Former University of Miami head coach Howard Schnellenberger is often credited with shaping modern college football recruiting when he drew a line across Florida and established “The State of Miami.”
Schnellenberger’s brainchild depended upon the Hurricanes controlling in-state recruiting south of Interstate-4, combined with cherry-picking top talent from across the country. With its jurisdiction firmly established, the University of Miami ruled the college football landscape for the better part of three decades — winning five national championships between 1983 and 2001.
Despite the rise of the SEC in the last 15 years and its encroachment on Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and surrounding counties, Miami still sports one of the most recognizable brands in college football. As a result, The U remains a player on the national recruiting scene, despite a recent history littered with sanctions, coaching changes and sub-par seasons.
As we put another July 4th in our rear-view mirror, here is a look at the top football talent from across this great nation that made Coral Gables their new home.
The only requirements for this list are making the roster at Miami. Transfers — in or out — qualify, regardless of how many games they played in the Orange and Green. Coaches are also eligible for consideration.
States with little, or nothing, to choose from were combined into regions, e.g., New England, Ohio Valley, etc. If you don’t see a state listed, scroll to the bottom and there you will find the multi-state regions.
With the exception of All Americans and a handful of starters, info was scarce before the 1980s, making it difficult to find a backup guard from South Dakota in 1962. I could not have completed this list without the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame’s website -- www.umsportshalloffame.com. Please pay them a visit or check out their site for further details. All Miami Sports HOF members on this list are noted with an *.
Without further adieu, here it is. The states and players are listed with position, final year at Miami and background info (if applicable).
If anyone is overlooked [with a list this extensive, it’s a very good possibility], please comment or drop me a DM on Twitter (@hotrodtodd25). If you’re a Canes fan from out-of-state, let us know your favorite Hurricane player from your home state. If you’re a Sunshine State resident, tell us who tops the list as your favorite out-of-state Cane. And if you’ve lived in multiple states, choose a favorite from as many as you please. The more, the merrier.
ALABAMA: Michael Jackson CB (2018) – Named second Team All ACC in 2017 and selected by Dallas in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Birmingham native tied for the team lead with four interceptions in 2017. As a senior, he was second on the Hurricanes with six pass breakups while adding 3.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks.
Honorable Mention: Ladaris Gunter DB (2014), Dane Prewitt K (1995), Malik Rosier QB (2018).
CALIFORNIA: Ken Dorsey* QB (2002) - This was a tough decision between Dorsey and the 1992 Heisman winner Gino Torretta, but the slight edge goes to No. 11.
Dorsey was the winningest QB in school history with a 38-2 record as a starter. Won a national championship in 2001 and could have easily won three-straight from 2000-02 if not for a blunder by the BCS Computers and a questionable pass interference call in the Fiesta Bowl. The Orinda native was a Maxwell Award winner, a Co-MVP of the Rose Bowl and a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist.
Honorable Mention: Brad Kaaya QB (2016), Harold Sears* LB (1972), Don Smith* DL (1978), Pee Wee Smith WR (1989), Gino Torretta* QB (1992), DJ Williams LB (2003)
COLORADO: Calais Campbell DE (2007) - A First Team All ACC selection with 10.5 sacks in 2006. During three years in Coral Gables, Campbell compiled 129 tackles, 39 TFL and 19.5 sacks. The Denver native was drafted in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft where he has since tallied 640 tackles, 81.5 sacks, 47 pass deflections, 12 forced fumbles, three picks and two defensive scores with the Arizona Cardinals (2008-2016) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2017-present).
Honorable Mention: Ryan Clement QB (1997), Darren Krein DE (1993)
GEORGIA: Allen Bailey DL (2010) - Finished his Miami career with 31 TFL and 19 sacks. Received All ACC nods in 2009 and 2010 before getting taken in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. As a member of the Kansas City Chiefs since draft day, Bailey has totaled 200 tackles and 19.5 sacks. He is currently a free agent and the Atlanta Falcons are considered a potential landing spot for the McIntosh County graduate.
Honorable Mention: DeeJay Dallas RB (present), Chris Herndon TE (2017),
ILLINOIS: Russell Maryland* DL (1990) - Miami’s first Outland Trophy winner and a unanimous First Team All-American in 1990. Maryland ended his collegiate career with 279 tackles, 25 TFL and 20.5 sacks. The Chicago native was drafted first overall by the Cowboys in 1991, where he won three Super Bowl titles.
