With the 2018 season just a couple months away now, the running back group for the Hurricanes looks like its going to be one of the strongest points for Miami.
Travis Homer, Deejay Dallas and Lorenzo Lingard have formed a triple-threat in the backfield that will be a force offensively.
Though having several talented running backs on the same roster isn’t something new to Miami. Today, I'll be looking back on some of the greatest running back duos, or sometimes even tandems in school history.
Alonzo Highsmith & Melvin Bratton:
Though the new-aged Hurricanes fans may only recognize these names from the 30 for 30’s, make no mistake, these were some of the finest backs in school history.
In the mid-80’s, these two backs provided explosiveness as well as power in Jimmy Johnson’s offense.
A part of the 1983 National Championship team, Highsmith recorded almost 2,000 yards as a Cane, and scored 25 total-touchdowns in four years.
Melvin Bratton added versatility to the backfield, and finished his college career with over 2,400 all-purpose yards. Bratton also helped Miami win the National Championship in 1987.
1986 was the finest year for the duo, and not just because Highsmith cursed at the Sooners during a coin-flip. These two combined for over 1,700 all-purpose yards, helping Miami go 11-1.
James Jackson & Clinton Portis:
In 1999 and 2000, these two crafty backs helped put Miami back on the map. If Najeh Davenport hadn’t gotten injured in 99, he probably would've also showed up on this list.
Jackson, who is sometimes forgotten in Miami history, had an incredible career at UM. With almost 3,000 yards rushing, Jackson is fourth in school-history for rushing yards.
Portis, who went on to have a great NFL career, was a freshman in 1999, but complimented the veteran Jackson perfectly. Portis served as the starting back in 2001, helping Miami capture their fifth title.
2000 was the duos best year, and a season that almost helped Miami to the National Championship. The two combined for over 1,500 yards rushing and even more on the receiving end.
Javarris James & Graig Cooper:
Through the forgotten years for Miami in the mid and late 2000’s, Javarris James and Graig Cooper were probably the only constant performers on Miami.
Cooper was a flashy back, and had three seasons rushing for over 500 yards. In 2007, Cooper had one of the finest freshman seasons in Miami history, gaining over 600 yards from the ground.
Javarris, who is a cousin of Miami legend Edgerrin, busted onto the scene in 2006. Splitting time with Tyrone Moss and Charlie Jones, James rushed for over 800 yards, and finished his UM career with over 2,000 yards.
From 2007 to 2009, the three seasons that James and Cooper were at Miami together, they combined for over 3,500 yards rushing.
Frank Gore, Jarrett Payton & Tyrone Moss:
The three headed monster for Miami. However, if Gore hadn’t of gotten hurt in 2003, Moss probably would've never saw the field that season.
2003 was really the only year that these three played on the same field, but boy did they make it count. Between the trio, they combined for nearly 2,000 yards, with Payton leading the way with over 900 yards, making his father proud.