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Building A Perfect Cane: DE

These five all-time Hurricanes would form the perfect Miami defensive end

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Miami v LSU Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty images

While the defensive line history at Miami is as rich as any programs’, it’s the defensive tackle position that has gotten the most hype. Russell Maryland, Jerome Brown, Warren Sapp, Cortez Kennedy, the list goes on and on. But the defensive edge rushers should not be forgotten either, as some of the best defensive players in Miami history have played lined up across from offensive tackles. If you’re looking for the make-up of the perfect Hurricane DE, look no further than the combination of talents from these five legendary players.

Size: Ted Hendricks (1966-68)

“The Mad Stork” lived up to his nickname as one of the tallest edge players of his era. At 6’7”, Hendricks was a dominant force, a two-time All-American in 1967 and 1968, and finished fifth in the Heisman voting in ‘68. Not just a physical freak, Hendricks still holds the record for most tackles by a defensive lineman in the program’s history, with 327.

Inducted into the Miami, College Football and NFL Halls of Fame, Hendricks succeeded at every level of the game and his frame would make the perfect template for a perfect Canes’ DE.

Speed and Quickness: Danny Stubbs (1984-87)

Still the all-time leader in sacks for the Canes, Stubbs was a QB’s worst nightmare through four years and 39.5 sacks. He also holds the record for most sacks in a single season with 17 in 1986. Originally recruited as a linebacker, head coach Jimmy Johnson convinced Stubbs to play with his hand in the dirt as a traditional 4-3 end and the rest was history.

Stubbs’ combination of speed and quickness, just average for an off-ball linebacker, made him a great defensive end when challenging offensive tackles off the snap. In his highlights at Miami, it’s not uncommon to see Stubbs run right by lineman while on his way to the QB.

Power: Jerome McDougle (2000-02)

One of the best enforcers along the defensive line on the 2001 squad, McDougle was proficient at both rushing the passer and stopping the run. The biggest part of McDougle’s game was his strength and power, able to set the edge to keep the outside run unavailable to RBs. At the same time, he used his strong hands and bull-rush ability to free himself from offensive lineman and create pressures and sacks, racking up 14 in his two years with Miami.

Tackling: Calais Campbell (2004-07)

With the all-time tackles leader for lineman already taking up the size category, Campbell will slot in as one of the best tacklers Miami has seen at the defensive end position. In just one starting season, Campbell proved to be a physically-imposing disruptor, as well as an exceptional tackler.

As consistent as they came, Campbell was a dual-threat as an edge player and rarely missed tackles. He racked up 55 tackles in 2006, including 20 for loss and 10.5 sacks. Campbell may not have had longevity at Miami but his 2006 season was among the best single season for any Miami DE.

Texas A&M v Miami Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Intangibles: Greg Mark (1986-89)

While he was overshadowed by some of the bigger names along the defensive line at the height of the Canes’ dynasty, Mark was a consistent performer and a presence that his teammates could always rely on. He was a first-team All-American in 1989 and semifinalist for the Lombardi Trophy. He’s also second in career sacks, 34.5, and sacks in a single season, 15.5 in 1989. Mark’s desire to be a leader continued after his playing days were over, joining the Miami coaching staff in 1992 as a graduate assistant and, after a brief stay in Utah for 1995, coached the defensive line until 2005. He earned three rings with the Canes, two as a player and one as a coach.