Honorable Mention: Jarrett Payton RB (2003), Francis Rouviere* RB/DB (1955), Mike Sullivan* OL (1987), Jeff Thomas WR (present)
LOUISIANA: Ed Reed* S (2001) - One of the all-time greats at his position, Reed was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At Miami, he was a two-time All-American after returning for his senior season in 2001. That season he lead the nation with nine interceptions as the Canes finished undefeated en route to their fifth championship. Reed was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2001, a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and a semifinalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. Reed holds the school record with 21 career interceptions, 389 career interception return yards and five interceptions returned for a TD.
A nine-time Pro Bowler and an eight-time All-Pro, Reed was a member of the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII winning squad. He holds NFL records with 1,590 career interception return yards and a 107-yard interception return. Reed ended his professional career with 64 picks and nine defensive scores.
Honorable Mention: Brock Berlin QB (2004), Patrick Riley DT (1994), Reggie Wayne* WR (2000), Gerald Willis DL (2018)
MICHIGAN: John Noppenberg* RB/P (1939) - The “Mad Bull” was inducted into the Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. His 55-yard run against Texas Tech is regarded as one of the greatest plays from the early days of the Orange Bowl. In 1939 his teammates chose him for the Frank O. Spain Award, given to the team MVP. He would also earn a spot on All-Florida Team and the All-Southeast Team. Not only did he set school records for yards by a fullback, but he was also the team’s punter. Noppenberg played professionally for the Steelers and Lions.
Honorable Mention: Shabaka Abdul-Majid OL (1996), Tom Beier* DB (1966), Dan Enos, Offensive Coordinator (present); Jim Joiner WR (1980), KJ Osborn (present)
NEW JERSEY - Bryant McKinnie* OL (2001) - When it comes to keeping quarterbacks clean, few, if any, did it better at the University of Miami than Bryant McKinnie. Arriving as a junior-college transfer, McKinnie left a national champ, an Outland Trophy and Jim Parker award winner. The 6-foot, 8-inch, 300-plus pounder also received 26 Heisman Votes to finish eighth in 2001.
He was the seventh overall pick by Minnesota in the 2002 draft and played nine seasons with the Vikings, earning a Pro Bowl bid in 2009. In 2011 he was inducted into the Miami Sports Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mention: Michael Badgley K (2017), Thomas Carroll DL (2005), Harry Ghaul* RB (1942), Jamaal Green DL (2001), James Lewis S (2001), Greg Mark* DL (1989), Pete Mastellone* LB/RB (1950), Bob Masterson* E (1937), Frank McDonald* TE (1953), David Njoku TE (2016), Greg Olsen TE (2006), Daniel Stubbs* DE (1987).
NEW YORK: Vinny Testaverde* QB (1986) - A Heisman Trophy winner and the first overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft, no Miami QB has a more impressive college/pro resume than the Long Island native. He won the Davey O’Brien Award, the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Maxwell Award and was voted a consensus first-team All-American. As a starter, he led the Hurricanes to a 21-1 regular-season mark. Upon leaving Miami, he was second in career passing yards, first in touchdowns, the leader in career passing efficiency (152.80) and the single-season leader in completion percentage (63.4%). As a professional, Testaverde ended his 21-year career in 2007 with more than 46,000 passing yards and 275 touchdowns.
Honorable Mention: Don Bosseler* RB (1957), Jim Burt* DL (1980), Al Carapella* DL (1950), Gus Edwards RB (2016), Chuck Klein* OL (1943), Stephen McGuire* RB (1992), Frank Smith* RB (1951), Leon Williams LB (2005), Nick Wolcuff* OL (1936),
NORTH CAROLINA - Braxton Berrios WR (2017) - This was a tough decision between Berrios and Jimmy Graham. If we’re basing it on NFL careers alone, it’s Graham by a country mile. But since it’s not, I’m choosing Berrios for longevity and intangibles.
After three up-and-down seasons, the Raleigh native had a resurgence as a senior in 2017, helping the Canes reach their first ACC Championship Game. Through three seasons in Coral Gables, Berrios combined for 45 catches and five touchdowns before exploding for 51 grabs and nine scores in his final season. A third-team All-ACC selection in 2017, Berrios finished his career with 1,121 yards and will be remembered for two of the most memorable TD celebrations in recent history. He was drafted by the Patriots in 2018 and according to early reports, the 5-foot, 9-inch slot receiver is poised for a breakout 2019 campaign.
