Miami Hurricanes WR battle wide open per OC Rhett Lashlee

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The top four wide receivers for the Miami Hurricanes seem set in 2021. Mike Harley is the leading returning WR for Miami in 2021 and with Oklahoma transfer, Charleston Rambo are likely to be the top two recipients of D’Eriq King passes this fall. Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins will likely battle to be the third starting WR.

Behind those four, the competition to earn snaps at WR for Miami is wide open this fall. Harley and Rambo provide veteran presence at WR. Pope and Wiggins need to play more consistently this fall or they could lose snaps to a plethora of young Miami WRs. The Hurricanes have added seven WRs in the last two signing classes.

None of the freshmen made a great impact in 2020. Keyshawn Smith has a lot of upside with his speed and redshirt freshman Jeremiah Payton who was a 2019 signee has often been dominant in practice but that has not translated to the field yet. The Miami Hurricanes need to continue adding young talent at WR.

Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee appeared on the Joe Rose Show on WQAM this week as transcribed by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Lashlee spoke about the Miami Hurricanes WR room, the improvements they have made, how they can continue to develop and having 12 WRs on the roster.

"“It’s wide open…When you take a look at last year, I know from the previous season a massive jump was made. Every single wide receiver that played had bigger stats, moments they excelled and helped us win games. Coach Likens and myself, we want to be more consistent everywhere on offense.For us to take that next jump we have to be able to win more of those 1-on-1 battles, especially the ones vertically down the field…(Are 12 scholarship WRs too many) Not at all… When I got here we had six or seven scholarship receivers. That’s not many. Usually you have anywhere from 10 to 12 on a roster.We’ll have that kind of number but then a lot will be gone, back down to six or seven. I don’t think it’s a big number….The best guys are going to play. We hope that more than one or two or three guys are playing every game and making plays.That allows guys to be fresh. We’re not trying to make sure everyone catches a ball, everyone has 50 catches. The best guys are going to play. We have to be able to put three or four guys out there who can compete and play to the standard we have here at Miami. I have high hopes we’ll have more than two or three or four.We bring in a guy like Charleston Rambo for a reason.”"

Harley led Miami with 57 receptions and 799 yards and tied with departed tight end Brevin Jordan scoring seven touchdowns. Rambo’s numbers were down last year but he had 43 receptions for 743 yards and five TDs as the Sooners made the College Football Playoff in 2020. Rambo is the deep threat Miami lacked in 2020.

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Rambo averaged 17.5 yards per reception in 2019 and was 23rd nationally with 10 receptions of 30 or more yards in 14 games. If Rambo can duplicate those numbers with Miami in 2020, the Hurricanes offense should continue to develop. Pope and Wiggins improving consistency would greatly help the Miami offense.