a flanker or does he go to the inside slot where Berrios is?We started him out on the inside, we started [Mike] Harley out on the outside. When you have a true freshman, you really don’t want to teach him both. That’s too much for those guys. So midway through the deal, we were like, ‘You know what? We have to get him on the edge.’ We need his speed out there. We need to get him separated from Berrios because not only does Berrios plays well, but he’s got the stamina where he doesn’t really need that much of a rest. …He refuses to come out sometimes because he feels like he’s good and he’s fresh. If you’ve a Berrios in there that’s playing the majority of the snaps there, we’re not getting Jeff in the game as much as we’d like to.We moved him out to the flanker position, which I think is a great move, but maybe it’s not a great move on one week’s notice in the middle of the season of your freshman year. He made a few mistakes on assignments. He’s in a new spot. Now he’s got a week under his belt, getting another week in his belt, and he’s certainly got a teammate next to him if he ever gets in trouble to find out what to do with Braxton."

Berrios is the perfect player next to Thomas and the young Miami Hurricanes wide receiver core. He can teach his positions mates the right place be and what they should be doing. Berrios is likely to play in the NFL. As an honor roll student, he will make an excellent coach once his playing career is over.

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Thomas and Berrios have given the Miami Hurricanes big play ability. On both special teams and in the receiving core they have had a huge impact. With the biggest game of the season and perhaps in ten years coming up on Saturday, both will be counted on to continue to provide big plays for the Hurricanes.