I was sitting in my mom's hotel room in Tallahassee waiting for the phone to ring. It was going to be the University of Miami's admission office. I was waiting to see if my grades at Florida State were good enough to transfer to Coral Gables.
The phone call ultimately came in and I was told that I qualified for admission. I packed up my Nissan 200 SX and headed south to the greatest University in all of the land. Florida State served its purpose and taught me how to adjust to college, but my loyalties led me back to UM and I was about to be a Hurricane.
I had come home for the UM-FSU football game my sophomore year and realized that my home was in the Orange Bowl. I watched Vinny Testaverde scorch the Seminoles all afternoon and even though I wore Garnett and Gold, I still relished the UM victory and knew that it was time to look into transferring schools. This goose was cooked and it was time to pack up and head home.
It all started in 1979 when Jim Kelly led a Miami team past Penn State in Happy Valley. That is what opened my eyes. I was attracted to the school when they won the national title in 1983 and Kenny Calhoun batted down that final Turner Gill pass to seal the natty for the home team. I was home in bed with the flu, but I was cheering like a Hurricane and I knew that one day I would be a Cane.
When it came time to apply for college, I had a mental lapse and decided to go to Florida State. I was always a Bobby Bowden fan and I do not regret the course that I took. Florida State helped me adjust to college life and prepare for the success that I earned at UM.
My junior year I was on the sideline when Michael Irvin blasted Deion Sanders and the FSU secondary in Tallahassee as Miami won from behind and later won another national title. The Playmaker and I became friends, as I did with many members of the athletic program.
Miami did not lose a game while I went to school there, after the loss to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl. Even though I was not officially a student when that game was played, I was still devastated after the loss.
My first semester at UM I started covering the baseball team and became friends with Ron Fraser and Jay Rokeach. Coach Fraser is the greatest coach that I have ever met and embodied everything that you would want in a man representing your school. JayRo, as he is known around the diamond, has the voice of an angel and is Miami's official voice of Canes Baseball and his voice reasonates around Mark Light Field.
I will never forget that first semester, it proved that you could come home again and it also proved that Miami is the greatest University on this planet and I could not ever think of what my life would be like if I did not come home to the U and graduate in the blazing sun of Coral Gables. This was before the BUC was built so graduation was outside in the sweltering heat.