When you think of the most dominating players that ever played for the Miami Hurricanes, it’s a long list. Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis, Sean Taylor, you can literally go on and on and on. One guy that doesn’t get enough recognition, though he may be THE most dominating player in program history, is Bryant McKinnie.
Have you ever gone back and looked at what McKinnie accomplished? It’s downright silly.
After spending two years at a junior college in Pennsylvania, McKinnie transferred to Miami for the 1999 season, where he ultimately redshirted. In 2000, McKinnie got his chance and became the starting left tackle for the Hurricanes.
In two seasons at LT, McKinnie was unstoppable. During the 2000 season, McKinnie did not allow a sack, and helped running-back James Jackson top 1,000 rushing yards, as the Canes offense averaged 460 yards per game. Miami’s offensive line as a whole in 2000, allowed just 3 sacks, ALL SEASON. That year, McKinnie earned first-team All-American honors as well as a first-team All Big East selection.
As part of the greatest college football team ever assembled in 2001, McKinnie was one of the best players on the field for the Hurricanes that fall. For the second straight season, he did not allow a sack while protecting quarterback Ken Dorsey, he was awarded the Outland Trophy, and again earned first-team All-American and first-team Big East honors. Maybe the craziest stat from that 2001 season, McKinnie finished 7th in the Heisman Trophy race. Most importantly, he helped Miami capture the schools fifth national championship.
78 days until Canes Football.— Canes Legacy (@CanesLegacy) June 19, 2020
Few players in college football history had the type of run Bryant McKinnie did in his two years as a Cane. Between 2000 and 2001, he did not allow a single sack and physically dominated his opponents along the way. #CanesCountdown pic.twitter.com/ygQ1OUtpwP
So in two seasons as starting left tackle for the Canes, McKinnie DID NOT ALLOW A SINGLE SACK. I’ve seen that stat many times, and every time I read it, it still amazes me, especially when you think that McKinnie faced pass-rushers like Dwight Freeney and Jamal Reynolds during his college career.
McKinnie was the #7 pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2002 NFL Draft, and played 12 seasons in the pros. In 2012, McKinnie was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame.
Miami has had some phenomenal offensive lineman come through Coral Gables, such as Eric Winston, Leon Sercy, Orlando Franklin, just to name a few. Though, I don't think it’s much of a debate when you say, McKinnie might just be the best.