Miami known for producing top quality talent

If history is any indication of the future, then fans should expect to see many of the players in the Peach Bowl to be playing on Sundays in the NFL.

Since 1984, the University of Miami has produced more NFL draft picks than any one other college. The Hurricanes have 78 drafted players, 43 of them being first round picks.

Even more astounding, 33 of those first round Hurricanes were taken between 2002 and 2005. Miami also set the record for most players taken in the first round when six of their players were selected.

To compare, since 1984, LSU is ranked 12th in the overall number of players picked with 40, almost half of the number taken from Miami. Only nine of those 40 Tigers were taken in the first round.

Miami also boasts having two of its player drafted with the first overall pick.

Defensive Tackle Russell Maryland was chosen by the Dallas Cowboys in 1991, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used their number one pick in 1987 to grab quarterback Vinny Testaverde.

Players such as Michael Irvin, Ray Lewis, and Warren Sapp are just a few of the names who were drafted in the NFL after their time at the U.

These players have gone on to a celebrated professional football career. Dating back from Super Bowl I, the University of Miami has had at least one of its players in 33 of the 39 Super Bowls, including one in each of the past seven Super Bowls. Of those Super Bowl players, 26 Hurricanes have been victorious.

Currently, there are 56 former Hurricanes active in the NFL, compared to 32 former Tigers. These Miami alumni are some of the biggest names in the game. Edgerrin James, Jeremy Shockey, and Clinton Portis are just some of the famous NFL players who played in Coral Gables.

The players are not the only members of the Hurricane football program to gain notoriety in the NFL.

Jimmy Johnson coached at the University of Miami, winning 52 games and losing 9 in just five seasons. In 1987, Johnson led the Hurricanes to an undefeated season and a national championship after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl.

The 1986 and 1988 teams coached by Johnson finished second in the polls.

In 1989, Johnson replaced the legendary Tom Landry as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson coached the Cowboys to two consecutive Super Bowls victories in 1992 and 1993.

Success stories like this are nothing new to the Hurricanes program. Michael Irvin won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, two of the teams coached by Johnson.

The quarterback Johnson and Irvin faced in their two Super Bowl victories, Jim Kelly, is also a graduate of Miami. Kelly brought his Buffalo Bills to the Super Bowl four consecutive times, but never won any of them.

However, football players are not the only successful athletes to come from the University of Miami. The university also propels its baseball players into the major leagues.

Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell donned the green and orange before being called up.

Alex Cora also attended Miami before reaching the majors in 1998. Tiger fans might best remember Cora lying in the infield as Warren Morris strode past him after his game winning home run in the 1996 College World Series.

Miami has also produced many successful sports personalities. ESPN sideline reporters Jill Arrington and Suzy Kolber are both former Hurricanes who can occasionally be seen reporting at Tiger Stadium.

The most notorious, and probably hated, sports agent Drew Rosenhous is a product of Coral Gables. Rosenhous gained his fame through his client, Terrell Owens, last summer.

Former Miami football players have also gone on to fame outside of the sport. Dwayne Johnson, better known as "The Rock" by wrestling fans, played linebacker at Miami before back injuries forced him to change professions.

Even with the heralded athletic program the University of Miami offers, many of their graduates have become successful outside of sports.

Ray Liotta, best known for his lead performance in Goodfellas, graduated from Miami's theatre school.

Singers Gloria Estefan and Enrique Inglesias also attended Miami before making their marks on the recording industry.

With all these big names coming out of Coral Gables, fans at the Peach Bowl should keep their eyes open for the next celebrity.

Although LSU fans will be cheering against Miami on December 30, in a few years, they may be cheering for those former Hurricanes on their fantasy football team.

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