By David Villavicencio
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes have a long tradition of homegrown talent showcasing itself on the football field.
Canes legends like Michael Irvin, Sean Taylor, Jonathan Vilma, Santana Moss and Bennie Blades are just a handful of South Florida natives who shined while donning Miami’s orange and green.
Over the next 14 weeks, HurricaneSports.com will honor a Hurricane football player with South Florida ties as the Milam’s Market Homegrown Athlete of the Week. This week’s player spotlight is Coral Gables native Denzel Perryman.
A standout linebacker for the Hurricanes’ defense, Denzel Perryman is a team leader on and off the field.
But before he joined the Canes, Perryman was a star at Coral Gables Senior High School, just minutes away from the University of Miami campus.
Coral Gables has produced several outstanding Hurricanes including Vilma, running back Frank Gore and linebacker Darryl Sharpton. Perryman continued the tradition of stars from Gables High, becoming an impact player from the minute he set foot on Miami’s campus in 2011.
A punishing tackler, Perryman saw action in all 12 games his freshman year, earning five starts that season. He ranked first among ACC freshmen and second overall on the team with 69 tackles.
The linebacker earned national recognition for his play as a freshman. Perryman was named first team Freshman All-America by both Yahoo! Sports and CBSSports.com. He was also named Miami’s 2011 Newcomer of the Year.
Success continued in his second season in Coral Gables. Perryman played in just nine games due to injury, but still finished second on the team with 64 tackles. His 45 solo stops ranked first among 2012 Hurricanes.
Despite playing a shortened season, Perryman’s play impressed and he was selected All-ACC honorable mention by both the ACSMA and the ACC Coaches while college football analyst Phil Steele named Perryman to his 2012 All-ACC third team.
Perryman enters his third season as a Cane at outside linebacker after playing both inside and outside in the past. The 6-foot, 243 pound junior is expected to be a key cog in Miami’s defense.