Darrell Langham doesn’t like to think his life has changed much because of one catch — even if it was in about as big a spot possible.
Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of one of the most memorable catches in recent Miami history. With an unbeaten season on the line and a chance to snap a seven-game losing streak at the hands of Florida State, Langham found the pylon in the front right corner of the end zone to score a game-winning touchdown in Tallahassee.
“A lot of people bring it up a lot, but I kind of like push it aside,” Langham said Tuesday after practice in Coral Gables. “I’ve got to worry about what’s next on my list.”
Langham’s role on the field hasn’t exactly been steady since he made the biggest catch for the Hurricanes in the 2017 season. The wideout followed the clutch play up with a 100-yard receiving game against Georgia Tech the following week before sliding back into a rotational role toward the end of the year.
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A lingering injury to star wide receiver Ahmmon Richards, though, has opened a door for Langham. The senior started Thursday against North Carolina, catching three passes for 33 yards and a touchdown, and, a day shy of the one-year anniversary of the catch, he should have a chance to bite the Seminoles once again when Miami hosts Florida State on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.
On the field, at least, Langham is right about not having much change on the field because of one catch. He’s only started a handful of games since and has only caught eight passes for 108 yards this season. Even with Richards injured, Langham is at best third in the pecking order among wide receivers behind Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley.
It’s different when he’s wandering around campus or out to eat dinner somewhere. Out in the wild, life is at least a little bit changed.
“A lot of people brought it up,” Langham said. “I kind of just smiled and laughed about it because every other day it would come up, but I just kind of got used to it.”
One big play never vaulted Langham into the starting lineup. It also never got to his head. Langham toiled away with the second unit for the most part, making the most of occasional opportunities to contribute while quarterback Malik Rosier helmed the team.
It’s clear Langham has a rapport with new quarterback N’Kosi Perry, though, after sending most of the preseason working together on the second unit. Langham was buried beneath Richards and Thomas on the outside. Perry sat behind incumbent starting Rosier as Miami’s backup. Whenever they’ve been in an actual game together, they’ve linked up.
Perry made his first appearance last month in a blowout win against FCS Savannah State and hit Langham for his a 38-yard strike, his longest pass of the game. Four of Langham’s eight receptions and 71 of his 108 receiving yards this season have come with Perry at the helm.
Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown has been able to point back to Langham as an example.
“It also shows for anybody that you’re never out of it,” Brown said. “I think he played two snaps the entire game and never went into the tank, had a good attitude, was focused the entire time and make one of the biggest plays in that rivalry, at least in recent history.”
Brown doesn’t use the play so much as an example anymore this season — Miami wanted to wipe the slate clean for a new season. It’s impossible to avoid discussing the play this time of year, though.
Langham’s improbable moment will forever be imprinted in the lore of the rivalry. In a series with plenty of bizarre endings, Langham provides the latest reminder that the most unlikely players can swing the game.
“Who knows, it might come down to it again,” Brown said. “We have to be prepared for a 60-minute war. It’s Florida State-Miami, one of the biggest rivalries in college football. I don’t care what the record is. I don’t care how they played before. We will get their best. They will be at their best against us at our house.”