New Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal is tasked with restoring “The U” to its former football glory, and he’s off to a good start.
Cristobal revealed Friday that he has high expectations for certain jersey numbers – specifically Nos. 1 and 26.
“If you’re going to wear that, you better be the baddest son-of-a-gun on the planet,” Cristobal said when asked if a player will wear No. 1. “We have guys that can work themselves there and if it gets to that point, maybe it’s a consideration.”
As for No. 26 — the number worn by Hurricanes legend Sean Taylor — Cristobal said he’s had one player ask to wear it and he made it clear it wasn’t that easy.
“I felt it wasn’t quite the level it needed to be to wear that number the way it should be worn,” Cristobal said. “I don’t know if numbers should be retired in general, but they should be honored. If you start retiring numbers at the University of Miami, you could retire 40-plus numbers in a hurry.
“I think you have to honor every number and every jersey number you wear … I think we’ll start with that.”
Taylor, who was tragically shot and killed in 2007, was an absolute legend in Miami before Washington took him in the first round in 2005.
Taylor was a freshman on the Hurricanes’ 2001 national championship team and became a starter his second year.
Taylor’s final season in Coral Gables was historic. He was a unanimous First Team All-American and recorded 10 interceptions – three of those picks were returned for touchdowns, setting a single-season Miami record.
In the NFL, Taylor was a two-time Pro Bowler and was named to the league’s All-Decade team in 2010.
Cristobal is about to start his first season in Miami after the Hurricanes gave him a staggering 10-year contract last December.
The ‘Canes have been stuck in mediocrity for most of the past two decades, dating back to around the time Taylor left the program after the 2003 season.
On your way out, enjoy some glorious Sean Taylor highlights.