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What Tyler Harrell and Shemar Kirk Add to Miami’s Wide Receiver Position

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The Miami Hurricanes added a pair of dynamic offensive weapons this past week in transfer wide receivers Tyler Harrell (Alabama) and Shemar Kirk (Reedley College). Both players project as outside receivers but present differing skill sets to UM’s offense.

Harrell, who played high school football at Christopher Columbus (Fla.), was one of the top deep threats in the ACC at Louisville during the 2021 campaign. The 6-foot-0 receiver totaled 523 yards on 18 receptions that season, recording over 29 yards per catch. He was at his best when testing defenses vertically on go-routes and on deep posts.

This downfield element of Miami’s passing offense was lacking throughout much of the 2022 season, as the Hurricanes ranked in the bottom half nationally in passing yards per attempt.

Harrell’s electrifying speed was on full display at the Cardinals’ 2021 Pro Day, as he ran an officially clocked 4.24 40-yard dash time. This rivals NFL Draft Combine record-holder John Ross’ 40-yard dash time of 4.22.

Harrell can also attack the middle of the field on crossing routes by utilizing his speed and quickness off the line of scrimmage to create separation from defenders and rack up yards after the catch. When defensive backs play in off-coverage against Harrell, he can impact the short-to-intermediate passing game on curls and hitches.

TUSCALOOSA, AL – OCTOBER 22: Tyler Harrell #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide hauls in a pass against Marcus Banks #1 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2022 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images)

Kirk doesn’t have the same game-breaking speed as Harrell does, but he can still be a downfield threat because of his ball skills. The JUCO transfer, who stands at 6-foot-1, has the size and natural instincts to win a lot of jump balls.

As a well-rounded receiver, Kirk ran a diverse route tree at Reedley. In his two seasons with the Tigers, he totaled 76 catches, 1,446 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.

Kirk is also very dangerous after the catch. He has great contact balance that allows him to break tackles and the fluidity and elusiveness to juke by defenders. Both Kirk and Harrell have experience on special teams as returners.

The two receivers were brought in to solidify what is expected to be an improved receiving unit at Miami after the group struggled with injuries and inconsistencies last season. 

At the outside receiver position, Kirk and Harrell add to a returning nucleus that features expected contributors like Jacolby George, Colbie Young, Frank Ladson Jr., Michael Redding III and Isaiah Horton, as well as freshman wideout Robby Washington.

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