I’m a fairly big dork.
I love to geek out on sports stats, movies and anything Marvel Comics. Growing up I loved to read comics in my spare time when I wasn’t in school, on the baseball diamond or working. Every month I was blessed to be able to drop about 50 bucks a month on about 20-25 comics, back when they were between $2.00-$.50 a comic. I would spend nights either reading my latest comic, sketching my favorite character or drawing myself as one, because, what kid doesn’t want superpowers?
As my love for both sports and comics grew, I noticed, more and more, that the two often converged in pop culture. The Hurricanes were the subject of a few variant covers for the 150th anniversary of College Football last year, resulting in reworks of original Marvel covers with the Hurricane and Gator mascots. Ironically or not, each cover is a rework of a cover depicting a fight between The Mighty Thor and The Incredible Hulk.
Last year’s NFL Draft saw players like D.K. Metcalf, Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins take the places of Luke Cage, Spider-Man and Thor on iconic comic covers.
One I recently discovered was a nice play on Conor McGregor and the Iron Fist, called the Irish Fist for Mcregor’s Irish nationality and fighting prowess.
We have seen special edition comics for Lebron James and Kobe Bryant. Lebron, Kobe and Zion Williamson have all been comped with Thanos, as the comparison settled on the three being unprecedented forces on a quest for stones and/or rings and to being seen as “the One’ in their respective realms.
Kobe was juxtaposed with Iron Man for his longevity, prowess on and off the field, or court, of battle, and the ability to recreate themselves. I argue that Kobe could be both, because, um you know, RINGS, but that is a different discussion. Also a big favorite of mine is Lebron cast Black Panther. As a Los Angeles Lakers fan and husband to a wife that watches Black Panther at least 3 times a month, (NO JOKE), I definitely vibe with LBJ as Black Panther.
Boss Logic, the wildly skilled artist that puts out amazing comic-centric content including some of the pieces above, even did one for former Miami Hurricane Defensive End, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Johnson who is obviously the biggest action star out today, is joining the DC movie universe as Black Adam, a spinoff from the DC movie, “Shazam”.
What I would like to present, however, is this:
Which Current Miami Hurricanes share comps with some of the better known Marvel Comic characters?
This was a fun exercise with the Miami Hurricanes mostly due to the depth of personalities on this team, as well as the introduction of recent elements into the equation. We have players that match due to their charisma. We have players that match for their ability to transform their bodies. We even have players that match for the hope that they might save the day, or in our case, the program. Lets dig in.
Nesta Jade Silvera
When you are gregarious, colorful and as imposing as Nesta Silvera, it should be no surprise that comparisons to a superhero start with you. Since stepping foot on campus, and even before it, Nesta ‘Jade’ Silvera has been a feature character, and an emotional leader of the defense. His most memorable moments include trolling the Florida Gators on National Signing Day, dominating Florida State with another linemen discussed below and pretty much any time he steps in front of a microphone or camera. However, as big as his presence can be, he has seen himself begin to become overshadowed due to injuries and the introduction of players like Greg Rousseau who are beginning to take a bigger piece of the action.
Peter Quill AKA Star Lord
This pointed me in the direction of Peter Quill AKA Star Lord, the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy team and franchise. Similarly to Nesta, Quill’s most noticeable contributions have come in the form of comedy and charisma. His team members are all aliens, with super natural powers, while Quill is originally seen as only being human. But as the second movie for this team evolved, so did Peter Quill. It is discovered his father is a God, and Quill too shares that immense power, which he puts on display at the end of the film. Like Quill, Nesta has a pedigree and ability that are so much bigger than we have seen on film, but that we hope, like Star Lord, will be on full display this season.
