A Look Back at the Class of 2000

A Look Back at the Class of 2000

DMoney
A few weeks ago, we looked at a class that provided the foundation of a championship offense. This week, the focus is on the class which stocked Miami's championship defense: the Class of 2000.

QB- Derrick Crudup
QB- TJ Prunty
HB- Willis McGahee
FB- Kyle Cobia
WR- Willie Dixon
TE- Jeremy Shockey
TE- David Williams
TE- Willie Roberts
OT- Carlos Joseph
G- Chris Myers
C- Joel Rodriguez
DE- Jerome McDougle
DE- John Square
DE- Cornelius Green
DE- Alton Wright
DT- Vince Wilfork
DT- Santonio Thomas
MLB- Jonathan Vilma
OLB- DJ Williams
OLB- Darrell McClover
S- Carl Walker
S- Jared McClure
CB- Alfonso Marshall
K- Mark Gent

Star Power- This class was loaded with household names. Six first rounders, five Pro Bowlers and some of the brightest stars to come through the Miami program. Al Golden has said you need the "coal shovelers" just as much as you need the marquee guys. Well, Butch must not subscribe to that theory. In this class, there were seven guys who either went first round or made the Pro Bowl. Only six other guys (Cornelius Green, Darrell McClover, Alfonso Marshall, Joel Rodriguez, Santonio Thomas, Carlos Joseph) were even contributors.

Genos Derwin Williams- When Miami misses on a national recruit, the typical reaction is "We haven't been good in years, of course we aren't landing Player X." But in 2000, coming off a half-decade of probation and irrelevance, Butch Davis signed the most sought-after recruit in recent history. De La Salle high school in California had the nation's longest winning streak and the nation's best player, DJ Williams. John Madden famously said DJ was the only player he'd ever seen who was good enough to go straight to the pros from high school. DJ already had four of his visits set up, but Miami was able to sneak in what many thought was a "free vacation" for visit #5.

After his trip to Miami, a buzz started developing that Miami was leading. The realists said he'd either go to the #1 program in the nation (Florida State) or his hometown school (Cal). But soon many people, including "insiders" on Grassy and the Miami Herald, began dropping hints that he'd announce for Miami on signing day. Distraught that his big moment was ruined, DJ canceled his signing day press conference and waited a week to announce. After some soul-searching in a Burger King parking lot on the morning of his announcement, DJ decided to be a Hurricane.

Thank God for Brock- Brock Berlin was one of the most criticized players in Miami history. Many fans said that Brock should've been thankful for the opportunity to be quarterback at the U. In retrospect, Miami should be thankful that Brock decided to take his talents down south. Butch botched the 2000 QB class, signing two prospects (Derrick Crudup from Deerfield Beach and TJ Prunty of St. Paul, Minnesota) who never developed into starting-caliber QBs. Prunty ended up playing baseball for Miami, and Crudup started all of one game (a forgettable performance against Syracuse).

Welcome to Miami- Jared McClure was a two-way star out of Cedar Cliff (PA) who came to Miami to play strong safety. In the first scrimmage at Cobb Stadium, McClure found himself face-to-face with Miami's five-star running back signee: Willis McGahee. McClure went high for the tackle and ended up getting knocked half-way unconscious. He soon left Miami to become a model for Abercrombie and Fitch.

Late additions- On signing day, Miami had a very good class. By fall practice, Miami had a great class. Jeremy Shockey, Jerome McDougle and Santonio Thomas all signed post-sigining day, with the first two making an immediate impression. Shockey showed up catching everything and had Greentree watchers checking their programs. McDougle had to sit out the year, but the fan base buzzed about how he got two sacks off of the previously unbeatable Bryant McKinnie in a scrimmage. Butch said on signing day he'd keep on recruiting, and he did.

The Jonathan Colon Saga- One of the most infamous tales in recruiting lore is the story of Jonathan Colon, the most indecisive recruit in history. Colon was a 6'7, four-star offensive lineman from Miami Central. In late 1999, he and two other Dade standouts (Willie Roberts and teammate Willis McGahee) committed to Miami. Then, after a visit to Auburn, Colon declared Florida was his favorite. On January 25, he committed to Miami. The next day, he committed to Florida. Colon then announced he needed to visit Miami (which he had seen dozens of times) before making a decision. On January 31, he committed back to Miami. The next day, he committed to the Gators. The same day, he switched back to the Canes.

On signing day morning, he woke up and signed the Miami LOI. Later that morning, his mom (who wanted him in Gainesville) brought him LOI papers for Florida, which he signed and faxed to UF. Because NCAA rules state that whichever LOI is signed earlier is binding, Colon seemed locked into Miami. But of course, it was not that simple.

Colon's mom then told the Miami Herald that he had been tricked into signing with the Canes. According to Mrs. Colon, a woman from Miami came to their house the night before with "scholarship papers." Because she didn't want her son to lose his scholarship before making a decision, she signed them. But these weren't scholarship papers, the story goes. The papers were actually a Letter of Intent to Miami. Since the LOI was supposedly signed the night before signing day, it became null and void. Spurrier appealed to the president of the NCAA (who was also SEC chairman), but Butch decided to just let Colon leave. Miami went on to win a national championship and become the premier program in America. Colon started 22 games in an undistinguished Gator career.

