With the NFL Draft having just passed, there comes the debates about which school produces the best players at certain positions. However, when it comes to tight ends, the Miami Hurricanes have done it better than anyone.
Commonly referred to Tight End U, the Canes have produced some of the best players at the position over the last 20 years. Other schools like Iowa and Stanford have tried to make their claim for being called TEU, but it doesn't match Miami.
In fact, since 2000, Miami’s tight end numbers are astounding. 12 tight ends drafted, five of them being first round picks, 16 Pro Bowls and five All-Pro selections.
In the early 2000’s, Bubba Franks started off a trend for UM tight ends. After twice being named All-American at Miami, Franks was selected 14th overall by the Green Bay Packers, where he would go on to become a great target for Brett Favre. At Green Bay, Franks was selected to the Pro Bowl three times.
Jeremy Shockey followed, turning into a legend for the Hurricanes in college, and eventually becoming a first round pick for the New York Giants. Throughout his career in the NFL with the Giants and New Orleans Saints, Shockey helped both teams win a Super Bowl championship, and also went to four Pro Bowls.
The talent at tight end just continued for the Hurricanes from then on. Kellen Winslow Jr. won the John Mackey Award in 2003 as the nations top tight end. Greg Olsen was next, who had a solid college career at Miami, and then went on to be one of the best tight ends in the NFL throughout his career. In his 13 seasons, Olsen has been selected to three Pro Bowls, and has also been an All-Pro two times. Plus, Olsen is still going in 2020 and is containing to make plays.
Then who could forget Jimmy Graham? The former basketball player who switched over to football, and then became a star for the Saints and Seattle Seahawks, going to five Pro Bowls and being named to two All-Pro teams.
While those are the names that most people know when it comes to Miami tight ends, the players that UM has produced in recent years just proves that they’re still TEU. After blowing up for Miami in 2016, David Njoku was a first round pick for the Cleveland Browns, and with his incredible athletic ability, he has a very bright future in the NFL.
Chris Herndon is someone who was solid for the Canes in 2017, and eventually caught the interest of the New York Jets, who selected him in the fourth round. In his rookie year, Herndon had 40 receptions for over 500 yards, and has become a reliable target for quarterback Sam Darnold.
And just when you thought the Canes were done, think again. Rising junior Brevin Jordan came to Miami as a freshman and immediately made an impact. Last year in 2019, despite missing several games, Jordan was first team team All-ACC, and was also a finalist for the John Mackey Award.
Projected as a first round draft pick in 2021, I believe Jordan could end up being one of the best tight ends ever to come through Miami, and I'm not alone thinking that. Fellow junior Will Mallory is also someone who has tremendous talent and incredible upside, and is another tight end who will find himself in the NFL one day as well.
While other schools continue to try and claim the title of Tight End U, Miami continues to prove otherwise year after year.