Honorable Mention: Jimmy Graham TE (2009), Curtis Porter DL (2013)
OKLAHOMA - Jeremy Shockey TE (2001) - From Ada, Oklahoma, Shockey arrived on campus in 2000 following a year of junior college. He made an immediate impact, hauling in the game-winning touchdown pass in a 27-24 victory over top-ranked Florida State. As a starter in 2001 on the Canes’ National Championship team, the junior finished with 45 catches and 8 touchdowns. Was a Mackey Award finalist and a consensus All-American in 2001.
Was drafted 14th overall and went on to score 37 touchdowns on 547 receptions and 6,143 yards with the Giants, Saints and Panthers. Shockey was a four-time Pro Bowler and a two-time Super Bowl winner.
Honorable Mention: Larry Coker*, coach (2001-2006), Butch Davis, coach (1995-2000)
PENNSYLVANIA - Jim Kelly* QB (1982) - A difficult call between #KellyTough and the People’s Champ, but I gotta go with Kelly.
Recruited as a linebacker by Joe Paterno at Penn State, Kelly decided to head south and play quarterback at the University of Miami. Kelly immediately received his chance to prove Joe-Pa wrong when he got the nod as a true freshman in Happy Valley and handed the 19th ranked Nittany Lions a 26-10 defeat behind three scores and 278 yards through the air. In 1981 he returned to his home state to face top-ranked Penn State, and once again, Kelly helped the Canes escape with a 17-14 victory. He finished his Miami career with 33 touchdown passes and 5,228 yards. His best season came in ‘81 when he tallied 2,403 yards and 14 TDs.
As a professional, he reached four Super Bowls, recording 237 touchdowns and 35,467 passing yards in 11 years with the Buffalo Bills. As a member of the USFL’s Houston Gamblers, he totaled 9,842 yards and 83 touchdowns in just two seasons. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Honorable Mention - Ray Arckey* OL/DL (1951), Mike Barnes* DT (1972), Martin Bibla OL (2001), Nick Chickillo* OL/DL (1952), Dan Conners* OL (1963), Glenn Dennison TE (1983), Jack “Mighty Mouse” Hackett* QB (1951), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson DL (1994), Jack Johnson* RB/P (1956), Jack Losch* RB/DB (1955), Harry “Scooter” Mallios* RB (1952), Leo Martin* DE (1950), Bill Miller* WR (1960), Bob Tatarek* OL (1967), Armand “Stitch” Vari* OL (1951), Ed Weisacosky* LB (1965)
SOUTH CAROLINA - Rocky McIntosh LB (2005) - A freshman starter at strongside linebacker in 2002, the Gaffney High School graduate played his first two seasons in the shadow of fellow linebackers Jon Vilma and DJ Williams. As a junior in 2004, McIntosh recorded 11 tackles in a come-from-behind win over Florida State. Against Houston, he finished with a career-high 17 tackles and two TFL. Despite a late-season shoulder injury, he finished second on the team with 111 tackles. As a senior in ‘05, he led the Canes with 85 tackles, along with 5.5 sacks and 10 TFL.
Honorable Mention: Dee Delaney CB (2017), Eddie Edwards* LB (1976), Arnold Tucker QB (1943)
TEXAS - Jimmy Johnson*, coach (1984-1988) - It’s not easy replacing a legend and that’s exactly what Jimmy Johnson was tasked with when arriving in Coral Gables to fill the shoes of Schnellenberger. And early on, things weren’t easy for the Port Arthur native. He faced criticism as his Canes limped to an 8-4 finish while installing a 4-3 defense in 1984 – just one year removed from a National Championship. In 1985 and ‘86, he watched National Championships go down the drain in Sugar and Fiesta Bowl losses. Finally, in 1987, the Canes finished undefeated to claim the program’s second title. Following an 11-1 season in 1988, he departed for Dallas, where he won two Super Bowls.
Honorable Mention: Jessie Armstead* LB (1992), Bubba Franks TE (1999), Jason Fox OL (2010), KC Jones* OL (1996); Damione Lewis DT (2000), Kevin Williams WR (1992), Eric Winston OL (2005)
WISCONSIN - Jim Otto* OL (1959) - A native of Wausau, Otto was a two-way player at Miami in the late-1950s at center and linebacker. Out of college, no NFL teams pursued Otto so he signed with the AFL’s Oakland Raiders, where he played 15 seasons, culminating in a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction in 1980. He was named All AFL 10 times (1960-69), followed by three Pro Bowls from 1970-72 after Oakland joined the NFL. In 1999, he was ranked 78th on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players and No. 63 on the NFL Films’ Top 100 list.
