Something that is so incredibly unique about the Miami Hurricanes football team is the connection they have with their community. South Florida and UM football go hand in hand, and some of the greatest Canes ever to lace them up have come from either Dade, Broward or Palm Beach county. I’m doing a countdown of the greatest Hurricanes from each of those counties, because nothing brings a smile to our face quite like talking about our hometown Canes.
Palm Beach County:
I’ve given you the best Canes from Dade and Broward County, from the 305 and the 954. Now, to wrap up the Miami metropolitan area, we go to Palm Beach County and see what the 561 has to offer.
Jason Geathers (Spanish River Community High School):
A versatile Cane in the early 2000’s, Geathers was used both as a running back and receiver because of his athletic ability. Two memories that stick out for Geathers is his 199-yard rushing performance against Florida A&M (8th most for a single game in UM history), and his go-ahead touchdown against FSU that same season.
Jason Geathers-Palm Beach County pic.twitter.com/RSEERH10Ij— Caleb Smith 2019 All-Star (@hurricanesmarsh) May 28, 2019
Travis Homer (Oxbridge Academy):
Only recently gone from Miami, Homer was an absolute stud for the Hurricanes, a throwback type of player. Homer rushed for over 900 yards in both 2017 and 2018, and was a constant in the Canes offense.
travis homer with a beast mode run pic.twitter.com/1sQ9zAMP1Z— Eric Elizondo (@EricElizondo8) October 6, 2018
Orlando Franklin (Atlantic Community High School):
A steady hand on the Miami offensive line for all four years, Franklin played in 51 games and started 39 of them. Was second-team All-ACC as a senior in 2010 as well as being named a candidate for the Lombardi Award the same year.
Travis Benjamin (Glades Central High School):
One of the best deep-ball threats in recent memory at Miami, Benjamin knew how to stretch the field and burn his defender. He accumulated over 500 yards receiving in three straight seasons, and is seventh for career receptions (131) at UM.
Damien Berry (Glades Central High School):
Though his success wasn’t as famed as others, Berry was a running back you could count on. One of only five Hurricanes in history to record three consecutive 100-yard rushing games. Running for nearly 900-yards in 2010, Berry earned second-team All-ACC.
10. Matt Bosher (Jupiter Community High School):
For those of you who doubted that I would include a punter/kicker on a top-10 list, shame on you. Let me just read his stats for you: seventh in UM history for all-time points, school record for consecutive field goals made, and was an 84% kicker. Bosher was voted All-ACC three times, and was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza award.
9. Ahmmon Richards (Wellington High School):
You really didn’t think I was going to leave out 82 did you?? 82 makes this list pretty much based on his freshman season alone. In 2016, 82 finished with 934 receiving yards, which broke Michael Irvin’s freshman record. If health issues didn’t come up, you better believe that he’d be high on this list too.
8. Mike Rumph (Atlantic Community High School):
As part of the greatest college football team ever assembled (2001), Rumph’s role at cornerback cannot be underestimated. Throughout his career, Rumph was nearly as lockdown as you can get, earning All-ACC Big East honors in 2000 and 2001. Even today, Rumph continues to mold the next great CB for Miami.
7. Kevin Fagan (John I. Leonard High School):
If this were a list of strongest Hurricanes of all-time, Fagan might take the number one spot, after breaking the school record with a 560 pound bench press. Apart of the 1983 National Championship team, Fagan recorded two sacks in that Orange Bowl, and was a dominant force up front throughout his career.
6. James Jackson (Glades Central High School):
By far one of the most underrated Hurricanes of all-time, people seem to forget that JJ is in the top-five in UM history for rushing yards and touchdowns. Give the man some respect!
5. Vince Wilfork (Santaluces Community High School):
Now this is where the controversy starts. I’m a huge Wilfork fan, how could you not be? And he was an absolute beast when he was with the Canes. In 2002 as a sophomore, without even starting a game, Wilfork still recorded seven sacks. Once he got his opportunity to start in 2003, he didn’t disappoint. He had 64 tackles, and was an All-American candidate, and also a candidate for the Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy Award and also the Nagurski Award.
Vince Wilfork-Palm Beach County pic.twitter.com/aK7wx2WtK3— Caleb Smith 2019 All-Star (@hurricanesmarsh) May 29, 2019
4. Kevin Patrick (Forest Hill High School):
I really hope this improves my standing with the old-time Canes fans, but of course that’s not why I'm putting Patrick ahead of Wilfork. Ok, let’s go over Kevin’s credentials for being ahead of big Vince. He was a three-year starter, starting in 1991 when he started nine games and helped Miami win its fourth championship. In 1992, even while missing some games throughout the season, he still collected eight sacks. Then, in 1993, Patrick finished with 10 sacks, was a first-team All-American and was voted as the Big East Defensive Player of The Year. He’s also tied for fifth all-time in sacks in UM history.
Kevin Patrick-Palm Beach County— Caleb Smith 2019 All-Star (@hurricanesmarsh) May 29, 2019
Also one of my favorite celebrations in Canes history pic.twitter.com/va3XY7rKhn
3. Devin Hester (Suncoast High School):
The first Hurricanes jersey my father ever bought for me, right outside the Orange Bowl in 2005 after Hester put on a show against Duke. Undoubtedly the most exciting Cane ever, I don't think you can argue that. In three seasons at the U, Hester was just so amazing that every-time you go watch his Miami highlights you’re still in awe. In total, Hester returned six kicks/punts back for touchdowns as a Hurricane. Which one was your favorite?
2. Craig Erickson (Cardinal Newman High School):
More controversy, bring it on. Yes Hester was incredible and left you on the edge of your seat, but Erickson is a national championship winning quarterback! It’s hard to put Hester, primarily a special teams player, above Craig. In 1989, Erickson led Miami to a victory over Notre Dame, and then later a national title, UM’s third. His 1990 season is still one of the finest in school history, throwing for 22 touchdowns and 3,363 yards. He’s seventh in career passing yards, and eighth in passing touchdowns.
- Ottis Anderson (Forest Hill High School):
Ottis “OG” Anderson (I just gave him that nickname) has been getting a lot of love from the Canes community lately, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Yes, he's over Hester. Yes, he’s over Wilfork. Anderson, the Super Bowl MVP, was the first running back in Canes history surpass the 1,000 yard mark. He received first-team All-American by The Sporting News in 1979, and was Miami’s all-time leading rusher until 2014 when Duke Johnson surpassed him. Besides Chuck Foreman, Ottis is really one of UM’s first starts on the offensive side of the ball.