University of Miami: NFL U

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University of Miami: NFL U
With the last pick in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select…Kenny Phillips.

The roars of applause were probably louder in Miami than they were in New York.  With Kenny Phillips being the 31st players selected in this year’s draft, the Hurricanes’ record of having at least one player selected in the NFL Draft was kept alive.

For the past 14 years, from 1994 through 2008, at least one Cane has been taken in the first round, an achievement that cannot be claimed by any other school.

The amazing thing is that the past few years have been down years for Miami players in the Draft.  Although, I guess that’s what happens when you put as many players into the first round as the program did at the beginning of this century.

Let’s just take a look at the numbers.

From 2001 to 2004, Miami had at least four players go in the first round.

In 2001, Pro Bowl receivers Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne were two of the four Canes picked in the first round.

The next year, five more Hurricanes went, including the likes of Pro Bowlers Jeremy Shockey and Ed Reed.

Again in 2003, four Canes went, with Pro Bowlers Andre Johnson and Willis McGahee being two of those selections.

And finally in 2004, Miami set a record with six players going in the first round.  Four of those were defensive players that included Super Bowl winner Vince Wilfork and the late Pro Bowler Sean Taylor.

Over that four year span, 19 players from The U were selected in the first round, 11 of them coming from the defensive side of the ball.  But, of the 8 offensive players selected, 6 of them have gone to the Pro Bowl, while 5 of the 11 defensive players have joined them in Hawaii.

No matter what Miami achieves on the collegiate level, there’s no doubt that you will see a Cane playing every Sunday.  The NFL is littered with Hurricanes players because the program has managed to dominate the Draft like no other college has...earning itself the title “NFL U.”
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