football Edit

Poll Results: Best Miami Linebacker of All-Time

Miami could make a case for LBU especially in the 90s and 2000s. We took a poll in our premium message board Canes Talk to determine who fans think is the best linebacker in the program's history.


4. Jonathan Vilma

Photo Credit: Associated Press
Temple's Lester Trammer (20) fights for extra yardage against Miami's Matt Walters (91) Jarrell Weaver, back, and Jonathan Vilma (51) during the second half Saturday Nov. 3, 2001, at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

Jonathan Vilma, the Coral Gables High School product, was a Freshman All-American in 2000. As a sophomore, he made nine tackles and returned a fumble 36 yards as the Canes stopped FSU's 54-game home unbeaten streak, then had his career high of 20 tackles (12 solo) against them in 2002.

Vilma was named a 2003 All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and the Walter Camp Foundation. That season, he led the Canes with 127 total tackles (81 solo) and was a finalist for the Butkus Award as the nation's most outstanding linebacker. He led the Hurricanes in tackles for three consecutive years (2001-2003), and his 377 career total tackles rank seventh-best all time, fourth-best for a middle linebacker behind only George Mira, Jr., Micheal Barrow, and Ray Lewis.

He was a two-time first-team Academic All-American and a three-time Academic All-Big East selection.

3. Michael Barrow

Photo Credit: USA Today
Miami Hurricanes linebacker (56) Michael Barrow reacts during their National Championship victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers 22-0 at the Orange Bowl.

Linebacker Micheal Barrow earned two titles as a member of the 1989 and 1991 National Champion Hurricanes. After his stellar final campaign, which saw him lead the team in tackles (136-80 solo), Barrow was selected as an All-American, the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, and finished seventh in the Heisman balloting.

He also won the University of Miami's 1992 Jack Harding MVP award. Barrow finished his UM career (1989-1992) with 401 total tackles and assists, keeping him in the top five at Miami

2. Dan Morgan

Photo Credit: USA Today
Miami Hurricanes line backer Dan Morgan (44) in action

Dan Morgan was an All-American fullback at Taravella High School in Coral Springs and didn't switch to linebacker until just days before the 1997 season opener.

In 2000, Morgan won the Butkus Award for the nation's top linebacker, the Bednarik Award for top defensive player, and the Nagurski Award as the College Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named a consensus First Team All-American, named to ten different teams, and was the unanimous selection as BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year.

Despite playing with a broken thumb, he was a three-time All-BIG EAST first-team selection and made the 2nd team his sophomore year. Morgan set the Miami career record for total tackles with 532 in his four seasons, including 309 solo tackles and 223 assists, both Miami records.

He led the team in tackles in three of his four seasons. In 2000, he had 90 solo and 138 total tackles, recording 20 total tackles twice and at least 15 six times. His best game was a 21 total, 14 solo tackle effort against Virginia Tech in 1997.

1. Ray Lewis 

Photo Credit: USA Today
Miami Hurricanes linebacker Ray Lewis (52) in action against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field. The Hurricanes defeated the Buffaloes 35-29.

Starting as a true freshman, Ray Lewis, the Bartow, FL, registered big numbers and ended his three-year career with a bevy of honors. Lewis holds the Miami individual season record for tackles by a middle linebacker with 95, and incredibly, is tied for second in career total tackles and assists with 160.

He was named All BIG-EAST in 1994 and 1995 and was voted the Jack Harding MVP of the team after the 1995 season.

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