The Top 100 Hurricanes, (#40-31)

This installment of the Top Hurricanes, Post 1980 reaches down to #31, Gino Torretta. One of the most decorated quarterbacks to come out of Miami, Torretta won a National Title and played for another. We'll break down the complete list from 40-31 here. This group includes one current player who may have time to move up in the rankings!

40- CJ Richardson (91-94): Richardson was a hard-hitting safety that helped in building the UM pipeline from the state of Texas in the early 90's. In addition to being a top notch safety, he was a first rate special teamer as he was a heat seeking missile on the coverage units.

Richardson was a disciplined player from a mental standpoint and an extremely physical one on the field. Richardson is one of the hardest hitters that Miami has ever seen in it's defensive backfield.

His biggest play at UM, came in his senior year against FSU in 94, with the Noles leading 14-7 in the second quarter and driving for more, it was Richardson who picked off a Danny Kanell pass and took it deep into FSU territory. UM, would soon tie the ball game and the momentum was changed forever and the Canes would down FSU at the Orange Bowl in front of a national audience watching on ESPN.

Richardson would be named first team All-American in 94.

39- Kevin Williams (90-92): 'K-Dub' as he was called was one of the most dangerous return men ever to pass through Miami. After showing glimpses of his potential in his redshirt freshman year in 90, he would explode in 91, helping lead UM to another national title.

He would gain a total of 1,183 all-purpose yards and set a UM record with three straight games with a punt return for a touchdown. Williams, had a key punt return for a touchdown against Penn St. that was instrumental in UM's 26-20 win over the Nittany Lions.

In that 91 season, Williams would be named All-American as a punt returner, in addition to being named the 91 Big East Special Teams Player of the Year. As a receiver, Williams and his 4.3 speed made him a dangerous deep threat but he was most dangerous in Ericksons spread offense getting the ball on the inside slip screen as a wideout.

38- Jay Brophy (79, 81-83): Brophy, was one of the defensive spearheads of the 83 National Champions from his linebacker spot. While it seems that UM has been producing big-time 'backers forever, it was Brophy that started the trend.

Brophy had 308 total tackles during his UM career, leading the Canes in stops in both 82 and 83. In his final year at UM , he would be named first team All-American.

37- Stephen McGuire (89-92): When Stephen McGuire went down with a severe knee injury on a cold winters night in Chestnut Hill late in 91, it was for all intents and purposes the last we had seen of the 'real' Stephen McGuire. As the same combination of speed and power would never be seen again from this Brooklyn native.

In fact it was only a week earlier that McGuire would pound the Noles into submission in the fourth quarter to lead Miami to a thrilling 17-16 win over the Noles in Tallahassee in Wide Right I. Defenders were bouncing off him like it was 'Tecmo Bowl'. It was one of two 100-yard rushing performances that McGuire had against FSU in leading the Canes to victories in 90 and 91. Against the Noles in 90, he would bludgeon FSU for a career high 176 yards and a touchdown to key the Canes 31-22 victory.

As a freshman, he would play a key role down the stretch, scoring a touchdown over Notre Dame in addition to his 21 carries for 83 yards and another 80 yards on 17 carries, along with another touchdown against Alabama in the 90 Sugar Bowl, to help lead UM to it's third national title.

At the end of his UM career, McGuire would finish tied for career touchdowns with 35 and sixth on the all-time rushing list with 1,953 yards.

36- Bubba Franks (97-99): Franks, was one of the key components in the resurgence of Miami football. Despite not being labeled a blue-chip prospect coming out of Texas, Franks helped bring the superstar status back to UM football,

Franks, in many ways of the prototypical tight end, he was tall( 6'6), blessed with good size( 245 pounds) and blessed with soft hands, Franks would finish with 77 career receptions for 1,038 yards. Franks would start 30 of his 34 career games at UM before leaving Miami for the riches of the NFL after his junior year.

Franks would depart Miami after being named first team All-American in 99.

