The University Of Miami (the one in Florida) has gotten a lot of attention for the large amount of talent they have produced on the football field during the last three decades.
Many of them have gone on to win Super Bowls and some will one day be enshrined in Canton, Ohio. However, many football fans are unaware of the talented players that played for the Hurricanes in the years before Howard Schnellenberger and Jimmy Johnson helped put "Tha U" on the national map.
Al Davis may not have three Super Bowl rings at the moment without the pre-Schnellenberger era Hurricanes that have suited up for the Black and Silver over the years. While, this team mainly consists of players from over the last 25-30 years, a couple of the old timers show up on the roster.
This team is based solely what these players have accomplished at the NFL level and not during their NCAA careers or elsewhere.
Quarterback : Jim Kelly—After his two record-setting seasons in the USFL with the Houston Gamblers, Kelly led the Buffalo Bills to four straight Super Bowls and is arguably the most revered athlete to have played in Western New York.
Honorable Mentions : Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar
Busts : Steve Walsh
Running Backs : Chuck Foreman and Edgerrin James—the 2001 Miami Hurricanes had three future Pro Bowl running backs on its roster, yet not one of them could crack the starting lineup because of the depth at this position. Chuck Foreman made the Pro Bowl for five straight years (1973-1977) and helped the Minnesota Vikings win three NFC crowns. He was also one of the legaue's first true pass-catching running backs. Edgerrin James won the rushing title during his first two NFL seasons and has gone on to the rush for over 12,000 yards for his career.
Busts : Alonzo Highsmith
Wide Receivers : Michael Irvin and Andre Johnson—Michael Irvin was one of the Dallas triplets that helped the bring three Super Bowl titles to the Lone Star state during the 1990's.Despite his great numbers on the field, his off the field problems have often overshadowed his accomplishments.
I was conflicted on my choice for the second receiver between Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson, but choose Johnson because he has achieved great numbers on a recent expansion team all without the help of a future Hall of Fame quarterback for his entire career.
Honorable Mentions : Reggie Wayne, Brett Perriman, Brian Blades, Eddie Brown, Santana Moss, and Sinorice Moss
Tight End : Jeremy Shockey—While his production has fluctuated over his career, Shockey played on four Giants teams that made the play-offs, although he was hurt for Super Bowl XLII. He is currently the starting tight end for a New Orleans Saints offense that is the league's best and deepest without a doubt.
Honorable Mentions : Kellen Winslow II, Greg Olson, and Bubba Franks
Offensive Tackles : Bryant "Mount" McKinnie and Leon Searcy—After not allowing a sack during his collegiate career, McKinnie has been part of one of the league's best offensive lines in Minnesota along with Steve Hutchinson. However, he has given up a sack or two so far in his professional career. Leon Searcy was a starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XXX team and he formed the league's premier offensive tackle duo in Jacksonville with Tony Boselli. He we was a 1999 Pro Bowler after the Jaguars went 14-2.
Honorable Mentoin: Eric Winston
Offensive Guards : Vernon Carey and Dennis Harah—It seems like Vernon Carey has never left Miami-Dade county. He was born there, played his college days there, and has been a Miami Dolphin since they drafted him 19th overall in 2004. Carey has been a starter for the Phins since his second season. Dennis Harah played 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams after being selected 11th overall in the 1975 draft. He was a six time Pro-Bowler, played in the Super Bowl, and helped Eric Dickerson set the single season rushing record of 2,105 yards.
Honorable Mentions : Mark Cooper, Chris Myers, and Martin Bibla
Center : Jim Otto—Long before the Hurricanes established themselves as the Bad Boys of college football, he helped establish the Oakland Raiders was the Bad Boys of the NFL. Otto never won a Super Bowl with the Black and Silver (he did play in Super Bowl II), but he helped establish Al Davi's team as an NFL powerhouse. He was the first Hurricane to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mention : Mike Hudock
Defensive Tackles : Warren Sapp and Jerome Brown—Warren Sapp was a focal point in Tampa Bay for one of the league's best defenses during the late 1990's and early 2000's. The 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year went to seven Pro Bowls and is a future Hall of Famer.
Jerome Brown's professinal career was cut short after his death in a car crash at the age of 27 in 1992, after he was selected to the previous two Pro Bowls. He could have been a Hall of Famer. Brown played for Buddy Ryan's Gang Green defenses that were amongst the best in the league, but could never get over the hump in a super-tough NFC East that won four consecutive Super Bowls between 1990-1993.
