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Miami confirms ‘disabling neck injury’ ends Ahmmon Richards’ career

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Sadly, the initial reports have been confirmed.

Saturday night, reports surfaced that Ahmmon Richards‘ playing career had come to an end due to injury.  Sunday afternoon, Miami confirmed that the wide receiver will never play football again because of a disabling neck injury.

It remains unclear how the true junior suffered the career-ending injury.

“I’m extremely appreciative of the University’s athletic training and medical staffs for diagnosing this injury, and to the football coaches and staff for always putting my health first,” Richards said in a statement. “I plan to continue working towards my degree at UM and look forward to the next chapter in my life.”

“While we share in Ahmmon’s disappointment that his football career is over, his health must be the top priority,” a statement from head football coach Mark Richt began. “Ahmmon will remain on full scholarship and we will continue to support him as a member of the Hurricanes family.”

Richards played in the 2018 season opener but went down with what the school labeled as a knee injury.  He missed the next five games because of the issue as well, including the win over Florida State Saturday afternoon.

The knee issue — along with the previously unreported neck issue — continued a string of injuries that Richards has had to battle through the past two seasons.

Richards missed the first two games in 2017 because of a hamstring issue, then suffered a season-ending meniscus injury in late November. At the time of that latter injury, Richards was third on the Hurricanes in receptions (24) receiving yards (439) and receiving touchdowns (three). The year before as a true freshman, he led the team with 934 receiving yards. and broke the school’s record for a first-year player previously held by Michael Irvin.

Prior to being injured in the opener this season, Richards had one catch for nine yards.

‘Disabling neck injury’ ends Miami WR Ahmmon Richards’ football career

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Even as Miami basks in the glow of a stunning comeback over hated rival Florida State, there’s some sobering news coming out of the football program.

Citing an unnamed source, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that Ahmmon Richards‘ playing career is over because of what was described as “a disabling neck injury.” It’s decidedly unclear when such an injury of such severity occurred.

While the football program has yet to address Richards’ status moving forward, the wide receiver posted a pair of tweets to his Twitter account that indicate something is afoot.

Richards played in the season opener but went down with what the school labeled as a knee injury.  He missed the next five games because of the issue as well, including the win over FSU Saturday afternoon.

The knee issue — along with the previously unreported neck issue — continued a string of injuries that Richards has had to battle through the past two seasons.

Richards missed the first two games in 2017 because of a hamstring issue, then suffered a season-ending meniscus injury in late November. At the time of that latter injury, Richards was third on the Hurricanes in receptions (24) receiving yards (439) and receiving touchdowns (three). The year before as a true freshman, he led the team with 934 receiving yards. and broke the school’s record for a first-year player previously held by Michael Irvin.

Prior to being injured in the opener this season, Richards had one catch for nine yards.

N’Kosi Perry starts at QB but No. 16 Miami rides the Turnover Chain to victory over UNC

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It was going to be hard to upstage the debut of N’Kosi Perry as the new starting quarterback for No. 16 Miami but if anything could do it, it had to be the Turnover Chain. College football’s most famous sideline trinket made six appearances — and even found the end zone three times — as the Hurricanes controlled the game throughout their ACC opener in an eventual 47-10 thrashing of North Carolina on Thursday night at Hard Rock Stadium.

Perry, who took over under center from senior Malik Rosier last week, had a solid first half before trailing off a bit as the game wore on against the Tar Heels. The redshirt freshman finished the night with 125 yards passing in limited action with a touchdown and an interception, along with 26 yards on the ground. The electric playmaker also fumbled while trying to avoid a sack but generally picked up where he left off in helping the team move the chains without top receiver Ahmmon Richards for the third straight week.

Just the threat of Perry taking off with the ball and running seemed to open a few things up on the ground too as DeeJay Dallas recorded 114 yards rushing and a touchdown, while Travis Homer added another 88 yards of his own.

The story of the night for Mark Richt, outside of the QB position, was the Canes defense though. While it was a little concerning to see them give up 182 yards rushing, the team responded by breaking out the Turnover Chain six times to raucous applause from the relatively strong mid-week crowd at home. All told, Miami scored the most points (33) in the first half of a conference game in over a decade and their defense alone outscored the Tar Heels with 21 points of their own (tying a school record).

Defensive end Jonathan Garvin kicked things off with a scoop-and-score off a fumble in the first quarter and he donned the Turnover Chain again in the second half with another fumble recovery. Fellow end Joe Jackson wasn’t one to get left out either as he took a pick-six 42 yards not long after to turn the game into a rout. Romeo Finley’s 83 yard interception return for a touchdown just as the fourth quarter began was a cherry on top of the effort Thursday night.

If there was one negative defensively for Miami it was that star linebacker Shaquille Quarterman, who forced the Garvin fumble that was returned for a score, missed most of the second half with what was reported to be an ankle injury.

As for the Tar Heels, just about everything that could go wrong offensively, did. Nathan Elliott got the start at quarterback but threw for only 104 yards and also fumbled. He was replaced by Chazz Surratt under center in the sophomore’s first game back from suspension for selling Air Jordan shoes. It probably would have been better had he actually sat this one out after completing four passes to his own team and three more to the Hurricanes. At least Surratt did find success running the ball with a nice 69 yards rushing and a score in about the only bit of positive film for Larry Fedora to take back to Chapel Hill as his team dropped to 1-3 on the year.

The win, even against a lackluster UNC squad, should give Miami plenty of confidence going into next week’s rivalry game against Florida State. Given Josh Jackson’s injury at Virginia Tech and the rest of the ACC Coastal division looking somewhat shaky, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Canes become the favorite once again to make it to Charlotte and face off against Clemson yet again at the end of the year. The jury is still out on Perry at quarterback long-term but he’s shown enough flashes and will certainly be able to benefit from leaning on one of the most opportunistic defenses in the country.

