The University of Miami has been known as Quarterback U for its parade of passers to the NFL – Heisman Trophy winners Vinny Testaverde and Gino Torretta and first-round NFL draft picks Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar and Steve Walsh.
But Running Back U may actually be a more fitting label.
As a college supplier of NFL talent, Miami ranks 12th all-time with 344 draft picks. The Hurricanes rank fourth with 64 first-round selections. Eight of those first-rounders have been running backs, and Miami has four backs who rank among the Top 30 rushers in NFL history.
Frank Gore sits No. 8 with 13,065 yards; Edgerrin James 12th at 12,246 yards; Ottis Anderson 28th at 10,273 yards and Clinton Portis 30th at 9,923 yards. James was the fourth overall selection of the 1999 draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Anderson the eighth overall choice of the 1979 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals; Portis a second-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2002 and Gore a third-rounder by the San Francisco 49ers in 2005.
In addition, Chuck Foreman — the 12th overall pick of the 1973 draft by the Minnesota Vikings — became one of the game’s most versatile backs. He went to five Pro Bowls and led the NFL in touchdowns in both 1974 and 1976 and led the league in receiving in 1975.
Willis McGahee and Cleveland Gary also were first-round draft picks from the U who became 1,000-yard NFL rushers. Lamar Miller was a fourth-round pick who has posted 1,000-yard seasons for two teams, the Miami Dolphins and the Houston Texans.
Here’s the all-time University of Miami NFL team:
QB – Jim Kelly, Hall of Fame
RB – Edgerrin James, 2000s NFL all-decade team
RB – Frank Gore, 5 Pro Bowls
WR – Michael Irvin, Hall of Fame
WR – Reggie Wayne, 7th all-time in receptions
TE – Greg Olsen, 3 Pro Bowls
OT – Bryant McKinnie, Pro Bowl
OT – Leon Searcy, Pro Bowl
G – Dennis Harrah, 6 Pro Bowls
G – Chris Myers, 2 Pro Bowls
C – Jim Otto, Hall of Fame
DE – Calais Campbell, 3 Pro Bowls
DE – Eddie Edwards, 83 ½ career sacks
DT – Cortez Kennedy, Hall of Fame
DT – Warren Sapp, Hall of Fame
OLB – Ted Hendricks, Hall of Fame
MLB – Ray Lewis, 2000s NFL all-decade team
OLB – Jessie Armstead, 5 Pro Bowls
CB – Ryan McNeal, Pro Bowl
CB – Duane Starks, 25 career interceptions
S – Ed Reed, 2000s NFL all-decade team
S – Sean Taylor, 2 Pro Bowls
K – Carlos Huerta, Grey Cup champion
P – Jeff Feagles, 2 Pro Bowls
KR – Devin Hester, NFL record 20 return TDs