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NIL Jackpot-The Great Miami Hurricanes of 2001

Updated: May 11

Unknown Date; Miami, FL, USA; FILE PHOTO; Miami Hurricanes running back Clinton Portis (28) in action at the Orange Bowl.
© Paul Chapman-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of the New Millennium, one team rose above all others and stormed the college football world with a CAT 5 intensity. Considered one of the greatest college football teams ever to celebrate excessively, the 2001 Miami Hurricanes would have rocked the NIL space.

These talented players from South Beach, led by Head Coach Larry Coker, could have commanded bags of money from any school in the country, and the powers that be at these institutions would have gladly paid any amount with a smile on their and love in their hearts.

Unknown date, 2001; Coral Gables, FL, USA; FILE PHOTO; Miami Hurricanes head coach Larry Coker runs onto the field at Sun Life Stadium.
© RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

This Hurricanes team scored 42 points per game on the offensive side of the ball while allowing a stingy nine points per game on defense. The average margin of victory was 32 points per contest. Miami’s defense led the nation in scoring defense, pass defense, and turnover margin, and pitched three shutouts.

And, to add insult to injury, their defense scored eight touchdowns on their way to a 12-0 record and a 37-14 defeat of Nebraska in the BCS Championship Game to hoist their fifth championship trophy.

This roster produced 38 NFL Draft picks, with 17 going in the first round. Here are a few of the standouts among many standouts on that 2001 roster (Author’s Note-This is not an all-inclusive list and is in no particular order):

NIL Jackpot


QB Ken Dorsey

·       2,652 yards passing, 23 TDs, and nine INTs.

·       2-time Big East Offensive Player of the Year, 2001-2002.

·       Maxwell Award winner, 2001.

·       7th round pick by the 49ers, 2003.

RB Clinton Portis

·       1200 yards, 10 touchdowns.

·       2nd round pick by the Broncos, 2002.

WR Andre Johnson

·       37 catches, 682 yards, 10 TDs.

·       Averaged 18 yards per catch.

·       1st round pick by the Texans, in 2003.

TE Jeremy Shockey

·       40 catches, 519 yards, seven touchdowns.

·       1st round pick by the Giants, 2002.

S Ed Reed

·       Nine INTs (Two returned for TDs).

·       2-time All-American.

·       Consensus All-American, 2001.

·       3 games with 2 INTs in 2001.

·       Conference Defensive Player of the Year, 2001.

·       National Defensive Player of the Year by Football News, 2001.

·       Career Hurricanes leader with 21 INTs.

·       Big East champion in the javelin.

·       1st round pick by the Ravens, 2002.

·       College Football Hall of Fame, 2018.

LB Jonathan Vilma

·       Led the Hurricanes in tackles with 79 in 2001.

·       One forced fumble for a touchdown, 2001.

·       One INT.

·       3-time All-Big East.

·       1st Team All-American, 2003.

·       1st round pick by the Jets, 2004.

LT Bryant McKinnie

·       Outland Trophy winner.

·       Consensus All-American.

·       College Football Hall of Fame, 2023

·       1st round pick by the Vikings, in 2002.

C Brett Romberg

·       Rimington Trophy winner, 2001.

·       1st Team All-Big East.

CB Phillip Buchanon

·       2nd Team All-American as a Punt Returner, 2001.

·       1st Team All-Big East.

·       1st round pick by the Raiders, 2002.

Other stars on this roster:

·       RB Najeh Davenport, 4th round pick by the Packers, 2002.

·       DE Jerome McDougle, 1st round pick by the Eagles, 2003.

·       LB D.J. Williams, 1st round pick by the Broncos, 2004.

·       CB Mike Rumph, 1st round pick to 49ers, 2002.

·       TE Kellen Winslow, 1st round pick by the Browns, 2004.

·       WR Roscoe Parrish, 2nd round pick by the Bills, 2005.

·       RB Willis McGahee, 1st round pick by the Bills, 2003.

·       RB Frank Gore, 3rd round pick by the 49ers, 2005.

·       CB Antrell Rolle, 1st round pick by the Cardinals, 2005.

·       DT Vince Wilfork, 1st round pick by the Patriots, 2004.

·       FS Sean Taylor, 1st round pick by the Redskins, 2004.

·       K Todd Sievers

·       Larry Coker, Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year


Over three decades, the Miami Hurricanes had a reputation as the bad boys of college football. They were in your face on every play and played a dominating style of football, talking trash and backing it up on the field. If NIL existed at the start of the New Millennium, the 2001 Miami Hurricanes would have been worth every dollar of NIL money.




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