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The running backs: Through the years, Miami has succeeded on the ground, too

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The Miami Hurricanes have helped fill NFL rosters for decades.

That’s especially true of running backs.

True, the school is known as Quartrback U. But you could also suggest it might be named running back U. After Ottis Anderson, Chuck Foreman, Alonzo Highsmith, Clinton Porter and Frank Gore, why not?

Here at the SaintPetersblog, however, we wondered. Who are the best 10? No, not always by yardage, but by impact.

Here we go:

10. Don Bosseler (1953-1956): An early addition to the ‘Canes’ running backs, Bosseler gained 1,642 yards. He led Miami to an 8-1-1 record as a senior and was a No. 1 draft pick (ninth overall) of the Redskins.

9. Chuck Foreman (1970-1972): A top draft choice (12th overall) of the Vikings, Foreman gained 1,656 yards with the Canes. Foreman also played defensive back and wide receiver.

8. Graig Cooper (2004-2010): Gained 2,374 yards for the Caines, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.

7. Alonzo Highsmith (1983-1986): Johnson was a tough running back who gained 1,873 yards for the Canes. He was picked third overall in the NFL.

6. Frank Gore (2001-2003): Gore gained 1,975 yards for Miami. He was drafted in the third round by the 49rs.

5. Willis McGahee (2001-2002): McGahee was fourth in the Heisman voting after 1,753 yards in 2002. He was a first-round pick by Buffalo.

4. Clinton Portis (1999-2001): Gained 1,200 yards to lead Miami to the national title in 2001. Finished his career with 2,523 yards. A second-round pick of Denver.

3. Duke Johnson (2011-2014): Miami’s all-time leading rusher with 3,519 yards. A third-round pick of Cleveland.

2. Edgerinn James (1996-1998): He had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for Miami. He was the fourth overall pick of the Colts.

1. Ottis Anderson (1975-1978): Anderson gained 3,371 yards for UM, the second most ever. He was the team’s first 1,000-yard rusher. A No. 1 draft pick of St. Louis, the eighth overall pick.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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