A season ago, the Miami Hurricanes took the nation by storm with their orange-and-green bejeweled Turnover Chain.
While the gaudy Cuban link “U” logo medallion caught the attention of the college football world, Hurricanes defensive coordinator Manny Diaz promised a makeover for the necklace when it returned in 2018.
During the second quarter of Miami’s home opener against Savannah State, the Hurricanes got their opportunity to unveil their flashy new chain.
Cornerback Trajan Bandy jumped on top of a Tigers fumble, darted toward the Miami sideline to rejoice with his teammates and was bestowed with the “Turnover Chain 2.0,” featuring a sparkling, ornament-crested Sebastian the Ibis.
“It’s a lot different from last year,” Bandy said. “Last year it was the ‘U’, the UM sign, and this year, it’s like the duck. It has a lot of diamonds inside of it. When I was grabbing it, I was like, ‘This is pretty nice.’ It’s cool. It’s a lot heavier than last year, too.”
Turnover Chain Turnover Chain Turnover Chain pic.twitter.com/0UWRpsNoCz
— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) September 8, 2018
Bandy was one of five Hurricanes to don the chain in No. 22 Miami’s 77-0 victory over Savannah State. Defensive backs Sheldrick Redwine and Jhavontae Dean both sported the new look after a pair of interceptions. Linebacker Waynmon Steed received the necklace following a fumble recovery and defensive end Scott Patchan also wore the pendant after returning a blocked punt for a 10-yard touchdown.
To enhance the special celebrations, former Miami safety Malek Young — who suffered a career-ending neck injury in the Orange Bowl — got the honor of awarding the chain to his teammates.
“I like it,” head coach Mark Richt said. “It’s another bold statement, I would say. I don’t know how closely everybody got to see it on TV — I don’t even know if we were on TV — but I’m sure somebody got a picture of that thing. Hopefully, they blow it up to the detail because there’s some detail on there down to the feather…It’s more than just an ibis out of a mold. It’s very beautiful.”
The revamped 6 ½ pound Turnover Chain features an 8.5-inch Sebastian the Ibis and more than 4,000 stones. Last year’s version weighed roughly 4 ½ pounds and contained 900 stones accompanied by a 5.5-inch “U” logo.
“Like everything we do as a group, we wanted something again that honors the university and honors UM,” Diaz said, who is known among Hurricanes fans as the father of the Turnover Chain. “The U is fantastic and you know, it’s something different. This ibis is iconic to our program and to our university.
The AJ Machado creation was introduced in the 2017 season opener against Bethune-Cookman to incentive the Hurricanes defense to force turnovers.
The results showed. Miami finished third nationally with 31 turnovers last season, which led Power Five Schools. It was the most turnovers the Hurricanes forced since 2003.