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Miami Hurricanes

Brad Kaaya falls to late 6th round taken by the Detroit Lions

Ari Russell



(Icon sportwire)

The suspense finally ended for former Miami QB Brad Kaaya on Saturday afternoon, when the Detroit Lions selected him with the 215th overall pick. It’s hard not to make this story out to be a disappointment, but the reality is, being a QB and being drafted in the 6th round is better than not being drafted, but it’s still somewhat of a let down.

This opens up more questions than answers when it comes to Kaaya. Who was advising the young man to make the decision to skip his senior season. Did he think he hit his ceiling at Miami? Despite ending the season on a five game winning streak and snapping their bowl game win drought of a decade, this was certainly an up and down season, which likely played a large role in the slide. When pressure was applied, especially during that four game win streak, Kaaya did look pedestrian. Of course it didn’t help that his line played the role of turn styles for those few weeks, but it was clear he struggled with pressure in the pocket. This aspect didn’t improve until after Mark Richt and the coaching staff made some slight adjustment to the blocking schemes and offense to mitigate some of the deficiencies Kaaya displayed.

The pro game is worlds faster than the college game, so you can see why scouts could feel that his foot work and inability to make plays under pressure could be a major sticking point. At his workouts though he looked great. He clearly has the arm strength to make some tough throws and when given time, he proves he make some big plays. Should Kaaya have stayed for his senior season. Leaving has certainly created a hole at who will play QB this season. With that said, perhaps Kaaya and his people felt that his downsides weren’t going to drastically improve for staying in school. Perhaps not, but it’s hard to imagine he having a strong year at Miami, let’s say they win the ACC Coastal division and make a high level bowl game which they win and he still goes in the late 6th round.

Now for a little bit of the positive. Getting selected by Detroit is one of the more ideal situations for Kaaya. At this point he has no pressure to potentially start. The team doesn’t have to commit a lot of money to him early on. He will, if he makes the team, play back up to Matthew Stafford. Stafford isn’t going anywhere for a while, so Kaaya can just hold the clip board for a few years. He gets to learn an NFL offense and perhaps over time, work on some of those short comings that had him drop in the first place. Having one of the most productive, veteran QBs as a mentor is huge for a rookie QB. It’s much better he landed in a place with an actual franchise QB. Kaaya was never considered the caliber to be able to start on day 1, so this is a great scenario.  What also helps his cause is that he’s very bright, so he should pick up the play book really fast. He’s also very humble, a good leader and the type of person that will be a great influence in the locker room.

It is disappointing that he fell so deeply in this draft. That said at least he got drafted. The rest will be up to him as to whether he actually gets a chance to start in the NFL several years from now.

Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.

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Miami Hurricanes

Dolphins inactives Friday night mean opportunity for some

Florida Football Insiders



Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins will play the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium Friday night, except that, several of the prominent ones will not suit up.

NFL teams don’t have to make public an injured or “inactive” lists, but Miami did essentially list the following players as out:

It’s not surprising that rookie RB Kalen Ballage is being held out while in concussion protocol. However, with Frank Gore also not suiting up, that means that veteran reserve Senorise Perry will get extended playing time. And, that will likely mean in the first half.

Also, the Dolphins had already ruled DeVante Parker out with an injured hand, but now also Kenny Stills won’t play. This will mean more action for newcombers Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson. It also means that reserves Jakeem Grant and Leonte Carroo should see more playing time earlier in the game.

And, likewise defensive lineman Jordan Phillips not playing opens up some time for others like Davon Godchaux, etc.

If head coach Adam Gase and his staff wanted to get a good look at their depth, this is a great opportunity.

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Miami Hurricanes

Ray Lewis-from Kathleen High School to the Canes to the NFL to Canton

Florida Football Insiders



Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night Ray Lewis, a former star at Kathleen High School in Lakeland, who later became a fear middle linebacker for the Miami Hurricanes, and then one of the great middle linebackers of all time for the Baltimore Ravens, was immortalized at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Lewis’ took his place alongside the greats of the game along with the likes of Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher, Jerry Kramer and Brian Dawkins in the 2018 class on Saturday night.

