Miami football players from every decade dating back to the 1940s were in attendance, as one of their own – Hurricanes’ head coach Mark Richt – led the current crop of Hurricanes in action on the fields that they once plied their craft on.
“It’s fun,” Richt said of having the alumni back on campus. “We had dinner last night, not only with our football alumni but with our current players. It is just kind of men’s town. And we have the former players there with our current players and they get a chance to get to know each other. We spread our guys around to make sure they are sitting with some of the, I won’t say old guys, but some of the veterans of the program. And I think they had fun.”
Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde watched his son, Vincent, connect on a deep ball with freshman DeeJay Dallas for a 65-yard touchdown. Fellow quarterbacks Evan Shirreffs, Malik Rosier and Cade Weldon also got opportunities to showcase their skills in front of the Hurricane greats.
“It was a little route where we make it look like we are running a dig and then we went vertical on it and caught the corner off balance,” Richt said. “And [redshirt junior quarterback] Vincent [Testaverde] laid it in there nice. He had nice protection on that play. It was a really nice throw.”
Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis and Santana Moss are just some of the Hurricane legends from the offensive side of the ball that were on hand to watch wide receiver Dayall Harris snag a touchdown, while fellow receiver Darrell Langham reeled in five catches for 73 yards. Running backs Mark Walton and Travis Homer combined for 10 catches, as well.
Miami’s defense, which proved to be one of the most aggressive and impactful in the country in 2016, had the opportunity to shine in front of greats like Jon Beason, Jonathan Vilma, D.J. Williams and Calais Campbell and they did not disappoint.
RJ McIntosh has a trio of sacks, while Pat Bethel, Trent Harris, Demetrius Jackson and Mike Smith each added a sack of their own.
The secondary also shined , with Ryan Mayes, Sheldrick Redwine and Tyler Murphy each tallying four tackles. Murphy also picked off a pass, but it was cornerback Malek Young’s interception in the end zone that caught the attention of legends like Burgess Owens, Phillip Buchanon and the Hurricanes’ head coach.
“Malek Young made one of the most acrobatic interceptions I have seen on a deep ball where the offensive player really had the advantage of where the ball was coming down,” Richt said. “We tried to put the ball where the offensive guy has a better shot, obviously, but Malek just went and jumped and twisted and found it and snatched. I mean, you just don’t see that very often. You might see a guy rake it out, bat it out, something like that, at best. But it looked like a sure touchdown and he found a way to not only break it up, but intercept it. It was probably the most impressive play of the day.”