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 course of the 2013 football season, 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 Miami native Allen Hurns.
“Uphold the Legacy” is one of Miami head coach Al Golden’s mantras for excellence at the University of Miami.
For senior wide receiver Allen Hurns, the statement rings true in more ways than one.
Hurns is a product of Miami Carol City High School, historically one of the county’s top football programs.
The Chiefs have produced numerous players who have gone on to collegiate and professional stardom. Carol City is especially famous for developing many athletes who went on to stardom at the University of Miami.
The long list of former Chiefs who went on to become major contributors for the Hurricanes includes All-American defensive tackle Lester Williams, All-American wide receiver Santana Moss, national champion receiver Ethenic Sands, big play threat Sinorice Moss and two-time All-ACC safety Kenny Phillips.
When Hurns hears “Uphold the Legacy,” he knows that goes beyond the legacy of the Miami Hurricanes. The 6-foot-3 senior wants to uphold the legacy the Moss brothers, Sands Phillips and Williams established before him as Carol City alums who went on to be standouts for the Canes.
Hurns has represented his alma mater well, playing in 36 games so far in his collegiate career.
As a freshman, Hurns played mostly special teams. The local product made four tackles but did not record a catch in his first year in Coral Gables. The fact that Hurns even played that first season was an accomplishment as the talented receiver was still recovering from an injury that ended his senior season at Carol City.
Hurns made a name for himself as a sophomore, playing in all 12 games and making seven starts. Fully recovered from the injury that cut his final high school season short, he caught 31 passes for 415 yards and four touchdowns, all career bests. Hurns’ biggest performance that season came against No. 17 Ohio State, scoring the first two touchdowns of his career as part of a six-catch, 54-yard performance in the win over the Buckeyes.
As a junior, Hurns started eight of the 11 games he appeared in, hauling in 28 passes for 314 yards and a team-leading four touchdowns. His two-touchdown effort at Virginia helped keep the Canes in a seesaw battle against the Cavaliers, while touchdowns against NC State and Virginia Tech helped Miami earn victories in each of those games.
Hurns’ senior season is off to a strong start, having already caught 16 balls for 275 yards and a career-long 80-yard touchdown. Hurns’ play helped Miami jump out to a 4-0 start on the year. The veteran leader will look to continue contributing in a variety of ways as the Canes open ACC play this week against Georgia Tech.