The University of Miami was chartered in 1925 and classes began in 1926. The university’s first president, Dr. Bowman Ashe, proposed a 50,000-seat stadium for the school’s would-be football team. Just one day after work on a temporary stadium began, a massive hurricane struck much of South Florida, leaving destruction in its wake and leveling much of the area. Understandably, plans for the stadium were halted, and classes started late, so it wasn’t until Oct. 23, 1926, that the University of Miami played its first football game in front of 304 spectators.
While the origin of the team name, the Hurricanes, may be shrouded in mystery (some say it came from the 1926 hurricane, as the university hoped the football team would sweep opponents away just as the storm did), the traditions at the school are very strong, and they’ve certainly produced a ton of NFL players. In fact, they hold a number of NFL draft records, including most first-round selections in a single draft (six in 2004), the most consecutive years with first-round draftees (14 from 1995 to 2008).
Former Hurricanes in the Pro Football Hall of Fame include Ted Hendricks, Michael Irvin, Jim Kelly, Cortez Kennedy, Jim Otto, and Warren Sapp. There are scads of former Miami players currently playing in the NFL.
It’s All About The U
There are 46 former Hurricanes in the NFL, spread out among 23 teams. A few teams have four, including the Jaguars (Brandon Linder, Allen Hurns, and Calais Campbell, plus Marques Williams on reserve) and the Chargers (Rayshawn Jenkins and Travis Benjamin, plus Denzel Perryman and Asante Cleveland on reserve). The Panthers have three (Ladarius Gunter, plus Greg Olsen and Corn Elder on reserve). The Colts also have three, including Sean Spence and Frank Gore, as well as Erik Swoope on reserve.
The rest of the teams have one or two former Miami players, including the Falcons with Jermaine Grace and Matthew Bosher; the Bears with Pat O’Donnell and Dean Bush; the Packers with Justin Vogel and Herb Waters; and the Texans with Lamar Miller and Ufomba Kamalu.
There are quite a few standout players that once roamed the field at what is now the Hard Rock Stadium. Tight end Jimmy Graham, drafted in 2010 by the New Orleans Saints, has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times and has gained over 1,000 yards twice in his career so far, including 2013, when he led all of the NFL with 16 touchdowns. Graham now plays in Seattle.
Frank Gore, who now runs the ball for the Indianapolis Colts, was drafted in 2005 by the San Francisco 49ers, where he remained for a solid decade, putting up a ton of yardage (including nine seasons of 1,000 yards or more). He ran for over 1,000 during his first year with the Colts as well (2015) and has been selected to the Pro Bowl five times.
Greg Olsen, who is currently on injured reserve for the Carolina Panthers, is another former Hurricane of note. Olsen became the first tight end in NFL history to record three straight 1,000-yard seasons and has been selected to three Pro Bowls during his time with the Panthers. He played the first four years of his career in Chicago, having been drafted in the first round in 2007.
Whether you’re a longtime fan of the Miami Hurricanes football team and have been following your favorite college players to the NFL, or are simply looking for some amazing new NFL gear, Fanatics is the place to go to find authentic jerseys, blankets, baby items, and even slippers.