Miami Hurricanes WR Keyshawn Smith expected deep ball threat

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13: . (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13: . (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Miami Hurricanes Freshman wide receiver Keyshawn Smith could help the deep passing game this season. Smith was regarded for his speed when he signed with Miami in the Class of 2020. Miami signed Smith after he was released from his National Letter of Intent following his release from Washington State.

Smith had always dreamed of playing for the Miami Hurricanes. After Mike Leach left Washington State when he was hired at Mississippi State Smith began considering new schools. Smith was the lowest rated of three WRs Miami signed in 2020 but seems to be developing the quickest. Getting stronger is one of the goals Smith has.

Smith is one of 12 WRs the Miami Hurricanes have on its roster and one of nine participating in spring practice. The competition for first-team reps this spring and playing time this fall should raise the level of the Miami WRs. Oklahoma transfer Charleston Rambo is projected to be the top deep threat Miami has at WR in 2021.

Rambo averaged 17.5 yards per reception in 2019 and was 23rd nationally with 10 receptions of 30 yards or more. Smith believes he can become a deep threat for the Miami football team in 2020. Smith spoke to Miami reporters via zoom last week about what he has been working on and his presence as a deep threat.

"“I need to get stronger — I’ve gotten stronger but other dudes are way bigger than me…I have to be able to block, help my teammates out…I’ve been impacting on deep balls…I’d say I’m a deep ball threat. I love to outrun people. Deep balls are my thing ever since high school.I’ve improved on the top of my routes, staying low, because coach [Rob] Likens is always on us about that.”"

Smith and the younger WRs on the Miami roster will have a tough time breaking the WR rotation. Rambo, Mike Harley, Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins are expected to be the top four WRs for Miami in 2021. Wide receivers coach Rob Likens stated earlier during the offseason that the Hurricanes could ideally a rotation of six at WR.

Smith had two receptions for 58 yards. In limited playing time, he showed the ability to the ability to stretch opposing defenses. Being able to make plays on balls in the air will also be critical if Smith wants to become a part of the Miami rotation at WR. The Miami passing game should continue to evolve in 2021.

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In the second season of the Rhett Lashlee offense with D’Eriq King at quarterback, Miami can become more efficient and explosive in the passing game. Too often in 2020 opponents were able to stack the box and force the Miami WRs to beat them. Harley was the only consistent WR Miami had in 2020.