The Miami Hurricanes have one of the deepest and, perhaps, one of the best wide receiving corps in the nation. Spring practice provided some interesting battles, and the upcoming season should be an exciting continuation of that.
The seasoned star of this group will be Allen Hurns (6’ 3’’ 195 lbs.). Hurns is the only senior in the group and will be the leader as far as the receiver position goes. Injuries nagged Hurns during the 2012 campaign, but he still managed to catch 28 balls and score four touchdowns. If he remains healthy, he could double those numbers. Backing up Hurns will be junior Rashawn Scott (6’ 2’’ 200 lbs.). Scott was the breakout star last season, until off-the-field issues arose, and he was suspended for the last three games of the year. Those suspensions appear to have matured Scott, and he will definitely contribute in a big way on the field this season.
Across from Hurns and Scott brews a very intriguing three-way battle for the other wide receiver position. Junior Philip Dorsett (5’ 10’’ 185 lbs.) appeared to have the inside track to start going in to spring practice. However, sophomore Herb Walters (6’ 2’’ 190 lbs.) stepped up his game, and now he and Dorsett are tied atop the depth chart. I think this is probably more of a motivational tactic of the coaches for Dorsett, but Walters will definitely see extended playing time. Dorsett is the traditional home run hitter as far as receivers go. He is as fast as anyone in the country, and with offensive coordinator James Coley’s new emphasis on the vertical pass, he should provide some SportsCenter-worthy plays. The sleeper in all of this is sophomore Malcolm Lewis. Lewis (6’ 190 lbs.) suffered a grotesque ankle injury last season that threatened his career. His rehab appears to be on track despite being limited in spring practice. It will probably take one more season to get to 100%, but he could surprise people this year.
It would be neglectful to not mention two incoming freshmen to the group. Stacey Coley (6’ 175 lbs.) and Derrick Griffin (6’ 6’’ 215 lbs.) were both very highly touted coming out of high school and could find some playing time if one of the other receivers go down with injury. Coley is the better of the two, but he earned a reputation in high school of being afraid of contact and not being a good down field blocker. Those things will have to improve if he expects to play anytime soon.
Overall, the Canes will not be short of weapons on the outside. They have the deep ball threat in Dorsett, the big, physical possession receiver in Hurns, and the eager upstart in Walters. Even better is the fact that all of those guys have capable backups who could put up impressive numbers of their own.
Somewhere, senior quarterback Stephen Morris is smiling.