47 Days to Miami football: Michael Irvin the Playmaker

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 2:defeated the Rattlers 45-0. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 2:defeated the Rattlers 45-0. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Michael Irvin epitomizes Miami football. Irvin was the embodiment of swagger and one of the first brash Hurricanes to back up his attitude with his play on the field.

Michael Irvin was the embodiment of the Jimmy Johnson led Miami football program. Irvin was brash, confident and productive. The Playmaker set numerous school records. Irvin left Miami as the program leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, a record he still holds.

Until 2016 when the record was broken by Ahmmon Richards, Irvin held the Miami record for most receiving yards by a freshman. In just three seasons as a Hurricane, Irvin had 143 receptions for 2,423 yards and 26 touchdowns. During his three seasons in Coral Gables, Miami went 33-3 and won the 1987 National Championship.

Irvin’s 73-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Steve Walsh against Florida State in 1987 put the Hurricanes ahead in the fourth quarter, rallying from a 19-3 third-quarter deficit for a 26-25 victory. Miami went on to defeat Oklahoma for the third straight season in the Orange Bowl and their second National Championship.

Irvin was a first-team All-American as a sophomore when he finished with 53 receptions for 868 yards and 11 TDs, a second-team All-American in his junior season when he recorded 44 receptions for 715 yards and six TDs. Over 10 percent of his yards in 1987 came on the clutch TD against Florida State.

Following his junior season,


left for the NFL where he was the 11th overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson joined him with the Cowboys a year later replacing the only head coach in franchise history, Tom Landry. Johnson and Irvin teamed with another former Miami player

Russell Maryland

to win two Superbowls.

The Cowboys won Superbowls XXVII and XXVIII and after Johnson left, Superbowl XXX with Barry Switzer who Johnson, Irvin and the Hurricanes defeated in the 1988 Orange Bowl when he was with Oklahoma to win the National Championship. Irvin was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.

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Irvin was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007. Ahead of Superbowl XXV Most Valuable Player Ottis Anderson, Irvin was the godfather of swagger and is undoubtably the best player in Miami football history to wear number 47.