Generations merged in the pouring rain Wednesday at the University of Miami campus, where old-school watched new-school, and future Hall of Famers – University of Miami and NFL – watched outgoing Hurricane football players perform at their annual Pro Day combine.
“Just go out and do your best,’’ Indianapolis Colts receiver Phillip Dorsett, who went through this same process last year, said his message would be to his former teammates training for the NFL Draft. “Good luck!”
Legendary UM and NFL safety Ed Reed, now the proud, new assistant defensive backs coach for the Buffalo Bills, said he was scouting for the Bills and basking in his personal glory of being back at the U.
“I’m out here as a scout/coach/alumni and I wanted to see how these guys are moving and how they’re looking. I’ve watched them on tape and I want to see who can be a Buffalo Bill. I’ve got to give my honest opinion, which I will.
“I like [cornerback] Artie Burns. I like him. I like his size and I like him as a competitor. I like his movement – [safety] Deon Bush, too. Both of them are very strong, very athletic, coachable, teachable. If you get those athletes, you’re getting great players.’’
Said Burns, who did everything but the 40-yard dash, which he completed in 4.46 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine: “Besides the weather, everything went nice... I really didn’t talk to any coaches, but everybody was saying I did real good.’’
Burns, projected to go as high as late in the first round, said he will bring “passion and swag’’ to the NFL team that drafts him. “Whatever the team needs me to do I’m going to fight. If they need me to be a holder or kicker, I’ll do it. They’re getting a guy who will do anything for the team.’’
Bush said NFL representatives Wednesday had him clocked in the “low 4.4s” and “high 4.4s” the two times he ran the 40. “That’s pretty good considering it was kind of pouring down a lot. I’m just glad I had another opportunity to come out here. It’s now or never. There wasn’t an alternate day that we had.”
Reed, who won a national championship in 2001 with the Canes, was asked what it meant to him to be a Hurricane.
“It means my world,’’ he said. “It’s everything to me. I’ll bleed the orange and green for life.’’
Who were some of the other former Hurricanes who showed up to support the Canes workout for the NFL Draft?
Running backs Duke Johnson and Lamar Miller, receivers Tommy Streeter and Allen Hurns, quarterback Stephen Morris, tight end Richard Gordon, defensive linemen Anthony Chickillo and Allen Bailey, cornerbacks Brandon McGee, safety Antrel Rolle and linebackers D.J. Williams, Denzel Perryman and Jon Beason.
The Hurricanes they watched work out: Burns, Bush, defensive back/running back Dallas Crawford, defensive linemen Calvin Heurtelou, Ufomba Kamalu and Michael Wyche, tight end Joe Rogers, running back Colin Alford, cornerback Tracy Howard, linebackers Raphael Kirby and Tyriq McCord and receivers Rashawn Scott and Herb Waters.
“It meant everything to watch those guys today,’’ said Beason, a Hollywood Chaminade graduate who recently announced his retirement after being drafted in the first round by the Carolina Panthers and playing nine seasons in the NFL, the last three with the New York Giants. “You get the opportunity to kind of relive the pressure of the moment when you were coming out. You see these young guys right there on the cusp of doing something special, living the dream. It’s something you want to be part of, and for us, we want to see them do well.
“We’re here to root them on more than anything.’’