It took 31 years for someone to finally break Michael Irvin’s University of Miami record for single-season receiving yards by a freshman.
That someone: true freshman Ahmmon Richards, who now has 849 receiving yards after catching a career-high nine passes for 117 yards Saturday in UM’s 27-13 victory over North Carolina State.
Keep in mind that Irvin, who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was a redshirt freshman in 1985 when he set the record of 840 yards.
“No, I didn’t know,” said Richards, when asked if he realized it had been 31 years. “Yeah, that’s mind-blowing. I didn’t really do the research and all of that. It just feels good to be a part of that group.”
Richard’s performance Saturday moved him into 10th place all-time for single-season receiving yards at UM, as he passed Phillip Dorsett’s 842 yards in 2012.
Allen Hurns’ 1,162 receiving yards in 2013 is the school record for a single season.
Saturday was also Richards’ third consecutive 100-yard game and fourth of the season.
“Yeah, I knew there was a chance,’’ Richards, a Wellington High graduate, said of breaking Irvin’s record. “But, honestly, I just wanted to win.’’
But what did the record mean when he realized he achieved it?
“It means everything to me,’’ Richards said. “You work so hard, and you have goals set for yourself and that was one of them. I don’t like to say it but that was one of my goals, and it feels great to pass it. … I have one more goal, but that’s just inside [me].’’
UM coach Mark Richt has been praising Richards’ maturity and work ethic since the start of the season.
“I’m proud of Ahmmon,’’ Richt said. “He a guy that you watched his high school tape and you knew he was going to be a special player. You meet him and realize he’s a special person on top of it. Even how he handled his recruitment — [he] had a lot of people wanting him at the very end.
“He went through a [Miami] coaching change and just stayed true to his word. It’s blessed him. It’s blessed this program. I’m sure Michael Irvin will be OK with that. It’s fun to hold records, but it’s also fun to see a young man do great things. For it to last 31 years is pretty spectacular.”
WALTON HITS 1,000
UM sophomore running back Mark Walton also hit a career milestone Saturday by surpassing 1,000 yards rushing for the first time.
Walton, who rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries Saturday, now has 1,005 yards on 179 carries for a 5.6 yards-per-carry average this season. Walton also has scored a team-leading 14 touchdowns.
This is the third year in a row that Miami has had a 1,000-yard rusher: Duke Johnson in 2014, Joe Yearby last season and now Walton.
“I just went out there and played hard,’’ Walton said. “The O-line did a great job for me. The coaches trusted me. The first half it didn’t go so well for the running game. The second half we came out and ran the ball well.’’