In this past decade, while the championships weren’t flowing, and the Canes struggled through some tough seasons, there were still a few Miami players that shined bright in Coral Gables. Records were broken, plays were made, so which Hurricane had the best single season performance of the 2010’s?
2013 Allen Hurns: 62 catches, 1,162 yards (UM single season record), 8 touchdowns
2011 Lamar Miller: 1,272 rushing yards, 9 rushing touchdowns.
5. 2010 Leonard Hankerson
In my opinion, Leonard Hankerson is one of the more forgotten and under appreciated receivers in Miami Hurricanes history. He wasn’t on a national championship team, he wasn’t a high Draft pick, but his numbers at UM speak for themselves.
Random Cane of the day: Leonard Hankerson pic.twitter.com/0KA6XP6VQV— Mamba Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) April 10, 2020
His last season in 2010 was his best with the Canes, as Hankerson put together one of the finest years by a wide receiver in Miami history. He set two UM single season records with 72 receptions and 13 touchdowns, and his 1,156 receiving yards is second in school history.
4. 2014 Duke Johnson
Right off the bat as a true freshman in 2012, running back Duke Johnson dazzled the eyes of Canes fans. In 2014, Johnson returned off an injury he suffered the previous year, and produced the best season of his Miami career.
In a year where he became the schools all-time leading rusher, Johnson was a workhorse on the ground for the Hurricanes. Johnson finished 2014 with 1,652 rushing yards (2nd most in UM history) and 10 touchdowns. He also hauled in 38 receptions, for 421 yards and 3 touchdowns. All in all, Johnson totaled 2,073 yards from scrimmage.
Kaaya to Duke Johnson right before the half against Va Tech in 2014 pic.twitter.com/3kZ4MOPUK8— Mamba Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) January 16, 2020
3: 2016 Brad Kaaya
We move from Miami’s all-time leading rusher, to Miami’s all-time leading passer. Starting right away as a true freshman in 2014, Brad Kaaya developed into the Hurricanes best quarterback since Ken Dorsey.
Happy Birthday, Brad Kaaya! pic.twitter.com/BpMCoNDU2R— GO ‘CANES! (@83_87_89_91_01) September 3, 2019
In his junior season in 2016, his final year at UM, Kaaya saved his best for last. Under new head coach Mark Richt, Kaaya had a fantastic season, which ended in Miami’s first bowl win since 2006. Kaaya finished 2016 throwing for 3,532 yards (2nd in UM history) and 27 touchdowns (3rd in UM history). He also set a career high, completing 62% of his passes.
134 days until Canes Football.— Canes Legacy (@CanesLegacy) April 24, 2020
David Njoku’s career high of 134 yards came on just two receptions against Duke in 2016. Njoku showed off his athleticism by taking a Brad Kaaya pass 76 yards to the house early in the 3rd quarter then adding 56 yarder in the 4th.#CanesCountdown pic.twitter.com/R0bn6ncv9O
Whether it was true freshman receiver Ahmmon Richards or tight end David Njoku, Kaaya did a great job spreading the ball around to his core of playmakers, and ended his Miami career on a high note.
2. 2017 Malik Rosier
Though he’s gone through much criticism, 2017 was a special season for both the Hurricanes, and quarterback Malik Rosier. In a year that was filled with memorable plays and moments, Rosier led the Canes to Miami’s best season in over a decade. One of the highlights of the season was Rosier leading the Canes down the field against FSU, ending a 7-year losing streak to the Seminoles as he hit Darrell Langham for a game-winning touchdown.
Happy Birthday, Malik Rosier!pic.twitter.com/CSYGjkhMtx— GO ‘CANES! (@83_87_89_91_01) October 18, 2018
Rosier threw for 3,120 yards and 26 touchdowns, while also rushing for 468 yards and 5 touchdowns. His 31 total touchdowns is a Miami record. From leading game-winning drives against FSU and Georgia Tech, to using his legs against Notre Dame, Rosier came up big in 2017, leading UM to its first ACC Coastal title.
Random Cane of the day: Malik Rosier pic.twitter.com/VTAGYSpHvK— Mamba Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) April 14, 2020
- 2019 Gregory Rousseau
Was this even in question? In 2019, redshirt freshman Gregory Rousseau had one of the best single seasons in Miami history, and also established himself as one of the best players in college football. Rousseau collected 15.5 sacks (2nd in UM history), 19.5 TFLs and 54 total tackles. He also forced two fumbles and recovered one.
#Canes DL Gregory Rousseau with the speed swipe.@Greg_R5 attacks the hands of the lunging blocker & swipes them. Ends up with one of his 15.5 sacks. If you beat the hands, you beat the man! #PassRush— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) March 30, 2020
Rousseau earned All-American honors as a freshman last season for #TheU pic.twitter.com/LsizBH5xj3
The craziest part about Rousseau’s 2019 season, is that he didn’t even crack the starting lineup until week-six. Still, even in the first five games when he wasn’t starting, Rousseau managed to get 4 sacks. Once he did start, Rousseau couldn’t be stopped.
Against Virginia in his first start, Rousseau had 7 tackles, 1 sack and 2 TFLs, in the upset win over the Cavaliers. In a two-game stretch against Pitt and FSU, Rousseau had 7 sacks and 8 TFLs, as he simply overpowered the opponents offensive line. He was named first team All-ACC, ACC Defensive Rookie Of The Year, and second team All-American.