52 Days to Miami football: Pro Football HoF Ray Lewis

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 06: Miami Hurricanes alumni (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 06: Miami Hurricanes alumni (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Ray Lewis became a legendary linebacker for the Miami football program after becoming the last player in his signing class in 1993 to join the Hurricanes.

Ray Lewis holds the top two seasons in tackles for the Miami football program with 152 in 1995 and breaking his own record a season later with 160. In three seasons with the Hurricanes, Lewis recorded 388 tackles to rank sixth all-time. Lewis’ average of 129 tackles per season is third in program history.

The late entry of Lewis to the Miami 1993 signing class did not prevent him from becoming a starter as a freshman. Opponents immediately saw the impact that Lewis was having on the field and had to game plan for him. Lewis went on to be named first-team All-Big East and first-team All-American in 1994 and 1994.

In the three seasons with Lewis in the middle of the Miami defense, the Hurricanes finished 27-8. Miami allowed 13.9 points per game in Lewis’ freshman season in 1993 to finished seventh nationally, 11.9 PPG in his sophomore season in 1994 to finish second and 18.3 PPG in his junior season in 1995 to finish 22nd.

The 1994 Hurricanes played in the Orange Bowl and held a 17-7 lead on number one Nebraska before the Cornhuskers scored the last 17 points of the game to win their first National Championship under legendary coach Tom Osborne and gain a semblance of retribution for Miami’s win in the 1984 Orange Bowl.

Following the 1995 season, Lewis chose to forego his final season of college eligibility and enter the NFL Draft after playing for Butch Davis during his first season coaching the Hurricanes.


became the 26th overall pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft in the first year of the franchise.

Lewis went on to a Hall of Fame career with Baltimore and won two Superbowls. Among the other accomplishments for Lewis were being named Super Bowl XXXV MVP, 13 times to the Pro Bowl, seven times as a first-team All-Pro, three-times second-team All-Pro and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 and 2003.

Next. 53 Days to Miami football: Zach McCloud returns. dark

Lewis was named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team and the Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honor. Lewis was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and is undoubtedly the best player to ever wear number 52 in Miami football history.