The Canes newest signal caller, hailing from Marvel, I mean Manvel, Texas, is a revelation for fans at the the beleaguered quarterback spot of the Hurricanes. D’Eriq will be looked upon to lead not only a team but a nation of Hurricane faithful to feats not seen for far too long. Though at first glance, one may see a mild mannered, undersized quarterback, on the field he is a decisive and dynamic player with catlike reflexes and the heart of lion. Every report on King has come back glowing, and each further dismisses the notion he is too small for the position or the pressure. A quiet leader, King goes about his business with a passion and regality of his surname, King.
Its only right that King is matched to another king from Marvel history, T’Challa, the Black Panther. Much like D’Eriq, the movie Black Panther was a breath of fresh air to a movie segment that featured monsters, gods and flashy heroes. The Black Panther, visually only human, has a power coursing through his veins not many can match, and an unassuming persona that lets his actions do most of the talking. One can hope that the theatrical success of the Black Panther is a preview of what is to come for D’Eriq and the 2020 Canes.
A unique and challenging back story begins Jaelan Phillips comparison journey, but it is definitely the resulting transformation that has us ready for the feature presentation. Previously the number one ranked player in the 2017 recruiting class, the 6’6 defensive end was at the top of the world as a UCLA Bruins freshman, ready to dominate the PAC-12 and terrorize his way up draft boards. However, a series of events, most notably an accident that left his football career hanging in the balance, forced Phillips off of the football field and into his other passion, music. A doctor of sorts in the musical lab, Phillips is seemingly on his way to a dual threat career as a student in the renowned Frost School of Music. Most recently, reports have surfaced that the once heralded recruit reported to Miami at a svelte 225 on a lanky 6’6 frame. Now a massive 260 lbs, the defensive end is ready to reach his potential.
Though the correlation rounding twitter last week was to a Marvel favorite, the Incredible Hulk, it is the story of reclamation that speaks to a similarly powerful and hyped Norse God, Thor Odinson. Most folks that know only of the movies focus on his most recent iterations. In Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Endgame we see his journey from a powerful God, to broken being, back to resurgent god, discovering a new way to power himself. But Thor’s original story sees him, similarly, go from a God promised the throne of King to being banished and stripped of his power, hiding on earth as a doctor with a very meek appearance. Like Phillips, the journey documents a struggle to rediscover one’s self and fulfill a destiny of greatness. Phillips journey has brought him to thus far rave reviews in the spring, that we hope to see become dominants seasons at the U.
Greg Rousseau originally was a man forgotten in the recruiting class of 2018. That class featured a 5 star, 9 4 stars, and 8 other athletes before Rousseau, who was ranked the 18th player in our class, 27th at his position and 485th nationally. Always noted as having potential but also to be a long term project, Rousseau went under the radar throughout his recruitment and his first couple of months on campus. Its rumored he was spotted at College GameDay at Coral Gables in 2017 much larger than the report 222 lbs, but quickly disappeared. Resurfacing on Greentree the following spring, it was reported that, wearing Orange and GREEN, he was seen towering over and terrorizing quarterbacks, tackles and running backs. The damage was extensive, to the tune of 9 sacks and double digit Tackles For Loss through a set of spring games. But before it could be captured on film he was wounded and seemed to disappear again. Then, during the 2019 hurricane season, the legend of the Incredible Greg Rousseau was finally witnessed, destroying offensive lines and tearing quarterbacks apart. What was once a quiet, meek and lanky safety and wide receiver prospect, had suddenly transformed into a monster!
The Incredible Hulk
If you haven’t caught on yet, Greg Rousseau is a spitting image for one Incredible Hulk. Both unstoppable forces, they hold a major role in the success of their teams, serving as the Calvary when the average hero can’t hold up and instilling fear in anyone that tries to contain him. Much like the Hulk, Rousseau has seemed to get larger and larger as he has become more and more aggressive in his pursuit of the quarterback over his time at Miami. Marvel recently regained the full licensing to the Incredible Hulk and can now make full features staring the green giant. And if Rousseau and the Canes can follow the same path, a fall Blockbuster is sure to follow.