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56 Days to Miami Hurricanes Football: Top Canes to wear 56

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Barrow and Pinckney wear 56 with pride

Florida Atlantic v Miami

Micheal Barrow, Linebacker

UM Sports Hall of Famer Mike Barrow was a major contributor to the 1989 national title team, a three year starter at the University of Miami and a leader on the 1991 title team. He left Miami with only four losses over his four years and the two national titles. Barrow was one of Keith Jackson’s favorite players- oft mentioned as the leader on ABC broadcasts. Barrow was also a consensus All-American linebacker in 1992.

Being the leader of the Hurricanes in the 90’s was a tough gig knowing you had to keep guys in line and focused on multiple national title runs. Barrow also had to take care of his mom and brother after Hurricane Andrew. In a New York Times article by Charles Noble from August 31 in 1992, the writer talked about Barrow’s work in South Florida.

"Everybody respects him," said senior cornerback Ryan McNeil. "And everybody knows what he's gone through."

Barrow was always a forward thinker and community leader. In that same NYT article, he had a master plan:

"This game against Iowa is going to benefit ABC," he said of the television network that will televise it. "It's going to benefit the University of Miami and it's going to benefit Iowa. But is it going to benefit the community down there? So we want to sit down with them and see if they can donate some of their revenue from this game.

As a player, Barrow has one of the #Canes’ most legendary hits, below against Florida State and Mr. Tamarick Vanover. Barrow was known for running the defense, making big plays when needed the most (think 1992 versus Penn State on 4th and 1) and looking dominant at 6-2 235lbs.

Drafted by the Houston Oilers* in the second round of the 1993 NFL Draft, Barrow had a 12 year NFL career. He played in a Super Bowl with the New York Giants along side fellow Hurricane Jessie Armstead and compiled 791 tackles over his career.

Barrow was a volunteer coach at Homestead High School, coached Linebackers at Miami from 2007-2013, and has been with the Seahawks as an assistant since 2015. Barrow was named Assistant Head Coach heading into the 2017 season.

Barrow is the epitome of a Hurricane and is one of the first names I think of when someone asks me why I love The U.


Mike Pinckney, Linebacker (current)

While Shaq Quarterman looks and plays like Barrow, Mike Pinckney wears his number. Pinckney is a rising sophomore from Raines high playing the Will LB position for Manny Diaz. Mike is a 6-1 220lbs linebacker that can run and hits like Ray Lewis. He picked up 61 tackles with 7.5 for a loss and 2.5 sacks as a true freshman in 2016. Heading into 2017 he looks every bit the part of a classic Hurricane.

Mike plays with an old school tenacity you don’t see often in today’s game. We don’t have as much info to work on as with Barrow but this 56 will have a great career at UM.

Us fanboys have even dubbed McCloud, Quarterman and Pinckney the Bermuda Triangle 2.0. 1.0 was Mike Barrow, Jessie Armstead and Darren Smith who won Super Bowls, national titles, and a hell of a lot of games in orange and green. Let’s hope this trio can do the same.


Santonio Thomas, Defensive Line

The 300 pound defensive tackle played at Miami from 2000-2004 during the Canes rise back to dominance before this current decade long fall from grace. Thomas is infamous as a player that would have been a Florida Gator and is one of the straws that pushed Steve Spurrier to the NFL (read more here). Thomas totaled 67 tackles and 3 sacks while at Miami and signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent. He then played for the Browns in the NFL as well.


Raphael Kirby, Linebacker

Kirby, another linebacker in 56, compiled 124 tackles over his four year career and started 19 games for The U. After a short stint with the Lions, Kirby was released in 2016.