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22 days to Miami Hurricanes Football: Top Canes to Wear #22

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Who are the best Hurricanes to rock No. 22?

Miami v Duke
Randy Shannon makes his return to Miami in our Countdown to Kickoff today.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Continuing our countdown, we arrive at 22 days until kickoff. While S Sheldrick Redwine and RB Robert Burns are the current holders of the #22 legacy, we want to know: who are the most notable Canes to wear these digits? Today’s all-time list includes a former Miami head coach, a Super Bowl winner, and an NFL first round draft pick.

Randy Shannon

Randy Shannon’s player headshot at UM.
UM Athletic Media Archive

Shannon was recruited as a defensive back by Jimmy Johnson in the Class of 1984 out of Miami Norland High. After redshirting his first year, Shannon was moved to outside linebacker, where he would flourish as a junior. The University of Miami had a magical season in Shannon’s junior year, which culminated in a victory over the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl for the 1987 National Championship. Shannon posted 87 tackles, with 4 for loss in the championship season. In his senior year, Shannon was a valued member of a Miami defense that was ranked second in the nation, finishing the year with 83 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 8 passes defensed, and 3 forced fumbles. Of the 25 games Shannon started for Miami, the Hurricanes went 24-1.

After his Miami career was over, Shannon was reunited with his old coach Jimmy Johnson when he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 11th round of the 1989 NFL Draft. Shannon would not be long for the NFL though, lasting only 2 seasons before returning to Miami as a graduate assistant coach in 1991, when Miami won their 4th national title. Shannon eventually worked his way up to coaching the Miami defensive line by 1992. He then was named the Hurricanes linebackers coach in 1993, where he coached until he rejoined his old coach Jimmy Johnson again in 1998, this time as part of the Miami Dolphins coaching staff as a defensive assistant and, later, linebackers coach.

It was hard to keep Randy away from the Hurricanes, however, as he returned to Coral Gables yet again to be Larry Coker’s defensive coordinator in 2001. That season, Shannon oversaw the nation’s top defense, helping the Canes to an undefeated season and the program’s 5th national title, giving Shannon his 3rd national championship ring with Miami. Shannon kept the standard of top-level defense at Miami over the next 5 years, but the offense struggled, leading to Coker’s eventual firing after the 2006 season.

As we know, Randy was then tapped as Coker’s replacement. It didn’t quite work out for Shannon as the head man, as a 4 year record of 28-22 got him fired after the 2010 season, but he still had some accomplishments to be proud of. He guided the school to the third-best Academic Progress Rate out of FBS teams and in his four-year tenure at Miami, only a single player was arrested.

After leaving Miami, Shannon had stints as TCU’s and Arkansas’ linebackers coach. He currently coaches as UF’s defensive coordinator, where he continues to be a thorn in Miami’s recruiting efforts in South Florida.

Leonard Myers

Leonard Myers (far right) joined a star-studded Miami secondary that included Mike Rumph (far left), Al Blades (middle left), and Ed Reed (middle right).
ESPN

Myers was recruited to Miami by Butch Davis in 1997 out of Dillard High in Fort Lauderdale. At UM, Myers was a part of a starting secondary that was overflowing with NFL talent, including him and Mike Rumph at cornerback, and Ed Reed and Al Blades at safety.

Myers played in 42 games as a Hurricane, starting 20 at cornerback, and made 132 tackles, intercepted nine balls, and broke up 35 passes. While battling through a foot injury in his senior season, he was still a second-team All-Big East selection in 2000.

After his career at Miami came to a close, Myers moved on to the NFL and the New England Patriots would draft him in the 6th round of the 2001 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, Myers played in seven of the team’s first 10 games, and was a part of the Pats’ historic run to their first ever Super Bowl, beginning an NFL dynasty that still continues today. He also played eight games with the Pats in 2002, making one start. Myers then split 2003 with the Detroit Lions and New York Jets. In his NFL career, Myers played in 17 games and made 21 tackles, with one PBU. Myers played in the CFL for one year with the Ottawa Renegades before retiring from football in 2005.

Sadly, Myers lost his long battle with cancer and passed away earlier this year. He was 38 years old.

Kelly Jennings

Miami Hurricanes v Florida State Seminoles
Kelly Jennings breaks up a pass against FSU.
Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Jennings was brought to Miami by Butch Davis in the Class of 2001 out of Suwanee High School. After redshirting on the 2001 national championship team, Jennings was an immediate star as a redshirt freshman on none other than Randy Shannon’s defense, starting all 12 games at corner and recording 25 tackles, 6 PBU’s, and 1 pick on the 2002 team that lost to Ohio State in the infamous Fiesta Bowl title game.

Jennings experienced a down 2003 as a sophomore and even lost his starting job, before returning to form as a junior. However, Jennings’ biggest season came in his swan song year as a Cane in 2005, as he simply couldn’t be thrown on as a senior and was named first-team All-ACC. Jennings posted 32 tackles, 3 INT’s, and a whopping 13 PBU’s in one of the most dominant seasons by a Hurricane CB ever. Jennings finished his Miami career with 37 starts, 105 tackles, 30 PBU’s, and 6 INT’s.

His huge performance as a senior led to the Seattle Seahawks drafting him in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft, which kept Miami’s streak of having a player selected in the first round of 12 straight drafts alive. Jennings would spend 5 seasons with Seattle before being traded to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011, where he would retire from football after the season.

Other Notables

Bruce Johnson: The nephew of Kelly Jennings, Johnson was brought to the U by Larry Coker in the Class of 2005, where he actually played with his uncle for one season. Johnson started 23 games at corner and made 78 tackles and 2 INT’s in his Hurricane career. Johnson went undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft but caught on with the New York Giants as a UDFA and played for them from 2009-2012. Johnson currently plays in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, where he’s been since 2014.

Sheldrick Redwine: Redwine was recruited to Miami by Al Golden in the Class of 2015. After making 5 starts in 2 seasons as a cornerback, Redwine was moved to safety in the offseason as a junior and projects to team with former high school teammate Jaquan Johnson as Miami’s starting duo at safety in 2017. He has 42 tackles and 2 PBU’s so far in his UM career.

Poll

Who is the best #22 to play for the Canes?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Randy Shannon
    (146 votes)
  • 15%
    Leonard Myers
    (41 votes)
  • 27%
    Kelly Jennings
    (72 votes)
  • 2%
    Other
    (7 votes)
266 votes total Vote Now