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9 Days to Miami Hurricanes Football: Top Canes to Wear #9

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#9 is one of the most popular jerseys in Miami history

Florida A&M v Miami
Mark Richt is home again, hoping to lead his team back to the promised land
Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Mark Richt

Miami’s Head Ball Coach wore the illustrious #9 while backing up Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly. His QB group while at UM also included Heisman winner Vincent Testaverde as well as Bernie Kosar! While not seeing as much time on the field as most QB’s would like, Richt still managed to put up 1,431 passing yards and 9 TD’s. Before making his way down to Coral Gables, Richt was a star athlete at Boca Raton High. He was recognized all across South Florida for his play at QB, accumulating various awards which eventually helped land him at The U. After his playing days were over, Richt went into coaching at Florida State as a Graduate Assistant in 1985. After a brief one year stint at East Carolina, Richt would return to FSU where he would coach QB’s until he was named Head Coach at Georgia in 2001. He spent 15 seasons in Athens before he came back home to Miami. After an impressive 9-4 debut, the expectations are sky high once again at Miami, in large part due to Coach Richt.

Kevin Beard

Beard is a local guy, coming out of Fort Lauderdale and Plantation High. At Miami he totaled 9 touchdowns with more than 900 receiving yards. He was also a part of the 2001 National Championship squad and best college football team ever. He recorded 409 yards that season. After being at Miami from 1999-2003, Beard was unable to find a spot in the NFL. Instead, he played arena football from 2005 until 2007. He has since ventured into coaching and after spending two years at UM, he is now the WR coach at Tennessee.

Syracuse V Miami X Beard
Kevin Beard is one of many great ones to hold down #9 at The U

Brian Blades

The oldest Blades brother rocked #9 from 1984 to 1987, while racking up 1,493 yards receiving. He came to Miami from Piper High School in Sunrise, Florida. In addition to his yardage numbers, he finished college with 80 catches and 15 TD’s. In 1988, Blades was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2nd Round of the NFL Draft. He would end up playing eleven seasons in Seattle, finishing up his career with 581 catches for 7,260 yards and 34 TD’s. He is a Seahawk legend and was in the 1989 Pro Bowl to go with his All-Pro year.

Sam Shields

Before blossoming as a defensive back and winning Super Bowl XLV with the Green Bay Packers, Sam Shields was making plays at Miami. Coming to school in 2006, Shields played WR where he would record 401 receiving yards to go along with 4 TD’s. It was not until his senior year in 2009 that he made the switch over to DB. After accumulating 75 catches for 971 yards, Shields moved to the other side of the ball. In 2009, Shields made 41 tackles with 1 for a loss. He was not drafted in 2010, but he did sign with Green Bay where he would make a big name for himself. In Green Bay, he had 277 tackles and 23 interceptions. He was a Pro Bowler in 2014 after an impressive season. Today, Shields is a free agent seeking a team for 2017.

Malcolm Lewis

Lewis just finished up his collegiate career last season. He left Coral Gables with 649 yards and 3 TD’s. Before Miami, he was a standout at Miramar High and was recruited by a number of schools. He committed to Miami over Florida State. Lewis went undrafted this past summer but did reach a deal with the Miami Dolphins to continue his football career close to home.

Chad Thomas

Chad Thomas is currently in possession of #9. A five-star recruit out of high school, he has a golden chance to finally prove worthy of the ranking some years later as a senior. He will help anchor one of the best defensive lines in the country in 2017. If healthy, he should start every game for the Canes and use his 6-6 275 lb frame to create havoc on the outside. DE is a deep and talented bunch this year, but Thomas stands as the leader for his final campaign.

Other notable #9’s: Lance Leggett and Omar Rolle