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Miami Hurricanes 2019 Senior Spotlight: Michael Pinckney

The 4 year linebacker and fan favorite, plays his final home game on Saturday versus the Louisville Cardinals

NCAA Football: Florida State at Miami
Michael Pinckney celebrates after his key interception versus FSU in 2018, which led to a comeback win for the Hurricanes.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

You know the old adage... “time flies when you’re having fun”. I can attest to that statement as being factual having had plenty of fun watching Michael Pinckney play linebacker for the Miami Hurricanes during the past four seasons. I am sure that you reading this, did as well. Michael Jabari Pinckney, better known as “Mike” or “Pinck” will play his last home game as a Cane when Miami looks to become bowl eligible with a win over the visiting Louisville Cardinals at 3:30pm on Saturday. A game which so happens to be the culmination of homecoming week for Miami, will serve as a monumental game for the Hurricanes in terms of ACC positioning. The crowd will be raucous, the stakes will be high, and as the starting senior linebacker has shown by producing big plays in big moments, that’s just they way he prefers it.

It all started on January 11, 2016 for Pinckney when he arrived to Coral Gables as an early enrollee as a 3-star prospect from Raines High School in Jacksonville, Florida. A Miami, Florida native, with scholarship offers to play at big time programs such as Florida, Louisville, LSU, and Nebraska among others, Pinckney never wavered in his recruitment to return home. As a recruit in 2016, the 6’1’’ 215lb linebacker whom ESPN ranked 20th among inside linebackers, and 247Sports ranked as the 19th best inside linebacker nationally, he undeniably outperformed those rankings as he garnered All American honors from ESPN after his true freshman campaign was all said and done. Starting all 13 games and posting 61 total tackles (33 solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 2 quarterback hurries, and an interception, Mike burst on to the national scene as part of a three headed monster that then defensive coordinator Manny Diaz deployed at the linebacker position. He, Shaquille Quarterman, and Zach McCloud have been a force to be reckoned with ever since.

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Russell Athletic Bowl - West Virginia v Miami
Pinckney celebrates a sack with former Hurricanes defensive end Joe Jackson versus the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Russell Athletic Bowl in 2016.
Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Big Play Linebacker

Whether it be a timely sack, key tackle for loss, or a momentum shifting interception, “Pinck” has always had a knack for the big play. With an interception in each season throughout his career, he has yet to pick off an opposing quarterback this year. It would only be fitting for Pinckney to add another interception to his highlight reel against the Cardinal. Through 46 career games, the senior linebacker has amassed 245 tackles (124 solo), 37 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 7 pass breakups, and 1 fumble recovery. Of the three interceptions, one should stick out like a sore thumb to Hurricanes fans, that being the interception that helped turn the tide in 2018 versus the rival Florida State Seminoles when he read Deondre Francois beautifully and made an interception right in front of the student section at Hard Rock Stadium.

WARNING: Video below contains vulgar language

Thank you, Pinck...

What a career it has been for Michael Pinckney. Thank you for your personality, the laughs you provided us with on your Instagram account, for beating the Noles 3 years in a row, and for sticking around for year number four. Best of luck to you in your career on and off the field, we truly appreciate all the good you in the community. Now go #BeatLouisville