Dwayne Johnson discusses Miami football on Manning Cast

(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) /

During the NFL Wildcard Playoff game between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams on Monday night on the ESPN Manning Cast former Hurricanes defensive lineman and current entertainment superstar Dwayne Johnson discussed his time on the Miami football team from 1991 through 1994.

Johnson was signed by the Miami football program out of  Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Miami signed Johnson after he played only two years of high school football. Johnson is from a famous wrestling family. Johnson’s father and maternal grandfather are in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Johnson came to Miami with the goal of becoming the only freshman who would play. Miami shared the 1991 National Championship with Washington with Johnson as a freshman. Johnson played behind legendary Miami defensive linemen like Rusty Medearis and Kevin Patrick as a freshman.

Johnson would joke with hosts and Pro Football legends Eli and Peyton Manning the only thing keeping him from reaching his goal of playing in the NFL were injuries and the birth of Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp. Johnson was at one time ahead of Sapp on the Miami depth chart.


"“I was a decent player down there at the U and I played with some amazing players who went on to be some of the greatest college football players of all time. Went on to become the best in the NFL, legends, in Canton (Pro Football Hall of Fame). The time I spend down there at the University of Miami we were obsessed.We were brash, we were cocky we crazy, but we were winning. The lessons I learned down there were tremendous and I took with me forever…When I down to the University of Miami I was ready to rock and roll. I was ready to move the crowd. I was going to be the only freshman to play. That’s how much I was balling.I had a lot of raw talent. I had only played two years of organized football before that in the great state of Pennsylvania, the football-rich state of Pennsylvania. When I went down there I had some great upper body violence. The NFL…that was my dream. The reason why I didn’t make it to the NFL there were two reasons.Number one I had some injuries throughout my career I had to deal with and the other reason was Warren Sapp was born.”"

Johnson has always represented the University of Miami and the importance the U had in his development. Following his football career and attempted tryout in the Canadian Football League, Johnson followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father and became a professional wrestler.

That was where his personae The Rock was born. The Rock is what made Johnson an international superstar. Johnson eventually got to live his dream playing a former NFL player on the HBO Show Ballers from 2015-2019. The TV show Young Rock examines three parts of Johnson’s life including his time on the Miami football team.

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Anytime Johnson gets in front of the cameras with a chance to discuss the positive experience he had playing on the Miami football team helps the Hurricanes. Johnson has always had positive comments about the Miami football program. The Hurricanes get free publicity when Johnson is interviewed about playing for Miami.