ALL-AMERICAN WR AND 14-YEAR NFL VETERAN SANTANA MOSS JOINS JOSH DARROW ON THE BEHIND THE U PODCAST FOR A CANDID, EMOTIONAL AND UPLIFTING CONVERSATION ABOUT GROWING UP IN MIAMI AND HIS JOURNEY TO UM

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University of Miami Athletics
2

Willis McGahee

position

Running Back

Height

6-1

Weight

225 lbs.

Class

Redshirt Freshman

Hometown

Miami, Fla.

High School

Central HS

CAREER: Impressive all-around athlete who excelled in his first season as the starter at tailback…earned consensus First Team All-America honors…placed fourth in 2002 Heisman Trophy voting…was a finalist for the Heisman, the Doak Walker Running Back Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award…one of two Miami underclassmen to declare for the 2003 NFL Draft.

 

2002 (SOPHOMORE): Produced a breakout season in his third year in the Miami program…finished fourth in voting for the Heisman Trophy…was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy (fourth), Walter Camp Player of the Year (1 of 5), and Doak Walker Award (1 of 3)…broke seven Miami records (rushing yards, all-purpose yards, rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns, touchdowns in a game, total points, 100-yard rushing games)…posted ten 100+-yard performances…the 2002 BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year (with teammate Ken Dorsey)…rushed for a school record 1,686 yards and 27 touchdowns…compiled a school record 2,036 all-purpose yards…led the nation in rushing touchdowns with 27…scored a school-record 6 touchdowns and rushed for 205 yards on a career-high 39 carries while accounting for 226 all-purpose yards in a 56-45 win over Virginia Tech to clinch a Fiesta Bowl berth…rushed 14 times for 134 yards and scored two touchdowns, including a 61-yard scoring run, in a 49-7 rout of Syracuse…gained 159 yards on 19 carries and scored two touchdowns, including a crucial 69-yard scoring run, in a 28-21 win over Pittsburgh…rushed 30 times for 154 yards and a touchdown in the 26-3 win at Tennessee…averaged more than 8 yards per carry and rushed for 187 yards on 23 carries, scoring two touchdowns, and accounted for 200 total yards ina 42-17 win over Rutgers…rushed for 112 yards on 32 carries and scored three touchdowns in Miami’s 40-23 win at West Virginia…also caught two passes for 71 yards against the Mountaineers, compiling 183 all-purpose yards…had a key 57-yard catch to set up the clinching touchdown against WVU…had 173 all-purpose yards (95 rushing, 78 receiving) and scored a touchdown in the come-from-behind victory over Florida State…made one of the game’s key plays by taking a screen pass and racing 68 yards to the FSU 11 to set up the game-winning touchdown run by backup tailback Jason Geathers with 5:17 remaining…rushed for 107 yards on just 11 carries (9.7 avg.) and scored three rushing touchdowns in the win over Connecticut…rushed for 135 yards on 17 carries (9.1 avg.) in the win over Boston College…accounted for 221 all-purpose yards against BC with 86 receiving yards…took a screen pass 77 yards to set up a game-breaking touchdown against BC…was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against BC…tied a UM single-game record with four TD runs against Temple…rushed 21 times for 134 yards against Temple in the victory…had a career and season-best 204 yards in the nationally televised victory over Florida, catapulting his status as a player to watch nationally…made his starting debut at tailback in the opener against Florida A&M, rushing for 60 yards on six carries (10.0 avg.) and scoring a touchdown in a little over one period of play.

 

2001 (FRESHMAN): Excelled as a redshirt freshman, overcoming a mid-season knee injury to have an excellent debut season…proved to be a valuable addition to Miami’s star-studded backfield with a series of impressive performances as a reserve behind starting tailback Clinton Portis…averaged 4.7 yards per carry…lived up to high expectations in his debut season, providing an exciting combination of speed and power as a backup tailback…rushed for 314 yards on just 67 carries and scored three touchdowns…made a memorable debut at UM with 77 yards on 17 rush attempts in the 33-7 win at Penn State…had a 20-yard rush against the Nittany Lions…gained 50 yards on only 12 carries in a rout of Rutgers in his Orange Bowl debut…averaged a season-best 7.4 yards per carry against Pittsburgh, rushing 10 times for 74 yards and scoring a touchdown (his first as a Hurricane)…gained 45 yards on 11 carries and scored a touchdown against Troy State…scored an eight-yard touchdown and gained 18 yards on eight attempts in Miami’s win at Florida State…missed the Temple and Boston College games after suffering a minor knee injury against West Virginia…returned to action in the 65-7 win over Washington, rushing for 48 yards on eight attempts… started for the first time as a Hurricane in the Rose Bowl victory over Nebraska, stepping in for injured Najeh Davenport at fullback in the 37-14 win that gave Miami its fifth national championship.

