Still 85 days until Miami takes on BC in its’ opener and ‘Cane fans are feeling salty. Like Devin Hester waiting back deep for a punt, or Ray Lewis during before a pregame speech, we’re fired up! So what better way to kill the time as we wait for September then an all time favorite ‘Canes football list?!
With out further delay, here are my all time Favorite ‘Canes:
1) Ken Dorsey. 38-2 as a starter, One bad PI call from back to back National Championships, Gutsy, and Clutch.
All time favorite Dorsey Moment: It’s hard to go against the 02′ CO-MVP Rose Bowl performance, but Dorsey really came of age in the game winning drive against then top ranked FSU in 2000, culminating in a 13 yard TD pass to Jeremy Shockey.
2) Willis McGahee. In 2002, Magahee ran for 1,753 yards and 28 TDs, averaging 6.2 yards per carry, and SHOULD have won the Heisman.
All time favorite McGahee Moment: The catch and run on a screen pass late in the 4th quarter that lead to Miami’s thrilling 28-27 victory over FSU. It may not have been his most spectacular play but was easily MaGahee’s most memorable. (Funny how the big ones against Florida State stand out.)
3) Andre Johnson. A beast on the field yet humble off it. CO-MVP of the 2002 Rose Bowl.
All time favorite Johnson Moment: Shedding a Nebraska DB like a rag doll in the Rose Bowl on his way to the game’s opening TD, and setting the tone for UM’s dominating performance.
4) Frank Gore. I love how Gore battled back not once, not twice, but three times (including high school) from major knee injuries to not only star at Miami, but also have a stellar NFL career.
All time favorite Gore Moment: Capped one of the greatest comebacks in NCAA history with the game winning TD against UF in 2003. Miami had trailed 33-10 in the third quarter but came back to win 38-33. See Highlights below:
5) Michael Irvin. The “playmaker” epitomized swagger and had the skills to back it up on the field.
All time favorite Irvin Moment: His 73 yard catch and run from Steve Walsh in 1987, provided the margin of victory against FSU.
1) Sean Taylor. The late great Taylor is in my opinion, the hardest hitting safety in College Football history.
All time favorite Taylor Moment: Big # 26 rumbling down the field in the rain for a INT return for TD against FSU in 03′. Taylor picked off 2 passes in that game but could have had 5 had there not been a torrential down pour in Tallahassee that day. RIP Sean Taylor.
2) Ray Lewis. Lewis defined intensity and honed skills at UM that have led to one of the greatest careers in NFL history.
All time favorite Lewis Moment: My freshman year of college, my roommate James Callan, Josh, and I went to the home opener against FAMU. James from the UK, had never seen a live football game, yet observed:
“I don’t know what the &%@* is going on in this game, but I do know Ray Lewis is one hell of a player!”
3) Ed Reed. Another future NFL legend who started it all at the U.
All time favorite Reed Moment: Halftime speech in 01′ against FSU.
“Don’t ask me if I’m hurt!! …… Joaquin said dominate!!”
4) Jonathan Vilma. A guy who was as smart as he was ferocious.
All time favorite Vilma Moment: The two cartoonish, freaky/devastating KO shots he delivered to Nebraska ball carriers in the 02′ title game.
5) Duane Starks. Starks was a star at corner for UM in the mid/late 90′s and was the tenth overall pick in the 98′ draft. But he makes this list for another, personal reason.
All time favorite Starks Moment: Leading up to Super Bowl XXXV against the Giants I was beaming about Starks and his play for the Ravens (and clearly showing my bias toward UM players in the NFL). At the time I worked for a company called Software House International, and on a hunch predicted to several co-workers that Starks would take one back to the house on Super Bowl Sunday. An annoyed Giant fan/co-worker named Darren Blustein was so aggravated by my prediction, he bet me $5 it wouldn’t happen, at 15-1 odds. $75 later I will always love Starks!! I’ll never forget the look on my friend/co-worker Jeff Pieper’s face when Darren paid off the bet. (yes, also a true story!)
This week we rifled through the messages boards and social media outlets to ask ‘Canes fans who their favorite players of all time were & why? Here are some of the responses:
Adam Haggerty: “Reggie Wayne. He made Kenny Kelly look good.”
Connor Leonard: “Sean Taylor, because he made the Seminoles his &%$#@”
Chris Weatherspoon: “Warren Sapp. He was a great player..& he played hard every play.”
Phillip Cornell: “Rusty Medaris.. few had the heart and motor he had, true cane. If injuries had not ruined his career he would have been a monster in the NFL too.”
Tito Govantes Payares: “Jerome Brown R.I.P was a true football player he was the best defense player in UM history and when he went pro.”
CityBoyCane: “Easy. Ray Lewis. He is everything that is UM football.”
4Canes: “Brock Berlin will always hold a special place for ripping out the hearts of the Gators.”
Susan Ferris: “I always really enjoyed watching Devin Hester get the ball and return it up the field. It was amazing to watch him run the field like he owned it.”
Canes00: “Daniel Stubbs. No one went after the QB like Stubbs. He had a mean streak unmatched.”
Shaun Martin: “D Hester, the greatest thing to me in football is to see someone take it to the house!”
AllanF2000: “Sean Taylor. Honorable mention goes to his QB, Chris Rix, for throwing him perfect passes.”
Dee Kieft: “Andre Johnson, because even though he’s only been to 1 playoff with Houston he stays so positive and inspirational.”
Mike Drinkwine: ” Ted Hendricks, a GREAT player on an average UM team.”
Morris Victor: “The Mad Stork.”
Carnell Jenkins: “Michael Irvin, because he loves the U and is always representing and coming back to visit.”
Christy Terborg Burchett: “Michael Irvin was a tremendous player, dynamic motivator and a super nice guy to be around! Love him!”
Brynn Ferris: “Malcolm X Pearson. He was a guy who played like I did when I was playing youth and HS football. Maybe not the most talented player in history, but a grinder..and Edge. Edgerrin James was one of the best all around running backs the world has seen since Payton and Jim Brown. ”
Eddie Gunter: “DORSEY!!! He is the main reason we played in those two championship games, because of his leadership and ability to distribute the ball. Don’t get me wrong, we had a lot of talent that would’ve gone pro but Ken helped their careers.”
Michael Poppino: “VT, Vinny Testaverde. He had swagger (member of the camo crew before LSU), he had lasting power (tell me he wasn’t the Jason Kidd of the NFL), he had the skills (Heisman speaks for itself) and he had the hair. LOL”
MSchaff: “OJ Anderson. A one man offense, literally. What the dude could of accomplished with a team around him would of been a sight to behold.”
Thanks to all who responded. Go ‘Canes!!