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How the NFL draft impacts ‘The New Miami’

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They call it ‘The U’ for a reason

NCAA Football: Duke at Miami
Nov 26, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Joe Jackson (99) celebrates after sacking Duke Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones (not pictured) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

We’re just hours away from a bunch of names scrolling across various screens and mediums all over the country. For the young men who will make up those names, the weekend is a life-changing moment that ushers them to the most prominent stage of the sport. After this weekend, a large group of collegiate football players will have joined the professional ranks. The Annual NFL Draft Selection will soon commence in Nashville, Tennessee, as the league moves the event across the country.

Once again, a number of Hurricanes are set to have their names called over the weekend, officialing welcoming them into the exclusive company of the ProCane fraternity. While the rookies still have plenty to prove to live up to the standards set by Ed Reed, Warren Sapp, Alonzo Highsmith and many others before them, the 2019 class should be driven to carve out successful careers for themselves in the league. We’ll highlight the situation for each member of the 2019 class as they’re drafted in the coming days.

Somewhat lost in the draft hype, is the sense of pride that comes from the institution where these future NFLers developed themselves into big league commodities. If there’s a fanbase that loves to throw their successes in the face of competition, it’s the Hurricane faithful. From big wins in rivalries to conference championships to winning a national championship, the Canes contingent takes great pride in the achievements of its athletic program. With championships representing the ceiling, somewhere not too far down the ladder of success exists a rung designated for professional output.

Playing at the professional level is a rite of passage for Hurricanes aspiring to live out their dreams. For track and field, the peak would be the Olympics. On the basketball hardwood, getting selected in the NBA Entry Draft is the name of the game. In a hotbed of football such as South Florida, reaching football’s summit sounds like a pipe dream to many kids. Just consider what it takes to make it to the University of Miami. A prospect needs to first be academically qualified to be considered a take in a given class. Recruitment these days focuses on the prevalence of the star system, with a premium placed on exposure for high school prospects. Aside from the obvious aspect of needing to be talented enough to be considered a take for a major FBS program, you need to hope that there’s room on the roster to be given a scholarship. Those are just a few factors — and they don’t include morality, injuries or having the backing of your coaching staff.

247 Sports

What makes Miami one of the best schools to attend for any prospective football star, aside from the prestige of the program, is the input and involvement from Miami’s alumni. There are few programs across the country that can say that Pro Bowlers and Super Bowl winning players drop in on campus to answer your questions. How nice is it to be able to dial up Jonathan Vilma or Ed Reed to ask questions that range from the game itself to whether or not they should enter the draft. It’s a luxury to have some of the sport’s best lend their wisdom at a call.

ProCanes are revered in the NFL because they dominate at all levels of the sport, and Miami seems to breed them. Canes fans have seen these players in their rawest form and watched the program mold them into living tributes to the sport. It’s a surreal feeling to bare witness to their ascension, somewhat reminiscent of a proud parent. When a pro comes back to campus to take in a practice or lend encouragement to the new crop of players, it has tremendous meaning. No one wants to drop the ball when Michael Irvin dons his shades on the sideline. Do you want to half-ass your way through the Big Cane Drill with Jon Beason taking in the practice? The accountability placed from one class to the next is tradition that’s not unique to Miami, but they adhere to it successfully.

For Miami Football, seeing players succeed in the NFL serves as the best marketing. Although the league has endured controversies and social debate, it remains the most viewed sport among Americans in 2018 according to SportsMediaWatch.com. ProCanes continue to be the embodiments of development at the U.

JC Ridley/CaneShooter

The best recruiting pitch a college coach can provide will always be the success of the their program both on the field and in the classroom yet any edge you find to put your program ahead of its counterparts is always welcomed. For UM, the pride of seeing alumni thrive at the highest level does just as much for the player as it does his alma mater. As the 2019 draft class graduates to the pros, Miami continues to prepare the next generation for their football ascencion.

IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!