Miami football alums returning for Paradise Camp set culture

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13:(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13:(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The return of dozens of Miami football alums for Paradise Camp over the weekend gave them a chance to work with the current Hurricanes players to coach the recruits that participated. Paradise Camp has annually opened with Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin speaking. Many other former NFL All-Pros were in Coral Gables.

Among more recent alums, 2021 NFL first-round draft picks, defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Greg Rousseau participated in Paradise Camp this weekend. Both players were named second-team All-Americans during their Miami football careers. Rousseau was a 2019 All-American, Phillips in 2020.

Other more recent graduates that were at Paradise Camp are safety Sheldrick Redwine who is entering his third year in the NFL and wide receiver K.J. Osborn his second. Even through the Miami mediocrity for most of the last 20 years, Hurricanes football alums have returned to Coral Gables in the offseason.

Head coach Manny Diaz spoke to reporters this weekend about what it meant to have Miami football alums back for Paradise Camp this weekend. The players from the Hurricanes championship eras and shortly afterward probably seem like mythical figures to high school recruits. Young alums in attendance were also important.

"“It’s really neat. It’s fun to have them share the stories of their first minicamps and things like that…The alumni that were here in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s are awesome. But I do think it’s important that our recent alumni feel that you don’t have to be 20 years removed to have the pride of the program.To see guys like K.J. Osborn, [Sheldrick] Redwine, Trent Harris here…the more we can do that, the better we all are. It’s surreal just because I’ve watched all those guys play, whether it was highlights or actual games. So, them actually knowing my name and you know, having them dap me up, it was crazy."

Rosseau, Phillips, fellow edge rusher Quincy Roche who was a sixth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, tight end Brevin Jordan who was a fifth-round pick of the Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers undrafted free agent kicker Jose Borregales of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just completed their first mini-camps.

Next. Miami legends arrive for Paradise Camp. dark

The Miami football program was at its peak when alums returned, taught the younger players who then passed the culture down. When Diaz took over in December 2018 as the head coach he spoke about changing the culture. That’s often coach speak. The improvement in 2020 showed how important culture is to a football program.