With FCS foe on tap, Miami to hold out injured WR Ahmmon Richards, DE Demetrius Jackson

Louisiana State University vs University of Miami
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Given their Week 2 opponent, Miami is (rightly) erring on the side of caution when it comes to two of its more important players.

In the season-opening loss to LSU Saturday night, defensive end Demetrius Jackson and wide receiver Ahmmon Richards (pictured) each sustained knee injuries. With FCS Savannah State up next this weekend — they were whitewashed 52-0 by UAB in their opener — Mark Richt confirmed Thursday that neither Jackson nor Richardson will play this Saturday.

They’re just not ready to go,” the head coach explained. “They’re not in [a] position to play now.”

Richt couldn’t say whether either or both will be available for the Week 3 matchup with Toledo next weekend. After a Sept. 22 game against Florida International, The U opens ACC play the following weekend against North Carolina.

Richards missed the first two games in 2017 because of a hamstring issue, then suffered a season-ending meniscus injury in late November. At the time of that latter injury, Richards was third on the Hurricanes in receptions (24) receiving yards (439) and receiving touchdowns (three). The year before as a true freshman, he led the team with 934 receiving yards.

Prior to being injured in the season opener, Richards had one catch for nine yards.

Jackson’s 2017 season ended prematurely as well as he suffered an injury to his right knee in the early-November win over Virginia Tech and didn’t play again. His 7.5 tackles for loss were tied for the team lead at the time.

Bryce Love, Ed Oliver headline Walter Camp Award preseason watch list

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What is arguably the second-most prestigious award in college football has officially joined in on the watch listing fun.

The Walter Camp Foundation became the last (?) of the major awards to release its preseason watch list, with a total of 50 individuals making the cut as the players to watch for its 2018 Player of the Year Award.  Headling that half-century group is a pair of 2017 Camp All-Americans — Stanford running back Bryce Love and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver.

All FBS conferences are represented, led by nine each for both the Big Ten and ACC.  The ACC (eight) and Big 12 (seven) are next, followed by the Pac-12 (five), AAC (four), Conference USA (three), MAC (one), Mountain West (one) and Sun Belt (one).  Two football independents, Army and Notre Dame, made the initial cut as well.

A total of nine schools placed two players each on the watch list: Alabama, Clemson, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, TCU, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Of the 50 watch listers, 38 come from the offensive side of the ball.  The breakdown of that group goes 17 quarterbacks, 15 running backs, five wide receivers and one tight end.  An even dozen are, obviously, defensive players — seven defensive linemen, three linebackers, two defensive backs.

Breaking down the group by classes, there are 17 seniors, 25 juniors and eight sophomores.

Cam Akers, RB, Sophomore, Florida State
Darius Anderson, RB, Junior, TCU
Rodney Anderson, RB, Junior, Oklahoma
Ben Banogu, DE, Sophomore, TCU
Nick Bosa, DL, Junior, Ohio State #
Spencer Brown, RB, Sophomore, UAB
Jake Bentley, QB, Junior, University of South Carolina
A.J. Brown, WR, Junior, Ole Miss
Jake Browning, QB, Senior, Washington
Devin Bush, LB, Junior, Michigan #
Raekwon Davis, DL, Junior, Alabama
AJ Dillon, RB, Sophomore, Boston College
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Sophomore, Ohio State
T.J. Edwards, LB, Senior, Wisconsin #
Noah Fant, TE, Junior, Iowa
Mason Fine, QB, Junior, North Texas
Ryan Finley, QB, Senior, North Carolina State
Rashan Gary, DE, Junior, Michigan
Myles Gaskin, RB, Senior, Washington
Joe Gilles-Harris, LB, Junior, Duke #
Will Grier, QB, Senior, West Virginia
Justice Hansen, QB, Senior, Arkansas State
Damien Harris, RB, Senior, Alabama
Darrell Henderson, RB, Junior Memphis
Justice Hill, RB, Sophomore, Oklahoma State
Collin Johnson, WR, Junior, Texas
Diontae Johnson, WR, Junior, Toledo
Jaquan Johnson, DB, Senior, Miami (Fla.)
Dexter Lawrence, DL, Junior, Clemson
Brian Lewerke, QB, Junior, Michigan State
Drew Lock, QB, Senior, Missouri
Bryce Love, RB, Senior, Stanford *
Trace McSorley, QB, Senior, Penn State
McKenzie Milton, QB, Junior, UCF
Steven Montez, QB, Junior, Colorado
Ed Oliver, DL, Junior, Houston *
Malcolm Perry, QB, Junior, Navy
Ahmmon Richards, WR, Junior, Miami (Fla.)
Brett Rypien, QB, Senior, Boise State
Kyle Shurmur, QB, Senior, Vanderbilt
David Sills, WR, Senior, West Virginia #
Devin Singletary, RB, Junior, Florida Atlantic
Benny Snell, RB, Junior, Kentucky
Jarrett Stidham, QB, Junior, Auburn
Khalil Tate, QB, Junior, Arizona
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Sophomore, Wisconsin #
Christian Wilkins, DL, Senior, Clemson #
Greedy Williams, DB, Sophomore, LSU
Brandon Wimbush, QB, Senior, University of Notre Dame
Darnell Woolfolk, RB, Senior, Army-West Point

* 2017 Walter Camp All-America First-Team selection
# – 2017 Walter Camp All-America Second-Team selection