 

2000 (REDSHIRT): One of 17 members of the 2000 recruiting class to sit out the season as a redshirt.

 

HIGH SCHOOL: Central…regarded as one of the top running backs in the nation and No. 1 in Florida…listed as the No. 6 running back on Prep Star’s 1999 Top 100 Dream Team and the No. 10 overall prospect in the Southeast Region…a SuperPrep All-American…rated the No. 5 running back nationally…rated the No. 11 overall prospect in Florida by SuperPrep…USA Today Honorable Mention All-American…named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100…named to the Dallas Morning News National Top 100…listed as one of the South’s top players by recruiting analyst Bill Buchalter of the Orlando Sentinel…named the No. 1 tailback in Florida on the Florida Times-Union Super 75 list…a Miami Herald Class 6A-5A All-Dade selection…listed among the creme de la creme I-backs nationally by recruiting analyst Max Emfinger…played just five games during his senior season due to a knee injury…in those five games, rushed for 677 yards and scored 11 touchdowns on 77 carries…averaged more than eight yards per carry as a junior… played for Team Florida in 2000 Florida/Georgia All-Star Game… coached by Tim Harris.

 

PERSONAL: Born 10/20/81…full name is Willis Andrew McGahee… undecided on a major…chose Miami over Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Alabama and LSU…son of Jannie Jones and Willis McGahee.

 

McGAHEE’S 2002 RUSHING STATISTICS

Opponent Att. Yards Avg. TD LP
Florida A&M 6 60 10.0 1 31
at Florida 24 204 8.5 0 39
at Temple 21 134 6.4 4 17
Boston College 17 135 9.1 2 48
Connecticut 11 107 9.7 3 15
Florida State 26 95 3.7 1 17
at West Virginia 32 112 3.5 3 15
at Rutgers 23 187 8.1 2 68
at Tennessee 30 154 5.1 1 16
Pittsburgh 19 159 7.4 2 69
at Syracuse 14 134 9.5 2 61
Virginia Tech 39 205 5.3 6 31
Ohio State 20 67 3.3 1 12
Totals 282 1753 6.2 28 69
Per Game Rushing Average: 140.5 yards

McGAHEE’S CAREER STATISTICS

    RUSHING RECEIVING
Year G-S Att Yards Avg. TD LP No. Yards Avg. TD LP
2002 13-13 282 1753 6.2 28 69 27 355 13.1 0 77
2001 8-0 67 314 4.7 3 21 1 -7 -7.0 0 -7
2000 DID NOT PLAY – Redshirt Season
Totals 21-13 349 2067 5.9 31 69 28 362 12.9 0 77

McGahee In the Miami Record Books

Single Season Rushing Yards

1. Willis McGahee, 2002 1,753
2. Edgerrin James, 1998 1,416
3. Ottis Anderson, 1978 1,266
4. Clinton Portis, 2001 1,200

100-Yard Rushing Performances In A Season

1. Willis McGahee, 2002 10
2. Clinton Portis, 2001 8
  Ottis Anderson, 1978 8
4. Edgerrin James, 1998 7

Single Season All-Purpose Yards (Rushing+Receiving+Returns)

1. Willis McGahee, 2002 2,108
2. Ottis Anderson, 1978 1,708
3. Edgerrin James, 1998 1,671
4. Santana Moss, 2000 1,604
5. Chuck Foreman, 1972 1,555

Single Game Rushing Yards (Attempts)

1. Edgerrin James vs. UCLA, 1998 (39) 299
2. Edgerrin James at Boston College, 1997 (33) 271
3. Lorenzo Roan vs. East Carolina, 1980 (33) 249
4. Willis McGahee vs. Virginia Tech, 2002 (39) 205
5. Willis McGahee at Florida, 2002 (24) 204

Single Game Rushing Attempts

1. Willis McGahee vs. Virginia Tech, 2002 39
  Edgerrin James vs. UCLA 1998 39
  Ottis Anderson vs. Florida, 1978 39
4. Clinton Portis vs. Boston College, 2001 36
5. Clinton Portis vs. Virginia Tech, 2001 34
6. Lorenzo Roan vs. East Carolina, 1980 33
  Edgerrin James vs Boston College, 1997 33
  James Jackson vs. Penn State, 1999 33
9. Willis McGahee vs. West Virginia, 2002 32
  Woody Thompson vs. Boston College, 1973 32