Another day closer to kickoff, another number to recap with plenty of talent for the Miami Hurricanes. Here are some of the players who have starred in the 31 jersey for the Canes
CB Phillip Buchanon
One of the more outspoken former Canes that you’ll find, Phillip Buchanon was a star at Lehigh Acres (FL) HS. A standout at RB and DB, Buchanon was a 1st team All-State player in his senior year, and finished his HS career with more than 100 tackles and 7 INTs to go along with plenty of offensive statistics (more than 1,000 yards total offense).
A top tier athlete, Buchanon also lettered in Baseball (2nd team all-state with a .463 batting average as a senior), Basketball (4yr letterman, averaged 20.5ppg, 5.5ast, 4.3 stl as a senior), and Track in HS. Of those 3, Track was Buchanon’s best sport. He was able to use his blazing speed to great success, and it helped him clock a 4.3 in the 40 yd dash on the football field as well.
Buchanon enrolled at Miami in 1999. He was a rotation player as a freshman (10 games, 21 tackles) before stepping into a bigger role at DB as a sophomore, playing in all 11 games and totaling 44 tackles, 9 PBUs, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the 2000 season. Buchanon scored 2 TDs that season, one each on an interception return and a punt return.
The breakout for Buchanon came in 2001. He was a full-time starter in the secondary and punt returner, and was a dominant player. He had 24 tackles, 7 PBUs, a forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, 5 interceptions, returning 1 for a TD (and averaging 31.4 yards per INT return), and 31 punt returns, averaging 15 yards per return and taking 2 kicks back for touchdowns. For his performance in 2001, Buchanon was named 1st team All-Big East, and 1st team All-American.
After forgoing his senior season following the Canes’ 2001 National Championship victory over Nebraska in the Rose Bowl, Buchanon was selected 17th overall in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.
Buchanon bounced around the NFL, playing for 5 teams (Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, and Washington Redskins) over the course of his 10 year NFL career. He totaled 388 tackles and 20 interceptions, among other stats, in his NFL career.
One of the more outspoken former Canes (he let his disdain for Al Golden’s scheme and performance known at great length on social media), Buchanon wrote a book New Money: Staying Rich he notes that his mother demanded a million dollars from him after he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders.
LB Sean Spence
One of the leaders of the 2008 recruiting class and HS National Champion Miami (FL) Northwestern Bulls, Spence came to Miami with plenty of HS teammates (7 others from MNW) and palpable buzz. Spence, who had more than 100 tackles as a HS senior, was a 4-star recruit and played in the inaugural Under Armour All-American game.
An undersized OLB with plenty of speed, the 5’11” 190lb Spence would immediately make his presence known at the collegiate level. Spence played in 13 games, starting the final 8, as a freshman, totaling 65 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and an interception, which he returned 7 yards for a TD. Spence was named a Freshman All-American for this performance.
Spence’s production slipped a bit as a sophomore, mainly due to injuries. He rebounded as a junior and a senior accumulating 216 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks across those 2 seasons. Spence bookended his collegiate career with another award, being named 1st team All-ACC as a senior in 2011.
Following his collegiate career, Spence was selected 86th overall in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Spence played for the Steelers for 4 seasons, before moving on to the Tennessee Titans for 1 season, and signed with the Indianapolis Colts for the 2017 season.
DE Demetrius Jackson
The current player wearing 31, redshirt junior Demetrius Jackson looks to be a solid contributor at the defensive end position.
A high school basketball standout at Miami (FL) Booker T. Washington HS, Jackson joined the football team as a senior, forming a formidable DE duo with star Chad Thomas.
Jackson redshirted as a freshman at Miami before working his way into a contributing role over the last 2 seasons. Jackson will likely play top level rotation snaps behind the starting DL, offering good athleticism and a high motor in his time on the field.
Apart from developing as a player, Jackson is well known for his community service efforts. Earlier in the offseason, Jackson was named to the All-State AFCA Good Works team as well as being named to the watchlist for the Wuerffel Trophy, the premier community service award in the CFB world.
Jackson is well respected by his elders and his peers. Due to this respect, Jackson was named to the NCAA rulemaking council as a player representative.
Jackson looks to build on his developing skills, and help Miami win double digit games and the ACC Coastal in the 2017 season.
Others to wear 31: Fred Marion, Darryl Williams