The past 10 years – covering 2012 to 2021 – stunk by Miami Hurricanes standards.

It comprised mostly of the 2010s, which was the first decade since the 1970s that Miami didn’t win at least one national championship.

Miami had just one double-figure-win season over the past 10 years, going 10-3 in 2017. But even that season was a disappointment, given that the team started the year 10-0.

The Canes were ranked 2nd in the nation at the time. In October of that season, they knocked off rival Florida State, 24-20, ending FSU’s seven-game win streak in the rivalry. Then, in a two-week stretch in November, Miami defeated 13th-ranked Virginia Tech, 28-10; and the Canes embarrassed 3rd-ranked Notre Dame, 41-8.

Both of those were Miami home games at a rocking Hard Rock Stadium.

But Miami’s season started to fall apart in a road loss to Pittsburgh – which was the first start of Panthers quarterback and current Steelers rookie first-rounder Kenny Pickett. After that, Miami was routed by Clemson in the ACC title game, and the Canes were thoroughly beaten at home in the Orange Bowl by Wisconsin.

All that led to the ultimate demise of the coaching career of Miami’s Mark Richt, who resigned after the next season. Following that 10-0 start, Miami lost 9 of 16 games before a coaching change was made.

During Miami’s glory years – a period of time that started with its first national title in 1983 and lasted for more than two decades – Canes coaches left for pro football. That happened with 4 straight coaches – Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson and Butch Davis. All of them either won at least one national title, or, in the case of Davis, set Miami up for its final dynasty.

Since then, however, Miami hasn’t quite hit on its coaching hires. Larry Coker won big, mostly with Davis’ recruits, and then he was fired when the talent level (and the win total) dipped. After Coker, Randy Shannon, Al Golden and Manny Diaz were all fired, and Richt quit when perhaps facing a similar circumstance.

Now it will be up to new coach Mario Cristobal, who signed a 10-year contract in December.

But Cristobal’s tenure is not the topic for this discussion, which is a look back at the most valuable Canes over the past 10 years.

It’s an impossible task, at least with any assurance of being “right.” However, it is of comfort to know it’s also not possible to be “wrong” since the task is to provide an opinion.

Before we get to the list, a couple more points.

I gave extra value to success in 2017, which was Miami’s 10-win season start and its best of the past decade.

And I took certain liberties, combining a couple of players who only had one big year at Miami before moving on to the pro ranks.

With all that said, let the countdown begin:

10. WR Mike Harley

WR Mike Harley in 2021 set Miami’s career record with 182 career receptions. He also broke Miami’s single-game record with 13 catches.

However, he never had more than 799 yards in one season.

9. QB Brad Kaaya

QB Brad Kaaya is Miami’s career leader in passing yards. He was also the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2014, and a sixth-round pick in 2017. Why then does he rank so close to the bottom of this list?

The answer, simply, is Miami did not win enough under his QB leadership, going 6-7, 8-5 and 9-4. He went 1-2 in bowl games.

Worse, during his three years as Miami’s starting QB, the Canes went 0-3 against Florida State, 15-15 against Power Five schools and 2-7 versus Top 25 teams.

8. QB Malik Rosier

QB Malik Rosier went from Kaaya’s backup to the toast of Miami for nearly 3 months in 2017. Rosier, never drafted, lacked Kaaya’s prototypical passing skills. In fact, Rosier completed just 54% of his passes that year, and he was intercepted 14 times.

But Rosier was tough. He was Miami’s 2nd-leading rusher that year, and he led the Canes to those 10 straight wins – including those big ones against Florida State, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame – before the crash.

7. WRs Charleston Rambo, Allen Hurns, Phillip Dorsett

Wide receivers Charleston Rambo, Allen Hurns and Phillip Dorsett each had their moments for Miami. But none – for various reasons – was able to put up more than 1 stellar season at Miami.

For Rambo, it was because he started his career at Oklahoma before transferring. In his one year in Miami (2021), he dominated, making 79 catches for 1,172 yards – both of those are program records – and 7 TDs. Hurns was bothered by injuries before his monster senior season in 2013, making 62 grabs for 1,162 yards and 6scores. Dorsett, a first-round pick in 2015, was an over-the-top nightmare for opponents while at Miami. But his big years were 871- and 842-yard seasons as a senior and sophomore, respectively.

6. QB Tyler Van Dyke

Tyler Van Dyke went 5-1 late last season in his first try as a starting quarterback. During that time, he ranked 5th nationally in QBR.

