Continuing our countdown, we arrive at 95 days until kickoff. Although backup DT Anthony Moten is the current carrier of the #95 legacy, we are asking: who are the most notable Canes to wear these digits? Well, they include a UM Hall of Fame inductee, an NFL first round draft pick, and a fallen Hurricane.
We begin with one of the original Hurricane National Champions, Kevin Fagan. Known for leveraging his strength to be an exceptional run stopper, Fagan fought off constant double teams from the defensive end position to help lead the Canes to their first National Title in 1983. During the National Championship game versus Nebraska, Fagan recorded 2 sacks and 9 total tackles. Fagan would follow that up with a dominating 1984 season, leading the team in TFL and sacks.
A fourth-round pick by San Francisco in 1986, Kevin would spend his entire eight year professional career with the 49er's. A true champion, Kevin's 49er's would win back-to-back championships in Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV before knee injuries forced him to retire in 1993. He was inducted into the UM Hall of Fame in 2003.
The University of Miami was not DE Jerome McDougle’s first college; in fact, it was his third. McDougle spent his freshman season at Division II Pittsburgh State and his sophomore season at Hinds Community College in Mississippi. After being recruited to Miami by Butch Davis in 2000, McDougle sat out and redshirted his first year at Miami, but saved his best 2 seasons for his last.
McDougle was a key contributor as a junior on the famous 2001 Canes unbeaten squad that defeated Nebraska for the National Championship and is considered one of the best college football teams of all time. McDougle recorded 7 sacks, 15 TFL, and 3 forced fumbles on the run to the title. He followed this performance with a similar effort in 2002 as a senior for the Canes, registering 7 sacks, 16 TFL, and 1 forced fumble before losing to Ohio State in the controversial Fiesta Bowl.
McDougle parlayed his college success into a first round draft selection in the NFL, being selected #15 overall in 2003 by the Philadelphia Eagles, but his pro career would be marred by injuries. One such injury occurred from a gunshot wound in an attempted robbery of his home, causing him to miss the entire 2005 season. He would only tally 3 career sacks before retiring after the 2008 season.
Pata was always a Miami boy, born and bred. After graduating from Miami Central High, Pata was an immediate starter at defensive end as a freshman for the Canes in 2003, registering 4 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries. Injuries and a suspension limited his playing time in 2004 and 2005. He switched to defensive tackle as a senior in 2006 and had 13 tackles, including two sacks, in half a season of play.
Unfortunately, Pata would not finish his senior season or graduate from Miami. On November 7, 2006, Pata was tragically shot to death in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Kendall. His killer was never found.
The team honored Bryan’s memory by playing the rest of the 2006 season in dedication of his life. Players, coaches, students, and faculty held a vigil on campus for Pata and the team would pray before games while overlooking a giant mural of his image.
It’s one of the saddest moments in Miami Hurricanes history: a life and potential NFL career stolen at the age of 22 in a story of what could have been. RIP, Bryan.
So who is the best #95 in Miami history? Make your vote known in the poll or let us know if we forgot anyone in the comments.
Which #95 is the best to play for Miami?
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