His nearly 35 minute induction time was more of rousing emotional sermon of thanks than an actual speech.

After achieving All-American High School honors playing for Kathleen in the early 1990’s, Lewis chose to head south to Coral Gables to play his college football. He was a college All American his final year (1995) with the Hurricanes and recorded the second most tackles in Miami football history. This included a game against West Virginia where he recorded 15 of them.

Lewis was the 26th pick overall in the first round by the Ravens in 1996, his career from then on, was nothing short as spectacular.

He played in 17 season all for the Ravens where he retired in 2012. He’s a 13 time Pro Bowler and seven time first team All-Pro, and three times second team All-Pro. He’s a two time Defensive Player of the Year, won two Super Bowls, retiring after winning the second one in 2013. And, he was a Super Bowl MVP in 2001.

Lewis finished his career with an incredible 2,061 tackles (think about that one), 41.5 sacks, 67 pass deflections, 31 INTs, 17 forced fumbles and 3 TDs.

Lewis’ election and induction is not without controversy, as he was charged along with others in double homicide on a cold night Superbowl week in Atlanta in 2000. Lewis was later acquitted on all charges and resumed his career. Amazingly, a year later he was holding the Lomabardi Trophy with his teammates in Tampa.’s Robert Klemko addressed the story this weekend, the controversy, and his encounter with Lewis questioning him about the situation and his feelings on it back in that 2013 Superbowl season.

Obviously, that feature illustrates the NFL’s and the Ravens’ desire to have Lewis’ legal troubles be left in past. Yet, it will always be part of his story.

Back to the field, when talking about Ray Lewis, there’s not doubt that he’s certainly one of the best defensive players ever to play in the NFL. You can argue he’s the most dominant MLB in the last 25 years.

Lewis joins, Ted Hendricks, Michael Irvin, Jim Kelly, Cortez Kennedy, Jim Otto and Warren Sapp as former Miami players to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Miami Hurricanes

Former Canes star RB Tyrone Moss passed away Thursday

Florida Football Insiders



Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Sad news to wake up to on a Friday morning, as former Miami Hurricanes and South Florida high school legend Tyrone Moss has died of heart failure at 33 years of age.

Moss, who still holds several Broward County high school rushing records, played for the Canes from 2003-06.

The Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel had the latest on the shocking news overnight:

Moss rushed for over 7,000 yards at Pompano Beach Ely High School and led them to the 2002 state championship.

Playing for Larry Coker’s Hurricanes, Moss ran for 511 yards as a true freshman in Miami’s final year of Big East play in 2003.

Moving to the ACC, Moss’ best season was his junior year, 2005, where he ran for 701 yards and 12 touchdowns in Miami’s first eight games. This included back to back 100 yard rushing games to open the season against Florida State and Clemson. He later ran for 195 yards and three touchdowns in a win over North Carolina that year.

Moss suffered a knee injury the follow week in Miami’s upset at unbeaten Virginia Tech and did not play the remainder of the 2005 season.

Moss ran for just 285 yards and three TD’s in eight games his final season, 2006 and went undrafted by the NFL in 2007.

Our colleague, Chris Fischer of NBC6 in Miami had more on Moss’ death:

The University reacted to the news of Moss’ passing later on Friday morning:

And several of his teammates began to react Friday to the news of Moss’ sudden passing:

And one of the largest Canes, ever, also sent condolences:

His high school coach at Pompano Beach Ely, Steve Davis told the Sun-Sentinel,

“It’s a total shock. He was, by far, the best player I’ve ever coached at the high school level. You had defenses and everybody that we played, all 11 guys knew he was going to get the ball. He’d still have 250 yards…. He was just incredible. He was a great football player, but he was a greater human.”

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