Honorable Mentions : Russel Maryland, Cortez Kennedy, Vince Wilfork, Jim Burt, Mike Barnes, and Rubin Carter
Busts : Damione Lewis and William Joseph
Defensive Ends : Kevin Fagan and Danny Stubbs—Fagan and Stubbs played for the 49ers on their 1988 and 1989 Super Bowl winning teams. While there are more recognizable players at other positions, I had to name at least two defensive ends for this team instead of cheating by moving players from other positions here. Due to the lack of depth here, Calais Campbell may have a starting spot in a few seasons.
Honorable Mentoins : Kenard Lang, Don L. Smith, and Calais Campbell
Busts : Jerome McDougle
Outside Linebackers : Ted Hendricks and Jessie Armstead—The Mad Stork won four Super Bowls during his career (one with the Colts and three with the Raiders) and he may be the most underrated linebacker in NFL history. He has 60.5 career sacks and 26 interceptions.
Jessie Armstead was only an eigth round selection in 1993 due to an ACL injury, but progressively became one of the league's best linebackers. He was an All Pro for four consecutive years and played for 11 seasons.
Honorable Mentions : Darrin Smith, Winston Moss, D.J. Williams, Rocky McIntosh, and Taveries Gooden
Middle Linebacker : Ray Lewis - Miami may be known as "Quarterback U," but their talent at middle linebacker over the years maybe even more impressive. However, Ray Lewis easily gets the choice here. Lewis has twice been the Defensive Player of the year (only six have done this) and is the only linebacker to be a Super Bowl MVP. He is a modern day Butkus, one of the best to ever play the game, and a future Hall of Famer.
Honorable Mentions : Jon Beason, Michael Barrow, Dan Conners, Jonathan Vilma, and Dan Morgan
Cornerbacks : Duane Starks and Ryan McNeil—This is not as deep as the middle linebacker position, but its still more respectable than the defensive ends on this list. Duane Starks never went to a Pro Bowl, but he had a respectable 10 year career in the NFL for four different teams. He was a starter for the 2000 Ravens defense that set the NFL record for fewest points allowed in a season. McNeil led the NFL in interceptions for the 1997 season and went to the Pro Bowl in 2001 with the Chargers . He helped the Lions reach the playo-ffs for three consecutive seasons (1993-1995).
Honorable Mentions : Ronnie Lippet, John Turner, and Phillip Buchanan
Busts : Mike Rumph
Free Safety : Ed Reed—Three Raven defenders on here, what are the odds? Ed Reed has established himself along with Troy Polamalu as the premier safeties in today's NFL. Reed was the 2004 Defensive Player of The Year and has been to the last six Pro Bowls. Aside from Reed, this position has had some talented Miami players over the years in the NFL.
Honorable Mention: Sean Taylor, Darryl Williams, Fred Marion, Kenny Phillips, Antrell Rolle, and Burgess Owens
Strong Safety : Bennie Blades—Brian's little brother played nine seasons for the Detroit Lions and was a Pro Bowler after they went to the NFC title game during the 1991 season. He was also a teammate of fellow Hurricane Ryan McNeil during that three year playoff run of the Wayne Fontes era (the days of Fontes don't look so disappointing now for Wayne County and the Greater Detorit Area).
Honorable Mention : Brandon Meriweather
Kicker : Carlos Huerta or Dan Miller—both have played only one season professionally and have a combined total of nine career NFL games. For all the great players Miami has produced at other positions over the years they have not had a long-term starting kicker in the NFL. This ones a toss up for all the wrong reasons. I was going to pick Carlos Huerta because he won 2 national titles at Miami (1989 and 1991) and a Grey Cup with the Baltimore Stallions, but all credentials for this team are based solely on NFL accomplishments and production. Maybe one day Miami will have a successful NFL kicker.
Punter : Jeff Feagles—Feagles is currently in his 22nd NFL season with the New York Giants and was a member of their most recent Super Bowl winning squad. The "coffin corner" punter was a Pro Bowler in 1995 and 2008.
Kick Returner : Devin Hester—From the start Devin Hester established himself as one of the league's most feared players and showed the impact a special teams player can have in the NFL. Many teams simply refuse to kick the ball to him anymore. He returned the opening kickoff in a Super Bowl for a touchdown (the only player to do so) and has 18 career touchdowns at the moment.
Honorable Mention : Kevin Williams
Punt Returner : Roscoe Parrish—Parrish has established himself as one of the NFL's top punt returners and has helped the Bills have one of the league's best special teams.
I think this team has a great chance at beating an All-Time NFL team of any other college team. The talent that has come out of this school alone at the running back, middle linebacker, defensive tackle, and free safety positions may make the University of Miami the best talent feeder ever for those positions.