Sorry Seantrel. Miami’s tradition at offensive line is sneaky good, at least compared to the rest of the positions that have left Coral Gables to go on and have fantastic NFL careers. The Hurricane’s offensive line success has stretched throughout decades, from the 50’s all the way to the new millennia, and with over half a century worth of offensive line skill, here is what the perfect Miami offensive lineman would look like.
Bryant McKinnie’s Size
Bryant McKinnie did everything well during his time with the Canes but for the sake of this list, we’ll make his contribution his one of a kind size. McKinnie was as big as an aircraft carrier, a 6’8” and 350 pound human being who could easily wall-off defensive ends and seal the edge. His massive mitts and rare wingspan allowed him to get the upper hand on defenders right from the snap and limit their ability to impact the play. Not to mention, McKinnie also never allowed a sack in his career. So there’s that.
Jim Otto’s Athleticism
Otto played in the 50’s, back before Miami was The U and players could still sport the double zero. Like many of his era, Otto played both sides of the ball, and while he was a solid linebacker, he was a tremendous center who used his athleticism to dominate defensive linemen. Otto could get out to the second level with ease, flattening linebackers and clearing the way for the ballcarrier. He was also dependable, starting 210 consecutive games for the Oakland Raiders following three years at Miami.
Leon Searcy’s Pass-Blocking
Searcy realized his enormous potential under all-time great Offensive Line Coach Art Kehoe. During the peak of Miami’s dynasty, from 1988-91, Searcy anchored the left side of the offensive line and regularly shut down the pass rushers that he faced off with. Searcy had a smooth kick-slide to beat defenders to the spot off the snap, strong and quick hands to manhandle them and great balance. He kept Steve Walsh, Craig Erickson and Gino Torretta’s blindsides clean while making every start in his last three seasons.
Richard Mercier’s Run-Blocking
Mercier is an underrated Cane but perhaps the best run-blocker that has ever come to Miami. He’s tied for first in career pancakes with 48, including leading the offensive line in the stat in his junior and senior seasons. Mercier had overwhelming strength and size, running through and over interior lineman with his powerful lower body and cinderblocks-for-hands. He assisted Edgerrin James in his 1,416 yard 1998 campaign and was an All-American in 1999.