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2021 Spring Preview: WR

2021 Spring Preview: WR

bradtejeda
Offseason Additions: Charleston Rambo (Oklahoma transfer)

Offseason Departures: None


The wide receiver room is full, and it is not a bad thing. Miami will enter the 2021 season with everyone returning, along with a transfer in Charleston Rambo. The team signed three WR’s in the 2021 class, but none will participate in spring ball. Romello Brinson, Jacolby George, Brashard Smith will arrive in the summer and add significant depth, making up possibly one of the best WR classes Miami has signed in quite some time.

Mike Harley returns as a senior at Miami. Harley was not only the leading receiver last season with 799 yards but also the leader of the WR room. Harley will look to add to his great second half of the 2020 season and could potentially be the all-time leading receiver for the University of Miami, just needing 932 yards.

Adding a transfer like Charleston Rambo should help free up Harley even more than last season. Rambo’s decision to transfer from Oklahoma should help the Miami receiving corps greatly as a receiver who pops out on the screen with his length, hands, and speed. Although some may say Rambo has never been a #1 WR, in 2019 he had 743 yards on just 43 receptions for the Sooners. He could be a game changer for the WR room and is someone who has consistently been around great WR’s like CeeDee Lamb and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. Rambo has made it known he will be lining up all over the field, so look for him to be a dominant player for the Canes as the receiver opposite of Harley.

The third spot, also known as the “X”, is where the competition will heat up. Guys like Mark Pope, Keyshawn Smith, Xavier Restrepo, and others will throw their hat in the ring to potentially emerge in that spot.

Pope got plenty of chances in 2020, but ultimately did not have the best year last season. Leading the team in drops, Pope is a player who must step up this spring in order to stay on the field. Smith is entering his 2nd season and although he only had 2 catches in 2020, you can instantly see flashes in his game and he seemed to be open several times last season for near-miss big plays. Smith's speed and hands could be exactly what this offense needs to take it to the next level.

Although Restrepo did not get many snaps at wide receiver last season, he did get some quality minutes as a returner, specifically in a key game against Clemson. Restrepo is someone who has a work ethic that is unmatched, and the skill set to cause problems in the right situations. Restrepo could be in a position to be a key slot guy for this offense and a QB’s favorite target, similar to how Braxton Berrios was once used.

Dee Wiggins, a receiver who has been a starter in this offense, has shown flashes as well. Entering his 4th season at Miami and still having a lot to prove after a disappointing season, Wiggins will have one last shot to try and remain a key target or risk losing ground to the younger talent on the roster. At 6’3”, Wiggins’ has size Miami desperately could use, but there will be other guys looking to take those reps.

Michael Redding will be at the top of the list when it comes to having more of those snaps. Entering his second year, Redding is set to try and not only make an impact, but become a potential starter in this offense. With all the attributes to develop into a star, Redding’s size coming out of high school was already a big need, and after a year under coach David Feeley's strength and conditioning program, he should be able to take his physical game to another level. His ball skills in terms of making grabs at the highest point are something that the Hurricanes have not had in quite a while and after battling a wrist injury earlier last year, he is fully healthy and ready to be that key asset.

There are also a few guys in this WR room who we haven't seen very much of. Whether it be injuries, COVID, or just other teammates ahead on the depth chart, guys like Jeremiah Payton, Marshall Few and Daz Worsham have yet to see much time. Payton is in his 3rd year at Miami and has had a total of 6 receptions for 58 yards. The Jacksonville native, who was battling injuries and COVID last season, is in a situation where he must make his presence known or he could fall down the depth chart once again. Worsham, who at one point in his recruitment was a Alabama commit, saw action in just 1 game last season. With the WR room being so crowded, look for Worsham and former walk-on Few to serve as depth this season.


Bottom Line

The competition on Greentree will be something to keep a close eye on, as the wide receiver room has a lot of unproven guys that need to show that they can take the next step. Although there are typically only 3 receivers on the field at once, look for potentially 8 wide receivers to contribute in the rotation this year. In Lashlee’s second year with the offense and a full offseason, expect a significant increase of big plays through the air. Opportunities will be tough to come by for some of these receivers this spring, so the competition will be a day-to-day battle. Harley and Rambo should be the top 2 guys, with Smith, Redding, Wiggins, Restrepo and Pope rotating a lot. Who emerges as the #3 receiver is going to be something to continue to monitor throughout camp.
 

