The Top Five Former Miami Hurricanes in the NFL Today
One of the most prestigious football programs in the NCAA, the University of Miami, has arguable produced more NFL stars than any other institution in the country.
Known equally for their confident demeanour and proficient football skills, University of Miami alumni have historically been quite successful in transitioning from the college to the professional game.
This list ranks the top five former University of Miami Hurricanes who compete in the NFL today.
5. Kellen Winslow
After concluding his career at “The U”, tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the sixth overall selection of the 2004 NFL Draft.
After failing to reach the expectations placed upon the former first-round selection, the Browns traded Winslow to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to the 2009 season.
Truly a marvelous athletic specimen, Winslow has the ability to be one of the NFL’s top tight ends. Despite being plagued by off-the-field issues throughout his short career, many believe Winslow still has what it takes to become the elite game-changer he was drafted to become.
In the coming seasons, Winslow will likely become the primary target of the youthful Josh Freeman.
4. Reggie Wayne
Reggie Wayne was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 30th overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft.
The acrobatic Wayne has enjoyed a fulfilling career with the Colts, and despite sharing looks from Peyton Manning with an array of world-class skill players, the former Hurricane is the proud owner of nearly 700 receptions and over 60 touchdowns.
In the NFL, Wayne has eclipsed the "100 reception" mark twice, and is a seven-time 1,000-yard receiver. And despite being a 10-year veteran, the sure-handed wide-out shows very little signs of slowing down at any point in the near future.
3. Andre Johnson
One of the most dynamic wide receivers in the league today, Andre Johnson was selected by the Houston Texans with the third overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft.
Arguably the most important selection in Houston’s short history, Johnson has turned the nascent franchise into a competitor in just a few short seasons.
Widely respected for both his brilliance as a wide receiver and sportsmanlike behavior, Johnson is the Texans’ all-time leader in every major statistical category, and is viewed as a leader in the locker room; someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to reign victorious.
2. Ed Reed
After finishing his career with the ‘Canes, Ed Reed was selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens.
Over the course of the next decade, Reed would cement his status as one of the league’s best free safeties. As a six-time Pro Bowl selection, Reed has displayed both a knack for creating an inordinate amount of turnovers, and dishing out extreme punishment when unlucky receivers find themselves in number 20’s neighbourhood.
A sure-fire Hall of Famer when he retires, Reed has long been considered one of the league’s most feared defensive players.
1. Ray Lewis
Despite being pegged as “too small” to be effective at the pro level, the Baltimore Ravens took a gamble on Ray Lewis, and selected the undersized middle linebacker with the 26th overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft.
Historically, there have been few players who have been more valuable to their franchise for a longer period of time than Lewis. In 14 campaigns, the 11-time Pro Bowler has cemented his status as the center piece of a defensive unit that has continually ranked among the league’s most dominant.
For over a decade the former Hurricane has served as an NFL icon, and by the time the future Hall of Famer retires, Lewis will go down in NFL history as one of league’s most intimidating and fiercest combatants.