35- William Joseph (99- ): If Joseph had the persona of a Warren Sapp or Jerome Brown perhaps he'd get more attention. But Joseph, unlike most Hurricane standouts, doesn't do much talking- he lets his play do it all for him.

Starting his UM career as a defensive end, he would begin to blossom in 2000 after being moved to tackle, where he would provide strong support on the inside to Damione Lewis. Last year, he only got better and better, he tallied 10 sacks and 19 tackles for losses and dominating guards and centers on the inside. Strong as a bull, Joseph is only scratching the surface of his potential.

Joseph, has started 38 games at UM coming into his senior year. In that time, he would be named to the Sporting News Freshman All-American team in 99 and make third team All-American last year. Joseph, comes into 02, as a strong favorite to win various post-season honors.

34- Ryan McNeil (89-92): McNeil is one of the premiere cornerbacks in Miami history. McNeil was a rangy corner who regularly shut down the oppositions go-to receiver.

As a freshman he would play a key role in Miami's 89 title team and start all 12 games in UM's 91 championship squad. McNeil, would be a two time All-Big East selection and during his senior campaign he would be a Thorpe Award semi-finalist, on his way to being named first team All-American.

33- Nate Webster (97-99): Before Dan Morgan swept every award possible in 2000, it was the hard-hitting Webster that many considered the Hurricanes best linebacker the previous two seasons.

In 98 and 99, Webster would be named third team and second team All-American, in addition to being named All Big-East in both seasons. During the 99 season, he would be named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week on four separate occasions His 150 tackles in 99, ranks fourth on the UM seasonal list. Webster, was a high intensity player who brought the heat on every play.

He would cap off his UM career by winning the MVP in the 2000 Gator Bowl versus Georgia Tech.

32- Tremain Mack (94-96): T-Mack, is quite simply, not only the greatest special team player in UM history, but maybe the greatest in college football, period. Who can forget the 96 'Miracle at the Mountain' against West Virginia, where his late punt block spurred UM to it's victory over the Mountaineers. It was just one of many kick blocks for Mack who left UM as it's all-time kick blocker.

But he wasn't just a one-trick pony as Mack was also a deluxe kick returner as he holds the second and third all-time single game bests for kickoff returns with 205 yards against Temple and 146 Syracuse in 96.

In 96 he would be named the Big East Special Teams Player of the Year, in addition to making second team as a safety. During that season he would win the Harding Award for being UM's MVP that season. He would cap his UM career by winning MVP honors in the 96 Carquest Bowl against Virginia where he returned a fumble for 79 yards for a touchdown, had a 42 yard INT that he took all the way and he also blocked a field goal.

He sure came a long way from being the long snapper in 94, I'd say.

31- Gino Torretta (89-92): One of the most decorated players in UM history. In 92, while he gallantly led UM to an undefeated regular season record, he would win the Heisman, Maxwell, O'Brien, Walter Camp and Unitas Awards. In addition to being named the Football News Player of the Year.

Torretta, would start his UM career with his feet being put right to the fire as he would come in for an injured Craig Erickson against Michigan St. in East Lansing, where he would lead the Canes to a hard fought victory over the Spartans. Later that year, he would have a tough game against the Noles in Tallahassee, where UM would suffer it's only loss in 89.

But his losses were far and few between under center, as he would down FSU twice in 91 and 92 and have a 24-2 mark as a starter. Winning a national title in 91 and getting them to the brink in 92. Torretta, would finish his career ranked number one for career completions at UM with 555, number one in career passing yards with 7,690 and number one in total offense with 7,722.

But with Torretta, it was more than just the numbers, his leadership and toughness that his teammates and fans appreciated.

Part 1 - #101-91
Part 2 - #90-81
Part 3 - #80-71
Part 4 - #70-61
Part 5 - #60-51
Part 6 - #50-41
Part 7 - #40-31
Part 8 - #30-21
Part 9 - #20-10

Steve Kim is a rabid Hurricane fan that has been a loyal visitor of for the past four years. Kim, runs his own website and is their lead columnist covering boxing on a daily basis.

For questions and comments email Steve at

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