QB- Derrick Crudup

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vftjtt6SXRc&context=C463adc1ADvjVQa1PpcFPKtMmwfAOC2z0E2V30OSq1LKMtPlD4TPU=

QB- TJ Prunty

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy68SkYUrCk&context=C44dd5a3ADvjVQa1PpcFPKtMmwfAOC22y1op8yioSXz4nB6lapDZ8=

HB- Willis McGahee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPdoSb0QA_8

FB- Kyle Cobia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9A0zZhVFL8

WR- Willie Dixon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cycvyeyIWY

TE- David Williams

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIjJb_FA5XY

TE- Willie Roberts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_gOqkbWO20

OT- Carlos Joseph

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7TgRgBwLf4

G- Chris Myers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTVAyfn0n6A

C- Joel Rodriguez

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xna-qfEit3Q

DE- John Square

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCPIRvRS16w

DE- Cornelius Green

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaWivR_c3oE

DE- Alton Wright

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehFZrpCvv7w

DT- Vince Wilfork

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6q1YWAIc8I

MLB- Jonathan Vilma

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOBBjk8bUZ0

OLB- DJ Williams

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmwXPpSHaTM

OLB- Darrell McClover

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht_KejyVgeU

S- Carl Walker

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=639YcfgSaeU

S- Jared McClure

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHCCMj_BYk4

CB- Alfonso Marshall

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhNL-2hf38w

K- Mark Gent

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWkB3SdKxkI
 

Comments (37)

Awesome stuff D$: Man, Butchs class in 99 and 00 were really really good.
 
Good stuff, funny thing about DJ, I thought once he left school, he would be that cane you never heard from again. If you remember all the stuff when he was in school about he wanted to leave school, head home, the media just made it seem he was about DJ. Love that he is very visible with the program today!
 
Going to have to read this when I get home from work!
 
The soundtrack for anyone who is interested:

Derrick Crudup: Wiz Khalifa- The Kid Frankie
TJ Prunty: Guns N Roses- Rocket Queen
Willis McGahee: Eric B and Rakim- I Ain't No Joke
Kyle Cobia: AC/DC- Live Wire
Willie Dixon:
Snoop Dogg- Tha Shiznit
David Williams:
Ghostface Killah- Maxine
Willie Roberts: Trick Daddy- The Hotness
Carlos Joseph: Wyclef Jean- Sang Fezi
Chris Myers: White Stripes- Ball and Biscuit
Joel Rodriguez: Dom Omar ft. Tego Calderon- Los Bandoleros
John Square: UGK- Murder
Cornelius Green: UGK- The Game Belongs To Me
Alton Wright: UGK- Trill Ass N***a
Vince Wilfork: Cappadonna- Milk This Cow
Jonathan Vilma: Wu-Tang Clan- It's Yourz
DJ Williams: 2Pac- U Can't C Me
Darrell McClover: Gangstarr ft. Rakim- Militia II
Carl Walker: Mobb Deep- Nighttime Vultures
Jared McClure: Guns N Roses- My Michelle
Alfonso Marshall: Ghostface Killah- One
Mark Gent: DJ Darude- Sandstorm
 
Last edited:
Awesome. Thanks for putting these together.
 
Good stuff.....enjoyed the info. That was a fun time to be a Cane fan.
 
i would add santonio to the contributors category as well
 
The Jonathan Colon Saga- One of the most infamous tales in recruiting lore is the story of Jonathan Colon, the most indecisive recruit in history. Colon was a 6'7, four-star offensive lineman from Miami Central. In late 1999, he and two other Dade standouts (Willie Roberts and teammate Willis McGahee) committed to Miami. Then, after a visit to Auburn, Colon declared Florida was his favorite. On January 25, he committed to Miami. The next day, he committed to Florida. Colon then announced he needed to visit Miami (which he had seen dozens of times) before making a decision. On January 31, he committed back to Miami. The next day, he committed to the Gators. The same day, he switched back to the Canes.

On signing day morning, he woke up and signed the Miami LOI. Later that morning, his mom (who wanted him in Gainesville) brought him LOI papers for Florida, which he signed and faxed to UF. Because NCAA rules state that whichever LOI is signed earlier is binding, Colon seemed locked into Miami. But of course, it was not that simple.

Colon's mom then told the Miami Herald that he had been tricked into signing with the Canes. According to Mrs. Colon, a woman from Miami came to their house the night before with "scholarship papers." Because she didn't want her son to lose his scholarship before making a decision, she signed them. But these weren't scholarship papers, the story goes. The papers were actually a Letter of Intent to Miami. Since the LOI was supposedly signed the night before signing day, it became null and void. Spurrier appealed to the president of the NCAA (who was also SEC chairman), but Butch decided to just let Colon leave. Miami went on to win a national championship and become the premier program in America. Colon started 22 games in an undistinguished Gator career.
:nelsonhaha:
 
i would add santonio to the contributors category as well
Good catch.
i just looked at that list again

carlos joseph was 2nd team all big east in his first year as a starter..........kyle cobia when he wasnt hurt was a solid FB
I added Joseph although he was a disappointment. Cobia couldn't stay on the field.
a disappointment is different than being a contributor

the real disappointment for me was walker

dude was a stud in HS......and was a ST star early on

but then he couldnt stay healthy

that kid could have been as good as dj and vilma
 
i would add santonio to the contributors category as well
Good catch.
i just looked at that list again

carlos joseph was 2nd team all big east in his first year as a starter..........kyle cobia when he wasnt hurt was a solid FB
I added Joseph although he was a disappointment. Cobia couldn't stay on the field.
a disappointment is different than being a contributor

the real disappointment for me was walker

dude was a stud in HS......and was a ST star early on

but then he couldnt stay healthy

that kid could have been as good as dj and vilma
Could be wrong, but thought Walker's problem was like CJ, could not gain the weight needed for every down lb.
 
That's Epic work D$. Thanks.
 

2021 Commits

OG
6'2"
295
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DT
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290
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RB
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195
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CB
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TE
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OLB
6'3"
205
Miami, FL
TE
6'5"
220
Miami, FL
K
5'11"
140
Hollywood, FL
OLB
6'2"
200
Homestead, FL

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