OK, you got me. I don’t know what that is, either, but I do believe Van Dyke is the prototypical passer Miami has been waiting for since the early 2000s. He finished the year with a 25-to-6 TD-to-interceptions ratio, completing 62.3% of his passes for 9.0 yards per attempt. In those final six games, TVD passed for at least 300 yards and 3 TDs each time.

Miami’s only loss down the final stretch last year was a 31-28 heartbreaker to Florida State that was more on the Canes’ defense. Van Dyke passed for 4 TDs, but the defense gave up a touchdown with 26 seconds left. Nothing TVD could do about that, but he earns a high place here on what his promise is for the future. He could be a first-rounder in 2023.

5. DL Greg Rousseau and Jaelan Phillips

Pass-rushers Greg Rousseau and Jaelan Phillips never played together, but they were both first-round picks in 2021.

As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Rousseau led the ACC with 15.5 sacks, even though he started just seven of his 13 games. He then sat out the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns.

Into that void stepped Phillips, a UCLA transfer who had 15.5 tackles for losses and eight sacks in 2020.

4. S Jaquan Johnson

S Jaquan Johnson had eight career picks and made second-team All-American in Miami’s near-magical season of 2017. He was also Miami’s MVP that year, becoming the first player in Canes history to earn ACC Defensive Back of the Week three times in a row.

Johnson came back for his senior season in 2018, leading the Canes with 92 tackles. Buffalo selected him in the sixth round in 2019.

3. MLB Denzel Perryman

MLB Denzel Perryman started quite a run. For a 9-year stretch from 2012 to 2019, Miami had 8 seasons of NFL quality middle-linebacker play, with 2nd-rounder Perryman and 4th-round Shaq Quarterman (see below).

Perryman, who made his first Pro Bowl last year, started for Miami since his freshman season. Quarterman did the same, and both of them followed in the great Miami tradition of linebackers that includes Ray Lewis, Dan Morgan, Jonathan Vilma, Jon Beason, Jessie Armstead, D.J. Williams, Michael Barrow, Darrin Smith and quite a few others.

Significantly, Miami hasn’t had a linebacker make more than 60 tackles since the Perryman/Quarterman Dynasty ended after the 2019 season.

2. MLB Shaq Quarterman

MLB Shaq Quarterman was a 4-year starter and finished his college career (2016-19) ranked 9th in Canes history with 356 career tackles. Of those tackles, 46.5 went for losses.

Beyond the numbers, Quarterman was a terrific leader and a thunder-bolt hitter. He started from Game 1 as a freshman and never left the lineup. He made 52 consecutive starts, showing an incredible ability to stay healthy, especially at such a violent position.

1. RB Duke Johnson

RB Duke Johnson is Miami’s all-time leader in career rushing yards (3,519), yards per carry (6.7) and scrimmage yards (4,238).

He played just 3 years at Miami, and he suited up for just 2 seasons this past decade. But in those 2 years, Johnson racked up 2,572 yards. That includes his monster 2014 season: 1,652 yards and 10 TDs rushing and 2,073 yards and 13 TDs from scrimmage.

Johnson did that in 2014 just months after having suffered a broken ankle. He was rewarded by becoming a third-round NFL Draft pick in 2015.

Honorable mention

— Running back Travis Homer had 2 straight 900-yards-plus seasons, including in that best-of-the-decade season of 2017. While not a flashy back, Homer was productive for Miami, and he was Seattle’s 6th-round pick in 2019.

— Wide receiver Braxton Berrios, now a Pro Bowl kick returner for the New York Jets, had a big year in that 10-3 season, catching 55 passes for 679 yards and 9 scores.

— Quarterback D’Eriq King brought some excitement when he transferred in from Houston. He led Miami to an 8-3 record in 2020, but he got hurt and missed almost all of 2021, opening the way for Van Dyke. In 14 games for Miami, he passed for 26 TDs and had 9 interceptions.

— Tight end continues to be a talent-rich position for Miami. In the past decade alone, Miami had 4 TEs drafted: David Njoku (1st round); Clive Walford (3rd); Chris Herndon (4th); and Brevin Jordan (5th).

— Running back DeeJay Dallas, a fourth-round pick in 2020, didn’t put up gargantuan stats, but he was one of the best Hurricanes leaders of the past decade.

— Linebackers Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud flanked Quarterman for 4 years each. Pinckney finished his Miami career with 267 tackles, 42 stops for losses, 14.5 sacks and 3 picks. McCloud had 192 tackles, 22.5 for losses and 11 sacks.