75 Days to Miami football: DT Vince Wilfork rare 2001 impact freshman

DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr/Getty Images
DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr/Getty Images /

Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork was a rare impact freshman for the 2001 National Championship Miami football team. By the time he left Coral Gables, Wilfork was one of the best defensive tackles in Hurricanes’ history.

Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork made an immediate impact with the 2001 National Championship Miami football team with 41 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, one sack and 15 quarterback hurries as a reserve. Wilfork continued to be disruptive as a sophomore in 2002 despite not starting a game.

Wilfork had 43 tackles, 15 TFLs, seven sacks, eight quarterback hurries, one pass deflection and a forced fumble as the Miami football team ran their winning streak to 34 games at the end of the 2002 regular season. Wilfork put himself in the discussion among the best DTs in Miami history before ever starting a game.

Wilfork was an incredible athlete who competed on the Miami track and field team and set the school indoor shot put record of 17.05 meters (55’- 11.25”) in 2001 before it was broken in 2013. Despite being double and triple-teamed as a junior, Wilfork finished the season with 64 tackles 11.5 TFLs, six sacks and 20 QB hurries.

Wilford earned first-team All-Big East following the 2003 season. After the 2003 season, Wilfork chose to forego his final season of eligibility to enter the 2004 NFL Draft. Wilfork was chosen 21st overall by the defending Superbowl Champion New England Patriots. Wilfork became a mainstay in New England for 11 seasons.

Wilfork started 148 out of 158 games for the Patriots in 11 seasons. Wilfork signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Houston Texans in March 2015. After playing two seasons in Houston and starting all 31 games, Wilfork retired in August 2017. Wilfork finished his NFL career with 56 tackles, 16 sacks, 39 TFLs and 39 QB hits.

Wilfork was a dominant and steady force in the middle of the New England defense for the majority of their dynasty years. Honors and achievements during Wilfork’s career included five selections to the Pro Bowl, 2012 first-team All-Pro, a three-time second-team all-pro and a place on the Patriots 50th Anniversary team.

Next. 75 Days to Miami football: Warren Sapp Hall of Fame DT. dark

Wilfork is one of the greatest Miami football players ever and carried on the tradition at DT. Often lost in the discussion of the greatest DTs in Miami history with players like Warren Sapp, Cortez Kennedy, Russell Maryland and Jerome Brown, Wilfork is the greatest player to wear number 75 in Miami football history.