On Friday at the Bank United Center on the campus of the University of Miami in Coral Gables an impressive group of forty-four student-athletes officially received their college degrees.
The UM football team led the way with 13 graduates in this class followed closely by 11 track and field student-athletes, 6 basketball players, 4 swimmers, 3 volleyball players, 2 golfers, tennis and soccer players and one rower who had the honor of receiving their UM diplomas.
The Hurricanes had a total of 65 student-athletes who earned their degrees during the 2011-12 school year, including 21 who graduated last December.
In addition to the graduates' classroom accomplishment this class of Hurricanes included seven All-ACC honorees, two ACC Players of the Year, four All-Americans, an ACC Champion and a trio of players who are headed to the National Football League (also commonly known as the NFLU).
Miami's Lane Carico rewrote the UM record book in volleyball and will be leaving Coral Gables as the all-time leader in kills and points. She was named the 2011 ACC Player of the Year and represented Miami on the All-ACC team and the All-East region team all four of her years at UM. Carico was also named the ACC's Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a member of the All-ACC Academic team.
In women’s basketball there is no doubt that Shenise Johnson will go down as one of the most storied players in the history of UM women's basketball. Johnson started all 131 games since she arrived at UM, the third longest active starting streak in the nation. She became just the second woman in Division I history to amass 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 500 assists and 400 rebounds in a career and was twice voted a First-Team All-American, a two-time First-Team All-ACC performer and the 2011 ACC Player of the Year.
The Hurricanes continued their elite National Football League draft history in the 2012 NFL Draft with six players drafted overall including two of the forty-four UM 2012 graduates.
Wide receiver Travis "The Blur" Benjamin was the fifth pick of the fourth round by the Cleveland Browns. The 100th overall selection of the Draft, Benjamin ended his career as one of only six players in program history with more than 2,000 receiving yards, capping his career with 2,146. He caught 131 passes, scored 13 touchdowns and averaged 43.8 yards per game.
Fellow wide-out Tommy "Stretch 'Em Out" Streeter was the 28th selection of the sixth round by the Baltimore Ravens. Streeter averaged 67.6 receiving yards per game and eight touchdown receptions for his career. Word is that he has been assigned former UM star and current Raven Safety Ed Reed as his mentor with the Ravens.
UM track star Devon Hill proved that he is one of the fastest NCAA athletes in the country, earning All-America honors three times as a four-time ACC hurdle champion. Hill was the national runner-up at this year's NCAA Indoor Championships and has already achieved the Olympic "A" Standard to compete at the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials.
Canespace would like to recognize all of the University of Miami student-athletes who were able to achieve their long-term educational goals by staying in Coral Gables long enough to get their valuable college degrees from such a nationally recognized and prominent institution of higher learning.
I think we can all agree that their level of dedication and commitment to education should be appreciated by all Hurricane fans.