Jim Kelly had a weekend he won’t soon forget.
The former Miami quarterback great and Buffalo Bill, who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, served as the grand marshal of the UM homecoming parade on Friday night, then was honored in a ceremony Saturday at halftime.
Kelly, who has recently battled cancer of the jaw and nasal cavity, now has a staph infection in his bones and carries around portable medical equipment so he can receive antibiotics intravenously three times a day.
Saturday was deemed “Kelly Tough” day, as Kelly, surrounded by his two daughters and wife, was presented with a $10,000 check from the sale of “Kelly Tough” T-shirts to benefit his foundation.
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He also received a UM jersey with his late son Hunter’s name on it.
The Hunter’s Hope Foundation was started by Kelly in honor of Hunter, who was diagnosed as a 4-month-old with globoid cell leukodystrophy and died at age 8 in 2005.
The Sun Life Stadium crowd roared its approval during a standing ovation and shouted “Kelly! Kelly! Kelly!” as he walked off the field.
“I like that,” Kelly told the crowd before he exited. “I really haven’t heard that many cheers in this stadium for a long, long time and I think you all know what I’m talking about.
“…I know in Buffalo, N.Y., and right here in South Florida, the resiliency you have to continue to pray for myself and my family — God bless you guys. Thank you so much.”
Also honored Saturday was the late defensive tackle Jerome Brown and fellow tackle Russell Maryland, whose names were added to the Ring of Honor.
NOT THIS TIME
As he was racing toward the end zone on his school-record tying 90-yard touchdown run Saturday, Duke Johnson said he looked up at the large video board inside of Sun Life Stadium to take a peek at where North Carolina’s trailing safeties were.
Tar Heels safety M.J. Stewart dove and got a hand on Johnson’s right forearm as he went for the strip, but he couldn’t stop him. Last year, Johnson got run down on a 59-yard run by safety Jabari Price at the UNC 12-yard-line. He said that play was on his mind.
“I had to make sure I got by him,” Johnson said with a smile. “[Offensive coordinator James] Coley called a great play.”
Sophomore running back Gus Edwards, who ran for a season-high 115 yards and two touchdowns in the win at Virginia Tech on Oct.23, left Saturday’s game with an ankle injury on the first series and didn’t return.
Although Edwards was carted off the field, according to WQAM 560 AM play-by-play man Joe Zagacki, coach Al Golden said early reports on Edwards “are that he’ll be OK.”
FLOWERS NOT DONE
Golden said injured left tackle Ereck Flowers, who missed Saturday’s game after knee surgery Wednesday, is “not done for the season,” adding he hopes he will be back soon.
Freshman Trevor Darling made his first career start at right tackle and played well, according to Golden. His backup, redshirt freshman Sunny Odogwu, came in for a series in the second quarter and was beaten on his first play for a sack by Mikey Bart, who forced a fumble that was returned for a Tar Heels touchdown.
Golden, though, was still pleased with his offensive line’s effort.
“We’ve lost four players since the spring, and the fifth transferred,” Golden said. “That’s four tackles. That’s hard to overcome.
“ I really appreciate their effort right now. Trevor went in and did a nice job for us. He’s going to learn a lot. He’ll get better from this.”