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West Coast Hurricanes Continue To Make Their Mark At Miami

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Miami has had success with players from the West coast

Central Michigan at Miami Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

While the Miami Hurricanes have had success historically recruiting players from South Florida, it should be noted that some of the greatest ever to come through UM came from other parts of the country. Ed Reed from Louisiana, Greg Olsen from New Jersey and Jessie Armstead from Texas, just to name a few.

Those who come to Coral Gables from the West coast have also found success in the orange and green. On Tuesday, Miami added 2020 commit and San Diego native Keyshawn Smith, becoming the latest from out West to join UM.

While I grew up 20 minutes from the University of Miami, many know my family relocated out West, so I’m always excited to see the Hurricanes recruiting a player from my neck of the woods. It’s also a good reminder to people, that while South Florida is considered the goldmine for football talent, the West coast is no joke when it comes to the gridiron.

Though Smith is the latest West coast Cane, he’s not the first. In fact, he’s not even the first Hurricane to come from San Diego. All-American tight end and 2003 John Mackey Award winner Kellen Winslow Jr. also came from San Diego.

Perhaps the greatest quarterback in Miami history, Ken Dorsey, grew up right outside the Bay County in Orinda, California. With a career record of 38-2 as a starter at UM, Dorsey came back to his home state to help cap off the 2001 Hurricanes national championship season, with a victory in the Rose Bowl. Simply put, no QB at Miami has ever been better than Dorsey.

Staying in California and also with the quarterbacks, Miami’s all-time leader in passing, Brad Kaaya, also calls The Golden State home, growing up and attending high school in Los Angeles. In just three years, Kaaya broke UM’s record for career passing yards, and is just behind Dorsey for career passing touchdowns. Kaaya also led Miami to their only bowl victory since 2006.

In 2000, linebacker D.J. Williams, from powerhouse De La Salle High School in Concord, California, chose to attend Miami. One of the most highly-touted recruits in school history, Williams was one of the cornerstones for the Canes defense in the early 2000’s, helping Miami reach two national championships and win one title.

A few states over in Colorado, the Hurricanes snagged one of the best defensive ends in UM history in Calais Campbell. The Denver native was a first-team All-ACC selection, and continues to dominate in the NFL.

Even now, the current Canes have several players from the West. Brevin Jordan, Tate Martell and Bubba Bolden, all three from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, but all three have made their way to South Florida. While in high school, these three helped Bishop Gorman win a national championship in 2016.

Defensive-end Jaelan Phillips also fits into the category of Hurricanes coming from out West (Redlands, CA), as he transferred over from UCLA in 2019, and has the chance to become Miami’s next dominant pass-rusher.

With Miami’s success and recent commitment from California, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see UM recruit more heavily in that part of the country.