Chasing ghosts is a familiar goal for many collegiate football players. You walk through the athletic wing, surrounded by names of years past. Monuments and tapestries of players and coaches who helped build The U into the brand it is today.
Considering the prominence given to such players, it’s only naturally for someone to want to leave their legacy before they move on from the program.
His 26 touchdown passes last season place him in a three-way tie for the fourth most in a single season along with Vinny Testaverde (1986) and Brad Kaaya (2014). He was just three TDs short of Steve Walsh’s UM record of 29 touchdown passes in a single season.
In his career so far, Rosier has 28 touchdowns for Miami. If he’s able to score 12 more times, which he very well should do, Rosier will enter the top 10 in all-time career passing yardage in UM history. While catching the likes of Dorsey and Kaaya who sit atop the list would take a record-setting effort, the Mobile, Alabama, native can cement his legacy in his final season with the ’Canes.
Given Rosier’s penchant to scramble, he’s also a candidate to rise up Miami’s total touchdown list. Dorsey still remains the king of the mountain with his 88 total touchdowns. If Rosier is able to get close to Dorsey’s numbers, it means he’s having a Heisman-worthy year, with a puncher’s chance at 34 career touchdowns (passing and rushing).
Travis Homer currently sits at 1,010 career rushing yards in two seasons with the Hurricanes. Homer just finished outside of the 1,000 rushing yard club with 966 in 2017. While reaching the 1000 yard mark on the ground surely will please the NFL scouts who are curious about his translation to their game, it would also see Homer enter the program’s upper echelon of all-time greats to have carried the ball out of the backfield for UM. For context, former Hurricane (and now Cincinnati Bengals) RB Mark Walton slid past Frank Gore on Miami’s all-time rushing list, amassing 2,006 rushing yards over Gore’s 1,975. Coincidentally enough, if Homer puts together another 966 season on the ground, he’ll have equalled Walton’s career mark.
Everyone is still chasing Willis McGahee’s school record 28 rushing touchdowns in a single season. The goal may be unattainable for a single Miami rusher in 2018, especially given how much depth at talent exists on the roster at the moment. However, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for one or maybe two players to reach double-digit touchdown marks this season. Whether that is the aforementioned Homer, DeeJay Dallas, Lorenzo Lingard, Rosier or someone else out of the blue remains to be seen. If the offense is gelling the way that it’s supposed to, then don’t be shocked to see a backfield that has a bag of celebrations throughout the fall.
Sacks are not the be all and end all when it comes to playing on the defensive line, yet it is the most tangible stat as it relates to the position group. Entering his junior season, Joe Jackson has dragged, harassed and mugged quarterbacks down to the grass 15 times. On its own, this is very impressive. Then you look at Miami’s all-time career sack leader Danny Stubbs who’s 39.5 still sets that bar, followed by Greg Mark’s equally impressive 34.5, and you begin to wonder if anyone will even sniff those numbers this year. Keep in mind, however, that former Hurricane DE Trent Harris (15) and Chad Thomas (10.5) both got surpassed by Jackson, who has only played for two seasons at The U. Perhaps one of the Jacksons, be it Demetrius or Joe, can put together the first double-digit sack season since Calais Campbell did in 2006.
Don’t expect to see any of the Hurricanes’ tacklers reach the top ten in all-time tackles—not for a lack of effort, but more because the top 10 threshold begins at 343. Dan Morgan, the new director of player personnel for the Buffalo Bills, still wears the crown with 532 career tackles. That record won’t be broken any time soon. The closest Hurricane entering the 2018 season not surprisingly is linebacker Shaquille Quarterman, with 167 tackles in two seasons. The next closest member on defense to Quarterman is safety Jaquan Johnson with 160 total tackles.
For those who are curious as to the omission of the wide receiver, we’ll address this now. Miami does have a deep and excellent receiving corp. That said, it would take a gargantuan season for Ahmmon Richards, Lawrence Cager, Jeff Thomas or any of the underclassmen to make it into the top ten of the program’s history. There are guys who have established that they need the ball in certain situations, but—this season—it feels more in line with the ‘whoever is open needs to get the ball’ line of thinking, rather than, ‘let’s feed the ball to _____ and have him make a play.’
Then again, who would’ve thought that Leonard Hankerson would become the program’s single-season touchdown reception leader after 2010?
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!