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Herb Waters recognized as Miami's unsung hero of 2015

The numbers are not overwhelming. Miami senior Herb Waters finished the season with 38 catches, 607 yards and a single touchdown.

Yet when the program announced its postseason awards a few weeks ago, the coaching staff made it a point to recognize Waters. He was named Miami’s unsung hero in 2015.

We feel very much the same here at the ACC blog, having also named Waters as the Hurricanes’ most undervalued player this season.

Off the field, it’s clear Waters was among the team's leaders, and Miami relied heavily on its locker room influences this season considering the adverse situations they encountered in October. Waters is not a big talker, but the four-year contributor has the respect of his teammates.

On the field, Waters emerged as Miami’s downfield threat, a component many fans feared would be missing entering 2015 with the departure of first-round draft pick Phillip Dorsett. Waters finished sixth in the ACC at 15.97 yards per catch. He didn’t go down easy after catching the ball either, finishing fourth in the conference in average yards after contact per reception (2.37).

His best games came when Miami needed it most. Following a close loss to rival Florida State, the Hurricanes faced Virginia Tech. Waters extended a scoring drive with a third-down catch early in the game, and he caught a 45-yard pass on a 3rd-and-20 pass to keep alive a drive that would end with a touchdown right before halftime to give Miami the lead at the break. In the fourth quarter, he caught a 27-yard pass on a touchdown drive that salted the win away.

Against Duke, Waters caught a 23-yard pass to start a drive beginning deep in Miami territory. He ended the drive with another long reception -- a touchdown from 33 yards out to give Miami the lead. Playing with a backup quarterback, Waters caught four passes for 77 yards and the score.

When Miami needed a leader, on and off the field, Waters was there. His stats don’t begin to tell the story of Miami’s unsung hero and his senior season.