Only 11 days remain before Miami Hurricanes football returns to the field. While we get closer to kickoff, State of the U continues the countdown until games mean something. Today we examine some of the best players to wear No. 11.
“All I do is win win win no matter what.”
“All I Do is Win,” DJ Khaled ft. T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, and Rick Ross
Having grown up in Orinda, California, Dorsey attended Miramonte High School. During his two seasons on the Matadors varsity team he amassed 4,968 passing yards and 52 touchdowns. With offers from all parts of the country, Dorsey traveled by motorhome with his mother to the University of Miami, ultimately trading life by the Pacific for one by the Atlantic when he accepted a scholarship.
Nothing was given to Dorsey when he arrived at Miami. His unflappable nature and willingness to take on whatever was placed in front of him explains why he was one of the top players during Miami’s peak years. Not known for being supremely athletic, Dorsey made sure to outwork the players he lined up with and against on Saturdays.
When Dorsey was called to enter a game after starting quarterback Kenny Kelly went down to injury, the young QB was unphased by the bright lights of division one football. Dorsey brought stability and leadership to the position that the Hurricanes needed. Becoming the starter at quarterback his sophomore year, he took the offense to an elite level. Although we hear current head coach Mark Richt preach the importance of the quarterback not turning the ball over, Dorsey was actually the one who lived that philosophy. He passed for 25 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions as the Hurricanes went 12–1 in the 2000 season, including a spectacular Sugar Bowl 37–20 victory over the Florida Gators. Dorsey left the Louisiana Superdome with the Miller-Digby Award as the Sugar Bowl MVP.
The Hurricanes aimed higher in 2001, with aspirations of playing for a national championship. On a team stacked with NFL talent, such as Jonathan Vilma, Sean Taylor, Brett Romberg, Kellen Winslow Jr., and Antrel Rolle, Ken Dorsey did not take a backseat to any teammate. In fact, he was more likely to get into someone’s face for not pulling their weight and slacking during practices and workouts. Dorsey quarterbacked the greatest collegiate football team of all time to an undefeated record. He passed for 23 touchdowns with 9 interceptions, averaging a 57.9 completion percentage. Miami capped the season by demolishing the Nebraska Cornhuskers by a score of 37–14. Dorsey and wide receiver Andre Johnson were named co-MVPs of the game. Dorsey went on to be named the 2001 Maxwell Award winner and a Heisman Trophy finalist.
When Dorsey returned for his senior year, the Hurricanes picked up where they left off, stringing together 12 straight victories to once again make it to the BCS National Championship Game. The Hurricanes would have won their sixth national championship had it not been for a flag.. This one moment ruined a dream season for Dorsey and the rest of the senior class. Finishing with 28 touchdowns and 3,369 passing yards, a career best, Dorsey likely would have wanted a national championship ring with those stats. He finished fifth in Heisman voting for the 2002 season.
Dorsey graduated with a double major in Marketing and Business Management. By the time he left the University of Miami, he was a member of the Iron Arrow Honor Society and a Big East All-Academic Team member from 2000 to 2002. He was also named Big East Offensive Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002. He owned eight school records, which included 31 consecutive games with a touchdown pass and most consecutive passes without an interception. Dorsey entrenched himself on the Mount Rushmore of Hurricane signal-callers with the likes of Gino Torretta, Vinny Testaverde, Steve Walsh, Craig Erickson, Jim Kelly, and Bernie Kosar.
Dorsey was drafted in the seventh round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He spent six years in the NFL, later playing for the Cleveland Browns. Before he headed to the sidelines, his career included a stint in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts. He currently works with Cam Newton as the Carolina Panthers’ QB coach.
Covington is another Hurricane pivot who left California to play his college ball at the University of Miami. He served as a backup quarterback until Ryan Clement went down to injury during the 1997 season. Covington’s best season was also his last as a Hurricane, where he passed for 2,301 yards, 19 touchdowns, and a 58.9 completion percentage. Selected by the Bengals in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft, Covington played in the NFL for five seasons. He ended his NFL career as a St. Louis Ram, and in 2005 he played for the Toronto Argonauts.
Frank Costa broke just about every high school passing record in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania while attending Saint Joseph Preparatory School, including passing yards and completions in a season and career.
Recruited to Miami by fellow Pennsylvania native Art Kehoe, Costa came to love the culture and system that was being built at the University of Miami. After playing sparingly behind Gino Torretta, Costa bloomed during his junior and senior seasons. He started in 22 games for the Hurricanes, finishing with a 22–3 record for his collegiate career. His most impressive season came during his senior year in 1994 when he passed for 2,443 yards and 15 touchdowns.
From Vero Beach to Coral Gables, Dale Dawkins made it happen at the wide receiver position.
Dawkins’ 1989 season was one for the record books. His 833 receiving yards currently ranks ninth and his 54 receptions eighth in program history. By the end of his career, Dawkins accumulated 1,341 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns, and 87 receptions.
Dawkins was selected in the ninth round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, and he stayed with the team until 1993.
Hackett, a diminutive quarterback who went by the nickname “Mighty Mouse,” overcame not just his small size but also polio. The four-year starter at quarterback for McKeesport High School fought off the disease and was deemed healthy upon enrolling as a freshman at the University of Miami. Hackett was the Hurricanes’ starting quarterback from 1949 to 1951. In one of his most memorable games, he led the Hurricanes to upset the number-one ranked Purdue Boilermakers in the 1950 season.
An uber-talented wide receiver out of Melbourne, Florida, Scott was an athletic yet raw talent upon his arrival at the University of Miami. Injuries struck during his freshman season in 2011, and he was forced to take a redshirt after another season-ending injury before the 2014 season. Truly saving his best season for his last year of eligibility, Scott started 11 of 13 games in 2015. He set career highs in receiving yards (695) and touchdowns (5) and added 52 receptions to lead the Hurricanes in each of these categories.
Scott went undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft. He continues to play football in the Miami after signing with the Dolphins.
One of the earliest members of “Quarterback U”, James led the Hurricanes offense during the 1952 and 1953 season. At one point James set numerous watermarks in the passing game, holding the record in 1952 for completions (82), attempts (144), yards (913) and completion percentage (56.9). A member of the Iron Arrow Society, James would go on to coach FSU, Michigan, Colorado, and Kent State. He ultimately became the head coach at the University of Washington. James was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
De’Andre Wilder (current)
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