Honorable Mention: Pete Banaszak* RB/DB (1965), Walter Kichefski* OL/DL (1939), Tom Pratt* OL/DL (1956)
CENTRAL: INDIANA, KANSAS, MISSOURI - Tony Cline* DE (1969) - Often overlooked as the defensive end opposite of the legendary Ted Hendricks, Cline went in the fourth round of the 1970 draft after receiving All-American Honorable Mention honors. Cline recorded 17.5 sacks as a rookie for the Oakland Raiders in 1970 — which is considered the AFC rookie record — but since sacks were not declared an official statistic until 12 years later, his 1970 sack total is deemed unofficial. As a result of his impressive 1970 season, the Indiana native was selected to the All-Pro Rookie Team.
Honorable Mention: Missouri - Rusty Medearis* DE (1993); Kansas - Arthur Brown LB (2009), Mondriel Fulcher TE (1999)
FAR WEST: ALASKA, HAWAII, IDAHO, OREGON, WASHINGTON - Dennis Erickson*, coach (1989-1994) – After attending college at Montana State, Erickson worked his way up the coaching ladder, arriving at Miami in 1989, where he won National Championships in 1989 and 1991, and two Sporting News Coach of the Year awards. Erickson, who coached Heisman winner Gino Torretta, remains the only coach to lead the Canes to multiple National Championships. Upon leaving Miami following the 1994 season, Erickson had stops in the NFL at San Francisco and Seattle, he also helped rejuvenate the Oregon State football program in the early-2000s.
Honorable Mention: Alaska - Kylan Robinson LB (2010); Hawaii - Levi Paalua LB (2011); Washington - Jake Heaps QB (2014), Taylor Stubblefield, WR coach (present)
MID-ATLANTIC: DC, DELAWARE, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA - Chuck Foreman* RB (1972) - a Frederick, Maryland native and 1986 inductee into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame, “Scorpio” was moved to defense in 1970 after injuries devastated the Canes secondary. As a junior in 1971, he returned to the backfield where he teamed up with Tom Sullivan to form the running back tandem known as the “Gold Dust Twins.” That year he rushed 191 times for 951 yards and was named a Sporting News First Team All-American. Foreman split time at receiver in 1972, finishing with 484 yards on 107 carries, along with 557 yards on 37 receptions. Foreman still ranks ninth in school history in career all-purpose yards with 3,355. He is also 10th in season all-purpose yards (1,467) and career kick return yards (882).
He was the 12th overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft, earning a pair of All-Pro honors in the NFL. He participated in three Super Bowls and tallied 5,879 rushing yards during his eight-year career with the Vikings.
Honorable Mention: Maryland - Jim Cox WR (1967), Bob Nelson DT (1981); West Virginia - Selwyn Brown DB (1987); Delaware - Malcolm Bunche OL (2013), Orien Harris DT (2005); West Virginia - Dennis Harrah* OL (1974)
MISSISSIPPI HEADWATERS REGION: IOWA, MINNESOTA: Steve Walsh* QB (1988) - Replacing a Heisman Trophy winner is never easy but Steve Walsh was the exception. After taking over for Vinny Testaverde in 1987, Walsh, a redshirt-sophomore, led the Canes to an undefeated season and a National Championship. In two seasons as the starter, Walsh went 23-1. As a junior in 1988, he was a first-team AP, FWAA and ESPN All-American and was The Football News College Player of the Year. Walsh also came in fourth for the 1988 Heisman Trophy. Tied with Testaverde for the team’s career touchdown lead with 48, the St. Paul native left Miami following his junior year. He was drafted by Tampa Bay and was inducted into Miami’s Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor.
(I chose Walsh over Todd Sievers, which was a no-brainer, but Sievers owns the craziest stat discovered while researching this list. The Iowa native might be the only kicker in football history to make TWO 50-yard extra points in the same season  after unsportsmanlike conduct penalties pushed back the conversion attempts.)
Honorable Mention: Minnesota - Seantrel Henderson OL (2013); Iowa - Todd Sievers K (2002), Zach Dykstra OL (present)
NEW ENGLAND: CONNECTICUT, MAINE, MASSACHUSETTES, NEW HAMPSHIRE, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT - Dan Sileo DT (1986) - Dan Sileo began his football career in Coral Gables after transferring from Maryland and Cincinnati. In 1986, he was a member of one of the most dominant Canes defensive lines (Jerome Brown, Daniel Stubbs, Bill Hawkins) in history, leading Miami’s front-four with 97 tackles and 13 TFL. He was third in sacks with six and first in forced fumbles with eight.
