He is a football great from Miami who never got to play for the Miami Hurricanes team he grew up loving.
Former Florida State and Miami Central High School star running back Devonta Freeman focused on the Hurricanes in his one-minute video as part of ESPN’s “College Football 150 My story” series that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the college game.
“I’m from Miami,’’ Freeman begins in the video. “We always played football on the streets of Miami growing up —everybody.’’
Then Freeman throws up the U three times and says, “UM, UM, UM, so... It’s the competitive nature. My thing is, I’m the underdog. For so many years UM been the top dogs and I always wanted to be them. It really started with the recruiting process. They didn’t recruit me at first when I wanted them to recruit me.
“They started recruiting me towards the end of my high school career, and I was like... I felt disrespected because I knew I was the best running back in the city, in the whole state of Florida. So I was like, ‘OK, cool. Wherever I go I’m gonna make sure you never beat us.
“And I went to Florida State. I was like, ‘I gotta play y’all every single year. Y’all, either in the ACC Championship and in the regular season, but ya’ll will not beat us — and I’m gonna get a national championship before my time is up at Florida State.’
“And we did that.’’
The Seminoles not only won the national title in 2014 (2013 season) in Freeman’s final game as a Seminole, but they beat Miami in all three of his seasons — 2011, 2012 and 2013, with Freeman a significant contributor. Those were FSU’s glory years in the rivalry, as the Seminoles defeated the Hurricanes seven consecutive years through 2016, Coach Mark Richt’s first year of his three-year tenure.
Randy Shannon was the Miami head coach 2007-10, when Freeman would have initially been recruited. Al Golden took over in 2011.
The Canes have beaten FSU the past two years, and meet the Seminoles again Nov. 2 in Tallahassee.
ESPN tweeted out the video on Tuesday.