MIAMI (CBSMiami)- The Miami Hurricanes hope to have their top wide receiver from 2016 ready to make his 2017 debut this Saturday.
Sophomore Ahmmon Richards, who missed the opener against Bethune-Cookman with a hamstring issue, appears on track to play at Arkansas State this week.
“Ahmmon is much closer to playing,” head coach Mark Richt said Tuesday. “I wouldn’t say he’s a shoe-in. He flexed with the team, got individual [drills] with the wide receiver groups, and then we shut him down at that point – not because of any setback, but because we’re trying to, little by little, get him in there.”
Richards was a nightmare for opposing defensive backs to cover in 2016. As a true freshman, he led the Hurricanes with 49 catches and 934 receiving yards. He broke Michael Irvin’s 31-year-old record for freshman receiving yards. He averaged a team-high 19.1 yards per catch.
In Richards’ absence last week, junior Darrell Langham led Miami with 65 yards on 3 catches. He scored a touchdown.
Despite Richards’ progress this week, Mark Richt cautions that a week 2 debut is not set in stone just yet.
“I’ve said it many times – when you recover from a hamstring, you feel great,” noted Richt. “The day you feel great, like you like you can go full-speed, you really should wait another two or three days, quite frankly. I know he’s feeling a lot better. He moved around well. I saw no signs of him reacting to anything that made him nervous, but we weren’t just flying. He has not been in competitive speed yet.”
Hopefully, competitive speed will come later this week. The Hurricanes return to the practice on Wednesday morning.
Miami faces Arkansas State this Saturday, 3:30 PM at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Arkansas.