AAC Breakout WR: Ambles, Moore Or Perriman?
By Jackson Wang
Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF are all looking to have a big year in the AAC this season. With the conference up for grabs, all three teams will be chasing after the AAC championship.
And they will be making the run with the help of their wide receivers: Markeith Ambles at Houston, Chris Moore at Cincinnati and Breshad Perriman at UCF. But which of the three will have the biggest breakout season this fall to help lift their team to the next level?
The Case For Markeith Ambles
The junior wide receiver from Georgia didn’t register his first reception last year until the third game of the season. That’s because Ambles didn’t join the Cougars until late August, arriving in Houston from junior college Western Arizona.
Missing all of spring and summer practices hurt Ambles' chances of being an impact player for Houston last fall. But once he got some chemistry with freshman quarterback John O’Korn, Ambles started to look like the five-star recruit he was coming out of high school.
His breakout game came in the final matchup of the year, which was the BBVA Compass Bowl against Vanderbilt. Ambles registered six catches and 105 yards for one touchdown in the loss.
Now that he has a few months of experience in the Houston offense, including spring practices, Ambles finally should be able to get on the same page as O’Korn and develop a strong connection.
Plus, spending some time with all-conference wide receiver Deontay Greenberry doesn’t hurt as well. That trio of O’Korn, Greenberry, and Ambles should be a dangerous group this fall.
The Case For Chris Moore
The 6-foot-1 wideout from Florida led the Bearcats with nine touchdown receptions last season. The redshirt junior will look to continue to find the end zone in 2014 with new quarterback Gunner Kiel.
As the 2013 season progressed, Moore continued to get better by increasing his receptions and yards per game. Later in the season, Moore also recorded two multiple touchdown games against Rutgers and Houston.
Moore has proven he can progress as a player and should be a primary target for Kiel. In the spring game, Moore made multiple receptions, including an important 47-yard catch on the first possession of the game, which led to a touchdown later on in the drive
With the departure of Anthony McClung, the timing couldn’t be better for Moore to step up and be a top wide receiver for Kiel alongside sophomore Shaq Washington.
The Case For Breshad Perriman
Perriman played a huge role in UCF’s offensive success last season. The junior from Georgia hauled in 39 catches for 811 yards and four touchdowns.
And even after taking a vicious hit against Houston in early November, the 6-foot-2 wideout came back to contribute for a BCS bowl victory.
Now that Blake Bortles is headed to the NFL, Perriman needs a breakout year to help a young starting quarterback, which could be upcoming sophomore Justin Holman, who played in just three games last year.
Perriman could see a lot of footballs come his way, especially with the return of his counterpart in junior receiver Rannell Hall, who led the team in receptions and yards. Hall and Perriman are both players with a lot of speed. Either player can turn a game into a track meet if he gets into open space or gets a free pass downfield.
Not to mention, Perriman reportedly ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash coming out of high school.
Ambles is going to get a lot of looks from O’Korn, especially with defenses keying on Greenberry. Plus, with the breakout Ambles had toward the end of the 2013 season, he’s due to continue that progression.
He has potential to be a top wide receiver in the AAC as a five-star recruit. Now Ambles just has to do it. Plus, he’s got a quarterback who has one year of college football experience and has developed some chemistry with his receivers.
Experience is key to having a breakout year, and not only does Ambles have it, but so does O’Korn.