Tight End U

For many years, the University of Miami has been known as ‘Quarterback U' and ‘Linebacker U.' Miami has produced some of the best quarterbacks college football has ever seen and some absolutely sensational linebackers as well.

Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Steve Walsh, Craig Erickson, Gino Torretta and Ken Dorsey at quarterback.

Ray Lewis, Micheal Barrow, Jessie Armstead, Bernard Clark, Maurice Crum, Dan Morgan, Jonathan Vilma and Nathaniel Webster at linebacker.

That's just naming a few.

But the Hurricanes could also take on a new moniker and be known at ‘Tight End U.'

Why?

Because in the past ten years, Miami has produced some of the best tight ends that college football has ever seen.

Starting in the late 90s, the ‘Canes were blessed with a mammoth tight end and pancake blocker in Bubba Franks.

They couldn't do better than that right?

Wrong? Along came the man himself, Jeremy Shockey who was as good as advertised and more.

Could Miami get better than that?

Well, yes. Then came Kellen Winslow II who proclaimed himself as "The Chosen One".

Bye-bye Winslow. Welcome Kevin Everett.

Everett may not play with the flash and emotion that Winslow had and the cockiness of Shockey, but Everett was as steady as they come and monster blocking tight end as well.

You can count on seeing him on Sunday's next season.

But while Everett departs, the best tight end of them all may already be on the roster as a freshman this year in Greg Olsen.

Olsen is out for the year with a broken wrist, but he has shown the type of player he is, and the type he can be in the future, catching virtually everything quarterback Brock Berlin threw his way this season.

And he did it quietly.

There was no cockiness. There was no braggadocio to it. It was simply business as expected and usual for Olsen.

And his humble personality is one that Miami should appreciate for the years to come.

"My comfort level improved as the season went on and realized that I could play at this level," Olsen said. "Right now I am just focusing on healing up to start the spring."

And if what we saw this year was Olsen just getting comfortable catching 16 passes for 275 yards, a 17.2 yards per catch average, and a touchdown, just picture what the ‘Canes will see next season when Olsen is the featured tight end as Everett was this year.

There were thoughts of trying to bring Olsen back this season, but with such a bright future, Hurricane doctors felt it would be best to let his injury heal rather than try to play through it.

"The doctor was not real sure about the injury from the beginning," Olsen said. "He told me that he didn't suggest that I play, but he would let me go as long as it didn't slow down the process. When he looked at it before Thanksgiving it just didn't look the way he wanted it. He thought if we gave it a break it would be able to heal up better."

And with the ‘Canes looking at 8-3 season with a berth in the Peach Bowl, not exactly Miami-like, next year is something the ‘Canes need Olsen to be looking forward to and concentrating on.

"It makes it real nice to see the tight ends that came out of here. Every year the tight end at Miami is one of the elite players in the country," Olsen said. "It makes it nice because you are not just playing tight end anywhere. You are playing tight end at a school that produces top players."

And once Olsen is healed and ready to play, ‘Canes fans may very well see the best tight end this U has ever had.

Better than Bubba.

Better than the "X" Factor Shockey.

Better than "The Chosen One" Winslow.

Better than Everett.

Better than all of them at "Tight End U".

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