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2 Days To Miami Hurricanes Football: Top Canes to Wear No. 2

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An All-Time RB Great and Reggae Legend’s Son

Willis McGahee evades
If this guy was running at me, I would hide

We’re at the final 48 hours ‘til kickoff. Get pumped. Here are some of the best Canes to wear #2. LET’S GO!

Willis McGahee

I hate to start off this way, but McGahee’s gnarly Fiesta Bowl knee injury will always be burned in my memory. That was a terrible way to end what was an exceptional career at Miami in which he earned All-American and All-Big East honors along with being named a Heisman finalist. Due to unreal depth at RB, McGahee redshirted his first year and then played behind Clinton Portis on the 2001 National Championship squad. In 2002, McGahee had the whole show to himself, and he set six school records that year including rushing yards (1,753, holy crap), carries (282, dang), and touchdowns (28, double dang). As one of the greatest running backs in Miami history on an already long list, Willis was inducted into the Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. The guy could straight up run.

After college, the Buffalo Bills came knocking and McGahee answered the door as the 23rd overall pick. He gave Buffalo two 1,000 yard rushing seasons before the frigid winters got to him. In 2007, he was traded to the Ravens where he spent the next four seasons and did enough to be selected to two Pro Bowls. Eventually, the aging McGahee was phased out by Ray Rice and was released. Free to pick his landing spot, McGahee flew out to the Mile High City where he was able to muster one more 1,000 yard season for the Broncos. A successful, long ten-year career ended in Cleveland, and all-in-all McGahee finished with 8,474 rushing yards and 65 TDs. Pretty good if you ask me.

Rohan Marley

Yup, you guessed it. Rohan Marley is the son of THE Bob Marley and was one of the most passionate football players to ever take the Orange Bowl field. Small in stature but large in heart, Rohan was a headhunting linebacker at only 5’8”. Marley played at Miami from 1992-1994 and led the team in tackles in 1993…and that was while playing next to Ray Lewis. Rohan is a beloved Hurricane because he epitomized the passion and swagger that made Miami great.

Marley spent some time in the CFL after leaving Miami and has gone on to become a bit of an entrepreneur. He has established Marley Coffee company and is involved with 1Love charity.

Burgess Owens

Burgess was a Tallahassee kid who made his way all the down to Coral Gables in 1969, and thank goodness he did. Owens played sparingly at receiver his freshman year and was switched to cornerback his sophomore year. Owens had a knack for causing turnovers and finished his Miami career with 10 interceptions and was named first team All-American in 1972. Owens was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 following a ten year NFL career with the Jets and Raiders. As a pro, Burgess Owns was a first round pick at the safety position and made his sole Pro Bowl in his final year.

Jon Beason

Beason definitely earned his nickname “Big Beas” being an all-around freak athlete. He’s basically like that guy everyone knows who could never have played a sport, picks it up the first time, and is already the best player on the team. He came to Miami in 2003 as a fullback but a shoulder injury forced him to take a medical redshirt. Following his RS year, Beason was moved to linebacker where he made an immediate impact playing in all 12 games. He played multiple linebacker positions while at Miami and also contributed to the track team as a long jumper. His combination of size, speed, and instinct earned him 187 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and an INT by the time he left Miami.

The Panthers picked Beason in the first round, 25th overall, and he made 140 tackles in his outstanding rookie year. Beason was an All-Pro in 2008 and 2009 and made three Pro Bowls from 2008-2010. Unfortunately, the injury bug kept biting Beason and with the emergence of Luke Kuechly, Beason was dealt to the New York Giants. Unable to overcome injuries, Beason spent only three years in New York before he retired after the 2015 season. Most recently, Jon made a generous contribution of $250,000 toward the Miami’s planned indoor practice facility. Thanks Jon!

Miami Hurricanes v Maryland Terrapins Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Graig Cooper

I remember my first game freshman year watching ‘Coop’ absolutely tear Marshall apart and was excited for his years to come. Splitting time with Javarris James his freshman year, Cooper flashed ability with his shiftiness and breakaway capability. I can still hear the ‘COOOOOOP’ cheers in my head. Graig was a solid back over his three years at Miami, but unfortunately never quite turned the corner to greatness. His final game was the Champs Sports Bowl in which he suffered a knee injury due to poor field conditions. Understandably, Cooper elected to forego a fourth year and head to the NFL instead. He never quite caught on in the pros but is regarded by Miami fans as the staple running back during the Randy Shannon years.

Miami v Florida State Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Kenny Calhoun

Absolutely have to give Kenny Calhoun props as the guy who made the most iconic play in Miami Hurricanes history. As Nebraska lined up for a 2-point conversion with the intent to win a National Championship, Kenny Calhoun was poised patiently to ruin their chances. The play unfolded with the QB rolling Kenny’s direction. As the ball was thrown his way, Calhoun dove to deflect the pass and earn Miami an Orange Bowl victory and first National Championship. The man who started it all. Nothing more to say here than ‘Nice play Kenny’.

Deon Bush

Deon was a four star safety out of Columbus High who joined Al Golden’s first recruiting class. Bush saw action right away as a freshman and earned second-team Freshman All-American honors at safety. As a sophomore, he continued to earn more playing time and snagged his first pick against FSU. Bush made his name as a smart, reliable safety who played with physicality. He was an All-ACC honorable mention selection as a sophomore and junior, and a third team selection as a senior. Bush was a top defender for the Canes who totaled 168 tackles, 9 forced fumbles, and 4 interceptions.

Deon was picked by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round, but has thus far struggled to make an impact.

Miami v Boston College Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Trajan Bandy

Trajan Bandy is a scrappy young cornerback set on bringing Miami back to prominence. Originally committed to Oklahoma, Bandy’s heart was always with the Canes. Richt made Bandy a priority in the 2017 class and eventually was able to switch his commitment to Miami.

Bandy is a tough kid who will definitely see the field this year on special teams and at nickel. He fits perfectly with Diaz’ scheme and should become a legitimate starter over his career at Miami. Looking forward to watching Bandy play this year.