Miami Hurricanes freshmen wide receivers pushing veterans

Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA;. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA;. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Hurricanes freshmen wide receivers Romello Brinson, Jacolby George and Breshard Smith are pushing the veterans on the roster. Mike Harley and Charleston Rambo are secure as the starting WRs for Miami. The other starting WR spot should be contested for the Hurricanes with 19 days until the opener against Alabama.

Fourth-year WRs Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins started most of the 2020 season. Second-year receiver Keyshawn Smith is projected by many Miami beat writers to emerge as the starter next to Harley in the slot and Rambo as the other outside WR. Brinson, George and Smith were all impressive in the first scrimmage Sunday night.

In the first recruiting cycle with offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, the Miami Hurricanes are amassing talent at WR. George finished the night with seven receptions for 127 yards, Brinson had four for 73 and Smith two for 30. Miami will have one more scrimmage before beginning preparations for Alabama September 4.

The freshmen trio of WRs are making their presence known through nine practices. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee appeared on the Joe Rose Show on WQAM on Monday morning. Lashlee told Rose that the competition to earn the third starting WR is still open and that the freshmen are pushing for playing time.

"“They are who we think they’re going to be from a talent standpoint. Now it’s a matter of getting them ready to play at this level. Last night was a good step for them.We’ll probably re-evaluate this week and see, do those guys get maybe opportunities with some of the older guys here this week to see if they’re ready to contribute now?...What last night helped us realize is there’s some young guys that need to get a look against some of our older [defensive backs] to see how they handle that.’"

Lashlee and WRs coach Rob Likens said during the spring that they want to have an eight or nine WR rotation this year. Using eight or nine WRs the expectation is that the Hurricanes will go three deep on the depth chart. The talent that the freshmen WR trio is exhibiting might make it difficult to keep them on the sideline.

Keyshawn Smith is the one 2020 Miami signee at WR who has emerged this year. Miami likes the length and speed Smith brings at 6’1 188 pounds. Rambo is expected to be the deep threat in the Miami passing game in 2021. Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald transcribed the interview with Lashlee on WQAM.

"“Key’Shawn is fast. He’s explosive. God’s gifted him a lot…Once the consistency comes together for him we think he has a chance to be a really good football player… You can’t discount his explosiveness when you watch him play.’’"

With Harley and Rambo likely moving on after the 2021 season, the Miami WR corps has a bright future with the talent they have added over the last two recruiting cycles. Miami has commitments from four-star Isaiah Horton and three-star Landon Ibieta. Likens has also been instrumental in the WR talent Miami has added.

Next. Miami freshmen WRs impressive in first training camp scrimmage. dark

With nine practices and one scrimmage complete, the remainder of training camp will be interesting to watch the Miami WR corps to see who emerges when the Hurricanes suit up against Alabama. The Miami Hurricanes will need big plays to defeat the Crimson Tide. The freshmen trio could be the answer.