Monday ProCanes Report: Hester Ties TD Record
The Monday Morning #ProCanes report will weed through all the NFL highlights and news to bring you the information you care about the most… what the former University of Miami Hurricanes did during the week prior. Chicago Bears’ specialist Devin Hester continued his ascent into the NFL record books Sunday, tying Hall of Famer Deion Sanders for the most return touchdowns in league history (19) with an 81-yard punt return in the second quarter. The “Windy City Flyer” extended his own personal record with his 13th career punt return touchdown, one of three #ProCanes scores in Week Seven action. After an injury to Calais Campbell in Week Six, another scary moment took place Sunday night when Indianapolis Colts veteran wideout Reggie Wayne left the game with an apparent knee injury. Wayne is scheduled to have an MRI Monday.
Frank Gore (San Francisco 49ers) – 24 carries, 104 all-purpose yards, two touchdowns
San Francisco’s ninth-year running back racked up over 100 all-purpose yards in his team’s 31-17 win over Tennessee Sunday afternoon. The Coral Gables, Fla., native also recorded his first game with two or more rushing touchdowns since 2009, moving past Roger Craig and into second place in touchdowns in franchise history (67). Gore, who ranks second among all active running backs with 9,386 rushing yards, leads the league in attempts (86) and rushing yards (405) over the past four games. He is on pace for his third straight 1,000-yard season and the seventh such season of his career.
Video Highlights: 29-Yard Catch | TD Plunge | Second Score
Calais Campbell (Arizona Cardinals) – eight tackles, one fumble recovery
Less than a week after being carted off the field with an apparent neck injury, Arizona Cardinals defensive end marked his return with a dominant performance against the Seattle Seawhawks Thursday night. The sixth-year standout wreaked havoc in the Seahawks backfield, recording a season-high eight tackles and upping his season total to 26 through Arizona’s first seven games of the season. The Denver native, who also has 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble, registered first fumble recovery of the season in the loss. Campbell, well-known for his impressive athleticism at the position, has 297 career tackles, 31.0 sacks and 24 passes defended.
Devin Hester (Chicago Bears) – 81-yard punt return touchdown, 124 total return yards
It took nearly two years, but the most talented returner in league history tied Deion Sanders’ record of 19 touchdowns with an 81-yard score in Chicago’s loss to Washington. Hester, who hadn’t returned a punt for a score since Nov. 13, 2011, ranks ninth all-time in punt return yardage (3,105) and No. 19 in combined return yardage (7,788). Hester escaped a would-be Redskins tackler and sprinted across the field with just over six minutes before halftime, taking it all the way back down the near sideline with a convoy of blockers in front of him to tie the game up at 17-17. Hester finished the game with a total of 124 return yards.
Video Highlights: Hester Goes Primetime
Colin McCarthy (Tennessee Titans) – eight tackles
In his first start of the season at the middle linebacker position, Titans third-year defensive standout Colin McCarthy recorded a season-high eight tackles in his team’s loss to San Francisco. McCarthy, who missed the majority of 2012 after suffering a sprained ankle in the Titans’ season opener and a concussion later on in the year, displayed the type of big-play ability that defined his rookie year in 2011. McCarthy played every defensive snap at the “mic” linebacker position, and registered a cracking tackle on fellow #ProCane Frank Gore that nearly resulted in a safety for Tennessee.
TheUFootball.com #ProCanes Interview: Olivier Vernon
(interview conducted by Max Strauss)
HurricaneSports.com: Even with your busy schedule as a professional football player in the NFL, do you still follow the Hurricanes on Saturdays?
Olivier Vernon: “Yeah man, you know I try to follow them as much as I can. I still know a lot of the guys down there, so you know I try to watch them play and make some plays out there. Look at a young guy out there, Denzel Perryman, all the guys in the defensive line, like Anthony Chickillo and Thurston Armbrister, but really a whole bunch of guys.”
HS.com: What’s it like to have another Hurricane – Lamar Miller – in the Miami Dolphins locker room with you?
OV: “It’s cool. I mean I know the last time before us, the last time they drafted somebody from UM it was Vernon Carey. So for them to get two UM guys in the same draft, it was kinda cool to be a part of that. Especially when your teammate is from down here, such as myself. It’s pretty cool. I had somebody when I was coming in here that I knew, and we keep pushing each other.”
HS.com: How do you think being a Miami Hurricane has prepared you for life in the NFL?
OV: “A lot of the coaches I had at UM prepared me how to study film and be a great leader with my actions and put in hard work. That’s one thing that you know when Randy Shannon was there and when Al Golden was there, it was about hard work and going 100% all of the time. That’s one thing that you gotta to carry to the next level if you want to be successful.”
HS.com: Do you have any favorite memories from your time as a Hurricane? If so, which/what are they?
OV: “I remember my freshman year when we won against Florida State. It was pretty much a shootout, and we won it in the last three minutes of the final quarter stopping Florida State from getting the touchdown in the redzone. That was my first big game over there in Doak Campbell Stadium, so I’m always going to remember that.”