The finish line is finally in view as we’re a mere six days away from kickoff. Six is a cool number, so there were quite a few notable Canes to wear the digit. Let’s take a look:
Somehow, Santana had to join Miami’s football team as a walk-on in 1997, and he’s now probably idolized by all walk-ons as their hero. He was also a big hero for all Miami Hurricanes and is one of the greatest receivers to ever wear The U. As fast as lightning, Moss used his world class speed to amass 2,547 receiving yards, 19 receiving touchdowns, 1,196 put return yards, and 6 punt return TDs at Miami. Moss finished at Miami as the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards, punt return yards, and all-purpose yards. He also competed in track and field and won the triple jump at the 2000 Big East Championships. Moss was always a big play threat and produced some of the greatest plays in Canes history. For all these accomplishments and more, Santana Moss was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
In the NFL, Moss was equally as impressive. He was drafted with the sixteenth overall pick by the New York Jets, but spent the majority of his career in Washington with the Redskins. Over his fourteen years in the league, Santana secured 700 receptions for 10,283 yards and 66 touchdowns. He was elected to his sole Pro Bowl in 2005.
Shouts to Kenny Berry who was a starting defensive back on Miami’s 1989 Championship team. Berry came from Pahokee high school where he was a star cornerback. He continued to excel in college and contributed to some of Miami’s greatest teams from 1986-1989. After his time at Miami, he spent a year with the San Diego Chargers.
Post retirement, Kenny Berry has dedicated himself to coaching high school football and continues to be involved with his alma mater. Kenny’s son, Damien, was a legacy player for Miami. He was a notable force at running back for the Canes from 2007-2010.
My personal favorite all-time Cane, Antrel Rolle was an absolute beast on the field. A physically imposing cornerback at Miami from 2001-2004, Rolle was an All-American, First-team All-Big East, and First-team All-ACC selection. Rolle was able to shutdown anyone one-on-one including Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. He recorded 183 tackles and 8 interceptions while at Miami. While opponents were rarely daring enough to throw his way, Rolle still found a way to make plays with 16 career tackles for loss and a punt return touchdown.
Rolle was drafted with the eighth overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2005. In the NFL, Rolle eventually transitioned to the starting safety position. He played in the league for ten years with the Cardinals, Giants, and a final year with the Bears. Overall, Rolle finished with 834 tackles, 4 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, 69 pass deflections, 26 interceptions, and 5 touchdowns. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants.
In retirement, Rolle is still passionate about the Miami Hurricanes and has partnered up with some of his former teammates in some football focused ventures.
Lamar is a guy who could be a good value pick in your fantasy football draft this year. He’s on his second year with the Texans after signing a $26M four-year deal. Prior to that Miller played four years with his hometown Dolphins who selected him in the fourth round of the 2012 draft.
In college, Miller was a former highly touted recruit who had size and speed. After redshirting his first year, Lamar Miller made a name for himself quickly with his break-away play potential. Even though he had some nagging injuries, Miller was able to rush for over 1,000 yards his redshirt sophomore year which had not been accomplished since Willis McGahee in 2002. Miller’s two year playing career at Miami culminated in 1,918 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns.
Having a top 5 all-time name, Stanley Shakespeare was a wide receiver on Miami’s 1983 National Championship team. He also played one year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tragically, Shakespeare passed in 2005 at the age of 42 from a boating accident.
A recent departure from the Miami roster, Jamal was a safety who loved to lay the wood and intimidate opponents physically. Carter came to Miami as a four star safety at Miami Southridge and was able to make some impact on the field his first three years. Unfortunately, Carter’s traits weren’t quite the best fit for D’Onofrio’s defensive scheme. Manny Diaz, however, saw Carter for the hardnosed football player he was and set him loose in his attacking style defense. As a senior, Jamal broke out and had a career high 85 tackles (team leading) and started every game.
He was passed up in the 2017 NFL draft, but found a good home in Denver where they signed him to one of the highest free agent contracts in franchise history. The Broncos hope to have landed a hidden gem and so far Carter has impressed. He led all tacklers in his first preseason game and will likely contribute on special teams and as a hybrid safety/linebacker this upcoming season.
Jhavonte Dean currently wears number six for the Hurricanes. A hometown kid from South Dade, Dean spent two years at Blinn College where he was rated the top junior college cornerback. He jumped at the chance to play for the Miami Hurricanes where his impressive size will likely earn him significant playing time this year and he’s already proven himself as a playmaker in the first three scrimmages. I expect Dean to be a breakout star this year and continue Miami’s rich history of great defensive backs.