5. Warren Sapp, DT, 1992-1994
Sapp was described by NFL.com as “A high energy, big-smiling trash talker with a unique blend of speed and strength.” An intimidating presence on and off the field, Sapp often intimidated his own teammates who did not perform to his standards. Sapp began his Miami career as a tight end before converting to defensive tackle.
Sapp was a consensus All-American who was the first Miami football player to win the Lombardi Trophy. The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame described Sapp as a man who annihilated opposing quarterbacks. Despite rushing from the interior of the DL, Sapp finished his Miami career with 19.5 sacks.
Sapp had such an impact as an intimidating presence that he finished sixth in the 1994 Heisman Trophy voting. The UMSHOF profile stated that opponents failed to formulate schemes to contain Sapp. Sapp finished his Miami career with 176 tackles and a plethora of forced fumbles. In 1994, Sapp had 84 tackles as a DT.
Sapp received multiple awards and honors. In addition to the Lombardi Award in 1994, Sapp also earned the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Bill Willis Trophy, and Big East Defensive Player of the Year. He was named a unanimous All-American in 1994, second-team All-American in 1993, and was twice first-team All-Big East.