Miami Hurricanes freshmen Xavier Restrepo and Keyshawn Smith big-play WRs

Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Hurricanes second-year freshmen Xavier Restrepo and Key’shawn Smith are becoming big-play wide receivers. Restrepo backs up fifth-year senior Mike Harley in the slot and Smith starts on the outside with leading receiver Charleston Rambo. Smith and Restrepo have both made big plays this season.

Restrepo has 19 receptions for 325 yards, an average of 17.1 yards per reception and his sole touchdown was the only time Miami reached the end zone against Alabama. Smith has 20 receptions for 279 yards and scored the game-winning TD against Pittsburgh on Saturday for his first collegiate score.

Restrepo and Smith with Rambo are in the top 30 in the ACC producing big receptions this season. Entering the 2021 season Smith was expected to be a deep threat for Miami. Restrepo was thought of as more of a move the chains possession receiver but he routinely produced big plays for Miami this season.

Rambo leads Miami with nine receptions of 20 or more yards this season. Restrepo is second on the Hurricanes with seven receptions of at least 20 yards and Smith is third with five. Harley is in his last year with Miami and Rambo has the option of entering the 2021 NFL Draft. Restrepo and Smith give Miami a good WR foundation.

Smith had a 57-yard reception in the first quarter against Pittsburgh last Saturday that led to a Miami Hurricanes touchdown. The Smith TD was from 13 yards in the third quarter that held up as the game-winning score. Miami held Pittsburgh to a field goal in the fourth quarter after Smith put them up 38-31.

Restrepo was the only Miami WR against Pittsburgh with two receptions over 20 yards. Harley, Rambo, Restrepo and Smith have taken the majority of snaps for Miami at WR this season. All four have produced big plays for the Hurricanes. Rambo leads Miami with 51 receptions for 649 yards and four TDs this season.

Restrepo has often been compared to former Miami WR Braxton Berrios who led the Hurricanes in receptions, receiving yards and TDs in 2017. If Rambo leaves for the NFL after this season Restrepo would likely be the favorite to lead Miami in receiving in 2022. Berrios had 55 receptions for 679 yards and nine TDs in 2017.

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At 17.1 YPC this season, Restrepo is nearly five yards better than the 12.3 that Berrios averaged in his best season in 2017. Smith provides Miami with a  speedy WR who has proven his ability to get open deep. Restrepo and Smith should complement each other well through at least the 2022 Miami Hurricanes season.