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33 days to Miami Hurricanes Football: Top Canes to Wear #33

Who are the best Hurricanes to rock No. 33?

Donnell Bennett flees from a Penn State defender.
Getty Images

Continuing our countdown, we arrive at 33 days until kickoff. While Trusty Trent Harris is the current holder of the #33 legacy, we want to know: who are the most notable Canes to wear these digits? Today’s all-time list includes 2 national championship winners that went on to have long careers in the NFL.

Brett Perriman

Brett Perriman goes up for a pass against FSU.
Slater Scoops

After an impressive career catching passes at Miami Northwestern, Perriman was brought into Miami by Jimmy Johnson in the Class of 1984. Standing at 5’9 180 pounds, the diminutive but speedy Perriman often found himself as the third option in a dynamic Hurricane passing attack that also included Michael Irvin and Brian Blades. That wouldn’t stop Perriman from becoming a highly valued contributor in his 4 seasons at UM, though. He caught 62 passes for 1073 yards and 6 TDs in his 4 years with the Canes, but his most important role may have been on special teams, where he served as Miami’s punt returner for all four of his seasons in Coral Gables. His UM career culminated in an undefeated season and national championship victory over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl in 1987.

Perriman then went on the NFL, being drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft. Finally out of the shadow of Irvin and Blades, Perriman’s true talent began to shine. After a slow first 3 seasons with the Saints, Perriman broke out as a star when he was traded to the Detroit Lions, teaming with Hall of Famers Barry Sanders and Herman Moore to become a weapon in a feared Lions offensive attack.

His career year came in a huge 1995 season, where he caught 108 balls for 1,488 yards and 9 touchdowns. Perriman had another big season in 1996 with Detroit before signing with the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency in 1997. KC didn’t quite workout though, and he moved back home to Miami when he was acquired by the Dolphins at mid-season, where he then ended his career after 10 pro seasons. Perriman currently ranks third on Detroit's all-time list with 428 receptions for 5,244 yards.

Just last year, Perriman suffered a scary stroke that left him clinging to his life. However, he recovered and seems to be doing much better in 2017; he is thankful that he will be around to watch his son, Breshad, play in the NFL. Breshad Perriman was a star receiver at UCF and became a first round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2015, where he is expected to be a starter this season.

Donnell Bennett

Donnell Bennett
Card Magnet

As a big bruising running back, Bennett was recruited by coach Dennis Erickson to join the Hurricanes in the Class of 1990 after a standout career in wrestling and football at Cardinal Gibbons High. While at the U, Bennett made friends and became roommates with some guy named Dwayne Johnson.

After redshirting in 1990, Bennett played a bit role on the 1991 Hurricane national championship team, with Stephen McGuire, Larry Jones, and Martin Patton handling the bulk of the backfield work. By his redshirt sophomore season in 1992, however, Bennett had overtaken McGuire and Jones (Patton had since graduated) to become the lead back in the Hurricane offense, leading the team in carries in 1992 and 1993. Bennett finished his Canes career with 258 carries for 1,075 yards with 15 TD’s in 3 seasons of play.

Bennett then forfeited his last year of eligibility to head to the league, and he was selected in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Bennett was up to 6’0 242 pounds by the time he went to the NFL, and while he still played some running back, he also moonlighted at fullback as a pro. Bennett was mostly a rotational player in the NFL, making only 29 starts over 8 seasons of play. He spent 7 of those with the Chiefs and signed with the Washington Redskins as a free agent in 2001 to be their starting fullback, before retiring after the 2001 season.

After his playing career wrapped up, Bennett got into coaching the youth of South Florida. Bennett coached recent Hurricane graduate Stacy Coley as head coach of Northeast High, then moved on to become the head man at Coral Springs Christian, and is now back as the head coach of his alma mater, Cardinal Gibbons, where his son Donnell Bennett III is a star linebacker.

Other Notables

Trent Harris: Known as “Trusty Trent” by teammates and staff, Harris has played a lot of football for the Canes over the last 3 years, making 18 starts and racking up 89 tackles, 15.5 TFL’s and 6.5 sacks working at defensive end. He always seems to be in the right position to make a play and never makes mental errors; Harris just gets his job done. Going into his senior season, Harris will likely take a back seat to the more talented duo of Chad Thomas and Joe Jackson at DE, but there will always be a role for heady players like Harris in the game. Look for him to provide solid depth on a defensive line that is poised to be one of the nation’s best in 2017.

Poll

Who is the best #33 to play for the Canes?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Brett Perriman
    (135 votes)
  • 12%
    Donnell Bennett
    (20 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (3 votes)
158 votes total Vote Now