2000 Miami Hurricanes squad to have mini-reunion at NRG Stadium on Thursday


At the end of ESPN's 30 for 30 film 'The U', a group of Miami Hurricanes players sum up their program's successful history and culture in one sentence.

"It's a Canes thing."

On Thursday night at NRG Stadium, 'The U' squad of 2000 will be well represented, as several former players and coaches will converge as the Texans host the Colts.

Undoubtedly, the most recognizable names are a pair of former Hurricane receivers Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne. Johnson and Wayne are two of the most accomplished wide outs in NFL history and are quite used to sharing the same turf on a football field.

In addition to their years battling against each other in the AFC South, the two were teammates on the 2000 Miami squad that went 11-1 and finished second in the nation according to the AP poll. Wayne, a senior on that squad, caught a team-high 10 touchdowns. Johnson, a redshirt freshman, played in 11 games as a wide receiver and kickoff return specialist (imagine that!).

The connections don't stop there. On the Colts sideline watching it all unfold on Thursday will be head coach Chuck Pagano, who was the Hurricans defensive backs coach on that same 2000 squad.

Imagine how fun his job must have been in practice, going against Wayne and Johnson (and Santana Moss) every day. 2000 was Pagano's last year at Miami, as he advanced to the professional ranks en route to being named the Colts head man in 2012. Pagano talked at length about Johnson and Wayne in a press conference earlier this week.

"I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time and recruiting that school and recruiting Andre. Very, very; I mean we all know his talents. He's a great player, but he's a better person," Pagano said. "The relationships are for life. I'm fortunate enough to be coaching and playing alongside Reggie Wayne here, but being able to stay close to the guys you were around in college and guys like Andre is very special to me and my family."

Not done yet.

On the same 2000 squad, there was a relatively unknown redshirt freshman center. That center would go on to have a strong collegiate career and be selected in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Nine years later, he has started over 100 straight games for the Houston Texans, and is now viewed as one the NFL's top centers.

Chris Myers.

If all those connections weren't enough, there is one more that Texans fans will know all too well. During the great Miami run of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the voice of the Hurricanes was...Marc Vandermeer.

Vandermeer (@TexansVoice on twitter), who has been the voice of the Texans since the franchise's inception, spent several years in Miami calling Hurricane athletics for their radio network.

So, while there will be Deep Steel Blue and Colts white on the field at NRG Stadium, there will be a lot of Miami green and orange in the heart of many. 

Rock and Roll indeed.

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