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99 days to Miami Hurricanes Football: Top Canes to wear No. 99

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You can’t wear number 100, so our countdown to kickoff starts with those who wear 99.

NCAA Football: Duke at Miami
VIPER Joe Jackson (99) looks to add to the legacy of no. 99 at The U.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Hello there Canes fans!

We know the offseason is long. We know that you’re clamoring for Football content in any form. We know you’re counting the days until the Miami Hurricanes kick off the 2017 season.

So, we here at State of the U are going to countdown with you!!

But, instead of just posting a picture on our social media accounts, we’re going to go to the next step and profile some players from Miami Hurricanes’ Past and Present.

Today marks the beginning of our countdown to kickoff, with the Canes’ 2017 season opener vs Bethune Cookman just 99 days away on September 2, 2017. And, to begin our countdown, which we hope you comment freely on and enjoy, we’re going to look at players who excelled wearing jersey #99.

When considering the players who have donned the double 9’s for Miami, there are a couple names that stand out: Winston Moss and Joe Jackson.

A Miami native who attended Southridge HS, Winston Moss made the decision to stay home and attend the University of Miami. As a freshman in 1983, Moss was one of very few first year players who contributed to the Hurricanes’ National Championship team, doing so as a Defensive End.

In 1984, Moss alternated between DE and OLB, playing both with great success. In 1985 and 86, Moss started exclusively at OLB, and totaled 162 tackles in those 2 years. Not only was Moss good in general, but he was especially great against the Florida Gators, posting 12 tackles vs UF as a junior and 17 tackles and a sack vs UF as a senior.

OLB Winston Moss (99) making a tackle vs UF.
St. Petersburgh Times

After a stellar college career which included a National Championship and a 40-9 overall record, Moss was a 2nd round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1987 NFL Draft. Moss played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Bucs, the Oakland Raiders, and the Seattle Seahawks. Moss started 160 of 169 career NFL games, a testament to his skill and longevity in the league.

In recognition of his outstanding achievements at the University of Miami, Winston Moss was inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

After his NFL playing career ended, Moss transitioned into the world of coaching. After stops with the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints, Moss is the Associate Head Coach/LB coach for the Green Bay Packers, a position he has held since 2006. Moss-coached LBs have been some of the most productive in the NFL, a testament to his skills as a coach of the position at which he personally excelled for many years.

In the current generation of Miami Hurricanes Football, the 99 is donned by budding superstar VIPER Joe Jackson.

Another Miami native, Jackson attended Gulliver Prep. Following a stellar HSFB career, Jackson enrolled at the University of Miami in the spring of 2016.

After Miami dismissed the probable starter at the VIPER position, Jackson took advantage of the opportunity and seized the available playing time before him. After being a rotation player early in the season — and a damn good one at that — Jackson emerged in the starting role midway through the year and never looked back.

Jackson ended the 2016 season as a Freshman All-American, totaling 32 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, including a fumble returned 18 yards for a TD.

With elite speed for a rush end, Jackson was an absolute terror for the opposition to block. He improved as a run defender as the year wore on, and continued to get after the QB while doing it.

Through the 2016 recruiting cycle, I would tell anybody who would listen that Joe Jackson was a cyborg, and if not for the fact that he committed early to Miami and never wavered on that commitment, he would have been a 5-star rated recruit and everybody’s All-American. It only took a couple games into his freshman season for Jackson to prove me right.

And, with his combination of size, speed, performance, and the tutelage of DL coach Craig Kuligowski, Joe Jackson could end up being the best player ever to wear 99 at Miami.

Is Moss the best 99 in Canes History? Does Jackson already hold the title after 1 year? Is there another 99 that you’re #MadOnline that didn’t get the respect you think they should? Vote in the poll and hop in the comments and let me know.

Go Canes

Poll

Which Miami 99 is the best to ever do it for the Canes?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    DE/OLB Winston Moss
    (183 votes)
  • 30%
    VIPER Joe Jackson
    (85 votes)
  • 3%
    Other (leave name in comments)
    (11 votes)
279 votes total Vote Now