Comments (42)

XWR - Charleston Rambo/ Michael Redding/ Romello Brinson

Slot - Mike Harley/ Xavier Restrepo/ Brashard Smith

ZWR - Keyshawn Smith/ Jeremiah Payton/ Jacolby George

That would be my top 9 if I was WR’s coach, but of course I’m not lol.

But I still fully expect Pope & Wiggs to continue to play, I’m not buying this staff has completely turned over a new leaf until I see it with my own eyes, they’re going to keep playing upperclassmen even if it kills them.
 
Rambo, Harley and Smith is how you say lets run it back

FYI - Remove Harley from PR
 
I fully expect Breshard Smith to grab the Slot spot. Too fast and physical to play behind Harley who is slight and not the best hand either. Keyshawn Smith flashed last year so I'd like to see him come on. Rambo certainly better than Wiggins and Pope. After that we have a lot of bodies, but who can really make a difference remains to be seen.
 
I fully expect Breshard Smith to grab the Slot spot. Too fast and physical to play behind Harley who is slight and not the best hand either. Keyshawn Smith flashed last year so I'd like to see him come on. Rambo certainly better than Wiggins and Pope. After that we have a lot of bodies, but who can really make a difference remains to be seen.
Harley was Miami’s bestest receiver last year. Miami needs to find a way to get both Harley and Brashard on the field.
 
as long as Pope and Wiggins only play in mop up duty when we’re ahead by 40pts I’m good. If they’re out there starting against Bama? Oh man it’s going to be a long azz season. We need Smith, Harley, and Rambo out there starting, screw upperclassmen status. Likens needs to play the best 3 and rotate unless we’re seeing high play outta 1 or more WR’s. If so, keep feeding them the ball and force defenses to adjust. When they do, hit them where they’re most vulnerable, rinse and repeat. We can’t keep playing players “hoping” the light bulb goes off for them. We’ve got to come out of the gate for wing their hands by being able to rely on all of the wideouts that are in the game on a series or play.
 
Harley and Rambo are locked in as WR1/WR2. Very interesting to see who emerges as WR3/WR4. My guess is Pope and Smith will split reps with 1s.

Redding/Wiggins/Payton will battle as Rambo backup and Restrepo/Daz will work behind Harley.

*For spring practice purposes I didn't include the 3 freshman arriving this summer.
 
Pope and Wiggins have earned nothing and don't deserve to be in the deep two. Work and prove it on gameday. Hopefully guys that were recruited by Miami ~ Smith, Redding, Payton, Restrepo and they three Frosh coming in prove it and take a vet's spot! As for Rambo, why is he elevating to a "preferred" starting role? He should earn it also as what he did at Oklahoma matters little in the current, 2021.
 
Pope catches a sh*t ton of heat which he deserves, but man yall really be letting Wiggs slide...

He’s 6’3 195lbs & plays smaller than Pope & has no athleticism to his game at all, he plays with his feet glued to the ground, I don’t think I’ve seen him make one contested catch his entire career here & rarely do I ever see him go up for a jump ball...

I mean did yall forget the way the 18 year old TF Tony Grimes completely bullied him on that INT vs UNC??? It was assault, battery & grand theft the way he literally just took the ball from Wiggins, it was embarrassing...

Especially considering he’s 6’3 with 4.4 speed & can’t separate to save his life!
 
Last edited:
XWR - Charleston Rambo/ Michael Redding/ Romello Brinson

Slot - Mike Harley/ Xavier Restrepo/ Brashard Smith

ZWR - Keyshawn Smith/ Jeremiah Payton/ Jacolby George

That would be my top 9 if I was WR’s coach, but of course I’m not lol.

But I still fully expect Pope & Wiggs to continue to play, I’m not buying this staff has completely turned over a new leaf until I see it with my own eyes, they’re going to keep playing upperclassmen even if it kills them.
This right here. Rambo, Harley and Smith backed up by Redding, Restrepo and Payton.

Find ways to get Brashard, Brinson and George some burn. Absolutely hate to write off 20 year olds, but damnit I’m done with Pope and Wiggins.
 

2022 Commits

QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA

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