If you grew up watching college football in the 1980s through the 1990s, you probably remember guys like Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Steve Walsh, Russell Maryland, Ray Lewis, Michael Irvin, the Blades brothers and so many other great players. One of their bigger name players was Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde.
Vinny Testaverde grew up in Long Island, New York where he went to high school at Sewanhaka High School. Then, he spent a season at Fork Union Military Academy taking college prep courses. Howard Schnellenberger recruited both Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar.
Vinny played as a reserve in 1982 and then he happened to redshirt in 1983 when the Miami
Hurricanes upset the mighty Nebraska Cornhuskers 31-30 in the Orange Bowl and won the national title.
In 1984, Kosar had taken command of the starting role at Miami an Testaverde was limited to back up status. Although, many that watched the Hurricanes play thought that Testaverde was the better Quarterback. He was definitely a lot better athlete than Kosar. He was more mobile and he looked to have a much stronger arm.
In 1985, Testaverde finally got his shot when Bernie Kosar declared for the NFL. Kosar was taken in the supplemental draft by the Cleveland Browns which was close to where he grew up in Ohio. Kosar went on to have a good NFL career.
Back in Miami, Testaverde threw for an amazing 3,238 yards and 21 Touchdowns. He finished 5th in the Heisman and the Hurricanes finished the season ranked 9th.
Vinny Testaverde returned for his senior season in 1986 and the Hurricanes had more than enough talent to make a run for the national title.
Testaverde’s numbers were much less in 1986, but the Canes finished the season 11-0 and ranked number 1 in the country. Testaverde won the Heisman Trophy and everything looked great for Miami coach Jimmy Johnson and the Hurricanes.
They just had to play in the Fiesta Bowl and beat the 2nd ranked Penn State Nittany Lions who had a fraction of the talent that the Canes possessed. But, Joe Paterno out coached Jimmy Johnson and Paterno got into Testaverde’s head and the Nittany Lions pulled off the upset shocking the Hurricanes and the college football world with a 14-10 victory.
Paterno finally won that ever elusive national title and Jimmy Johnson was still lacking.
That was Vinny Testaverde’s only shot at a national title and he was moving on to the NFL.
Testaverde was the number one pick in the entire draft and was taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He never won a national title, or a Super Bowl, but he played 21 years in the NFL and threw for over 46,000 yards.
Son Vincent Testaverde attended Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida. He didn’t even play football until his junior year. There are conflicting reports on Testaverde’s high school stats, but they were unimpressive and his only choice, apparently, was to walk-on somewhere.
He chose Texas Tech University located on the high plains of Texas.
One would suppose he liked the type of offense that they ran at Tech under previous coach Mike Leach and again under current coach, Kliff Kingsbury otherwise known as Coach Kool.
Vincent Testaverde Jr was in Lubbock, Texas and a back up Quarterback for the Red Raiders for one season. He backed up Davis Webb, who just transferred to California to finish his playing days, and current starter Patrick Mahomes.
Both of these guys were injured against the Texas Longhorns and the Red Raiders were left no choice but to put in true freshman walk-on Vincent Testaverde. In his only action of the season, Testaverde completed 15 out of 26 passes for 116 yards and an Interception in a 13-34 loss to the Longhorns.
Maybe Testaverde experienced one of the famous West Texas dust storms in the Spring because he was not in Lubbock for long. It was probably more due to the fact that Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech was not going to be beaten out for the starting job.
Whatever the reason, Testaverde transferred back to the state of Florida and to his father’s Alma
Not that he was a threat to Brad Kaaya, but Testaverde redshirted in 2015. He will be available in 2016, but the Hurricanes have Jack Allison, Malik Rosier, Evan Sherrifs, Tucker Beirne and Michael Welch.
Dad was 6-5, 235 with a cannon for an arm. Son is only 6-2, 200 and with considerably less talent.
But, the name Vinny Testaverde means Miami Hurricane football and Junior may never play a down, but it feels like he is back where he belongs.