What’s up. It’s Thursday, and there’s 51 days left until Miami Hurricanes football, so stay hyped. You know the drill, let’s check out what hard hittin’ badasses have worn number 51 in the orange and green…
This guy is a hands down football legend and definition of a full-blooded Miami Hurricane. There’s not much he didn’t accomplish on the field both at Miami and in the NFL. Vilma attended high school right down Ponce De Leon Blvd at Coral Gables High School. He and Frank Gore torched the competition and figured it’d be fun to head up the road, grab a room in Mahoney, mess around with football some more, and win a national championship. And that’s exactly how it went down. Over his four years in school, Vilma laid some numbing hits, made big play after big play, and entrenched himself in Hurricane lore as one of the school’s greatest linebackers. As quickly as his sophomore year, Vilma made the world aware of who he was en route to a national championship. Check this out: team leading 79 tackles, two forced fumbles, fumble recovery, TD, INT, First-Team All-Big East, and one big smooch on the crystal football. Not a bad sophomore year. Basically rinse and repeat for two more years and Jon Vilma ended up leaving Miami with more accolades than he could remember.
^One of the most vicious hits in Hurricanes history.
The Jets then asked Vilma if he wanted to play some football up in New York in exchange for a few million bucks. He said, “Sure, but only if I can be NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and take a trip to Hawaii in January. But New York is cold, so I eventually want to go party in New Orleans. I’ll go ahead and win a Super Bowl there, go to Hawaii again, and make a few more million bucks. And then I’ll be done.” (that quote is definitely not accurate at all)
After football retirement, Vilma naturally kept crushing it. He was inducted into Iron Arrow (Miami’s highest honor, no big deal), was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame, was hired by ESPN, and started the Jon Vilma Foundation to build schools in Haiti. He also colonized Mars, closed the Chamber of Secrets, and ate six saltine crackers in under a minute.
If you want to know more about Jon Vilma just go ask him yourself. You’re likely to find him hanging around Miami with his boys DJ Williams, Antrel Rolle, etc. Oh yea, I almost forgot. He was also recently appointed to the UM Board of Trustees. Come on Vilma…we get it already…
Overall, Shayon had a solid and productive career at Miami. Initially hampered by a few injuries, Shayon was able to become a solid contributor on the defensive line his junior and senior years. Overcoming an interesting defensive scheme, Shayon was able to lead the team in tackles as a junior and senior and record double digit TFL in his final campaign. I included Shayon in this column because our time at Miami overlapped a bit, and he was one of my favorite players to root for. He’s a really great guy who I think was a victim of unfortunate circumstances of injuries and coaching.
I also included him in this column because I wanted to share the story of a time when I saw him at Barracuda’s bar in the Grove one Thursday night. It was just another classic Grove Thursday starting out at ‘Cudas when here comes ole Shayon, arm cast and all. Dude drops some skrilla in the Touch Tunes (paid the extra dollar for ‘play next’) and on comes the song Scrub da Ground by Splack Pack. If you’ve never heard this song, well, here it is:
Big Mean Shayon Green starts absolutely cutting up the dance floor. I mean, it was far and above Jabbawockeez dance level, and before you know it our entire half of the bar is vibin to Splack Pack. To this day, I still have Scrub da Ground on my gameday playlist all thanks to Shayon. End of story.
Other Notable Cane to Wear 51
Pete Mastellone – UM Sports Hall of Fame Inductee who played defense and fullback post WWII. Helped Miami get to the Orange Bowl in 1951
According to the University of Miami athletic website, there is no current Hurricane wearing #51. In an effort to maintain the glory of the number, I refuse to let it be forgotten in 2017. Thus, I will not wear, but just symbolically carry #51 this season until one, more deserving than I, chooses to adorn himself with it and uphold its legacy. So, dibs.