His bench press of 535 pounds was tops in the nation in 1985. His 700-pound squat was also a Miami record. The Connecticut native was a preseason All-American in 1986 and 1987 and was considered a member of the ‘87 National Championship team, despite being ruled ineligible by the NCAA in September of that year. After stints in the Arena League and professional wrestling, Sileo went into radio.
Honorable Mention: Connecticut - Rick Lantz, offensive coordinator, (1977-80), Greg LaBelle P (1980), Darius Smith DL (2012)
NORTH-CENTRAL: THE DAKOTAS, MONTANA, NEBRASKA, WYOMING - Freddie Capshaw P (2002) - Capshaw was a two-time First Team All Big East selection and a finalist for the Ray Guy Award in 2001. One of the best punters in school history, Capshaw was a member of the 2001 National Championship team, averaging 42 yards per punt.
The Rock Springs, Wyoming native was a First-Team All-State defensive back and punter, second-team as a kickoff return man and all-conference at running back during his senior season. He was rated the No. 2 running back in the state and it showed when he scooped up a low PAT snap and raced into the end zone from seven yards out during Miami’s 49-27 victory at FSU in 2001.
Honorable Mention: Wyoming - Carl Selmer, coach (1975-76); Nebraska - Harland Gunn OL (2011)
OHIO RIVER VALLEY: KENTUCKY, OHIO - Howard Schnellenberger, coach (1979-83) – “Schnelly” led Miami to its first National title in 1983 following a 31-30 thriller over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. A disciple of Bear Bryant and Don Shula, Schnellenberger is the man responsible for turning The U into a national power by heavily recruiting “The State of Miami.”
Born in Indiana, Schnellenberger was raised in Louisville, Kentucky where he graduated from Flaglet High School. He served as offensive coordinator under Bryant and coached receivers under George Allen of the L.A. Rams before joining Shula’s staff. He served as offensive coordinator on the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins.
Honorable Mention: Ohio - Jay Brophy LB (1983), Wesley Carroll WR (1990), Keith Griffin RB (1983), Bernie Kosar* QB (1984), Burgess Owens* DB (1972), Sam Scarnecchia* QB (1956)
SOUTH-CENTRAL: ARKANSAS, MISSISSIPPI, TENNESSEE - Cortez Kennedy* DL (1989) - A junior college transfer and two-time national champion, Kennedy spent three seasons in Miami, earning Second Team AP All-American honors and was the third player taken (Seattle) in the 1990 NFL Draft. Kennedy finished his pro career with 58 sacks and eight Pro Bowl selections. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. Kennedy played his prep football at Rivercrest High School in Wilson, Arkansas.
Honorable Mention: Mississippi - Lee Chambers RB/DB (2011), Dayall Harris WR (2017); Tennessee - Graig Cooper RB (2010), Corn Elder CB (2016), Terris Harris DB (1993), Charlie Tate, coach (1964-70), Marcus Wimberley DB/WR (1996)
WESTERN ROCKIES: ARIZONA, NEVADA, NEW MEXICO, UTAH - Jeff Feagles* P (1987) - A member of Miami’s 1987 National Championship team and a 2008 inductee in the Miami Sports Hall of Fame. Set NFL records for most career punting yards, total punts and punts inside the 20. Considered as one of the greatest punters in league history after perfecting the art of the “coffin corner” kick. Attended Gerard Catholic High School in Phoenix, Arizona.
Honorable Mention: Arizona - Donald Ellis DB (1988); Nevada - Jalen Grimble DL (2012), Brevin Jordan TE (present), Tate Martell QB (present); New Mexico - Malik Curry TE (2017), Carlos Etheredge TE/OT (1992)
INTERNATIONAL: Brett Romberg* OL (2002) - A Rimington Award winner in 2002, Romberg was a consensus All-American and twice a First Team Big East selection at center. A native of Belle River, Ontario, the duo of Romberg and Dorsey finished 35-2 together over their careers. Romberg never allowed a sack until his final game and helped clear the way -- along with fellow Canadian lineman Sherko Haji-Rasouli -- for three 1,000-yard rushers. He was inducted into the Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. Despite going undrafted in the NFL, Romberg played 44 games and started 18 with the Jaguars, Rams and Falcons.
Honorable Mention: Bahamas - Ian Symonette OL (2008); Canada - Sherko Haji-Rasouli OL (2001), Richard Mercier* OL (1999), Ian Sinclair OL (1984); Nigeria - Sunny Odogwu OL (2016)