This is going to be a fun one! Not only is the University of Miami one of the most recognized colleges that develops players into NFL talent, but the many wide-receivers to come out of this school has moved on to be either instant playmakers and future Hall of Famers. The U’s focus speed, strength, and swagger successfully passed over through generations of student-athletes to walk on campus, but for the wide receiver position, the former Canes that did transition into the league met expectations and broke records in the leaue, while also keeping the attitude that made them great in college, whether that makes them what people considers a “Diva” or not. If you were a perfect Cane in this position, you’d be at a stalemate due to the shear number of receivers to put up major yards in their college years as well as the physical and mental characteristics they have that could be beneficial to a team. Fortunately for you, we analyzed which traits from each of these great players would make the perfect receiver.
Clutch ability - Michael Irvin
If you want to have a perfect Cane as a wide receiver, then there have to be a few traits similar to this NFL Hall of Famer. Michael Irvin is a GOAT that definitely influencedgenerations of young receivers and football players over the last two decades, three if you include his years as a Miami Hurricane. Earning the famed nickname “The Playmaker,” Irvin blew through his Miami years with finesse by breaking the school’s record for career receptions with 143 catches, touchdown receptions for 26 TDs, and receiving with 2,547 total yards.
Irvin’s strategy as wide receiver wasn’t complex. he had the speed, quickness, and hands to break off DB’s and make a catch. But, you have to include the timing of Irvin’s tenure at the U and more specifically his job as a receiver. Irvin’s job as a receiver was to be a play-maker on the field and each moment the team needed him for a critical play, he was there to get it done. He was a leader of a team that was in its renaissance and boasted the confidence he oozed in the 80’s, especially when they won a National Championship with Jimmy Johnson. Once he transitioned to the NFL as a player for his the same coach he had in College, Irvin’s clutch abilities were better with three Super Bowl appearances (and victories), 5 Pro Bowl appearances, 750 receptions, over 11,000 yards and 65 touchdowns. You can’t even talk about the new generations of receivers like Odell Beckham or AJ Green without mentioning Irvin’s influence throughout the years before they were even there. To be honest, Michael Irvin may be the true definition of a Perfect Cane, that is, until Santana Moss came for those stats.
Toughness - Andre Johnson
Andre Johnson has to be known more for his quietness outside of the field instead of what he’s been able to do on the field, but he’s definitely respected for the talent and leadership he’s brought to Houston. Coming from the U as one of the most decorated receivers on that 2001 National Championship team, Johnson has multiple skills that you would want from the perfect Hurricane wideout. First of all, Johnson possessed the speed and skills as a receiver to catch a wide variety of passes. He’s been able to catch passes in zone coverage with linebackers (still able to get more yards after a short reception), make the cuts needed to juke off defenders, and the speed to take off on them for a touchdown. Unlike some of the receivers off of this list, Andre has to be one of the most private receivers from the U and in the NFL entirely, being able to show his skills on the field more than talk about it like other receivers. Let’s not forget the fact that he’s been able to make it to the NFL and show that he could still be a great receiver after a hamstring injury, got in a fight with Cortland Finnegan, and will probably make a catch in dangerous territory yet still manages to score easily.
Speed - Santana Moss
If Santana Moss was in a defense’s zone either as a Hurricane or a member of any NFL team, you better bring him down as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’re would end up being yet another person chasing him down on his highlight tape. Like many of the receivers on this list, Moss has a hefty college career including holding records in receiving with 2,547 yards and 1,197 in punt return yardage. Santana Moss has the statistics to show that he is an offensive threat on the field. However, his speed he had while breaking these records truly set a standard for how speed at the U is really done. Santana wasn’t the most prolific player coming to Miami in 1997 due to the sheer fact that he had to join the team as a walk-on. A significant step for him was joining the track team while he was there, showcasing the speed the football team needed on their special teams and offense. On game tape, you could see that Moss has the wheels to outrun receivers, making his touchdown runs look more like 40-yard dashes. Speaking of 40-yard dashes, his recorded NFL Combine time was 4.31 seconds which may not seem big for wide receivers now, but at the time was still astonishing for a receiver in 2000. Moss went on to play for 14 seasons in the NFL - 4 years with the Jets and 10 with the Washington Redskins. He lives on to be a respected receiver with over 10,000 career receiving yards, a 2005 Pro Bowl appearance, and 69 total touchdowns including three made from punt returns.
Agility - Devin Hester
Ok, don’t be mad. We know that Devin Hester mainly had his shining moments in punt/kick returns. But, he did get some playtime as a receiver in at the U and in his Pro career with the Chicago Bears, so that counts for something right? Anywho, Devin Hester was a special teams “receiver” that could return a punt like a he was Edgerrin James on NFL Street. He had limited time as an actual wide receiver, he had jukes that are unbelievable and could run through you if he wanted to. Time after time, this dude would shake off defenders and takes off once he gets space. There was even a Duke player that almost tackled him before Hester had the poor guy swinging by the waist and eventually scored on the team. Earning the names “Hurricane Hester” and “Anytime” in his years, Hester ended his Miami career with 1,019 kick return yards and 638 punt return yards. He then transitioned into the NFL as a return specialist and wide receiver with over 11,028 receiving yards, 3,311 receiving yards, and 36 touchdowns. If we were to build a perfect cane, Hester’s agility traits would definitely be what’s needed to make a play in the most improbable situations on the field.
Consistency - Reggie Wayne
When you think about how Reggie Wayne played in his years, there is one trait that he maintained throughout his football career, consistency. Sure, there have been several highlights that he has generated over the years that he’s played for the U, even while holding the record in receptions with 173 catches, 2,510 yards, and 20 touchdowns. However, Wayne began to take his true form with consistency once he played for the Indianapolis Colts. There are two kinds of players to come to the U, the ones that you know were meant to be there for football and the ones who didn’t have the size but was still really good, Reggie Wayne fits both. He does his job effectively but also manages to pull off some incredible plays casually as he helps to move the chains. This is why he was such critical factor for the Colts’ victory in Super Bowl XLI. Wayne is pure evidence that consistency is the key among most traits in at the U and later in the NFL, and would be an important trait for the perfect hurricane.