Russell Maryland, the defensive lineman who anchored the '89 national-championship team and yet another Cowboy, also calls Barrow regularly. "It's handed down personally," says defensive end Rusty Medearis. "It's fed to you. From the first time you step on the field, that confidence is handed to you by the Hurricanes. You consume it, and you start playing like one."
When Clark was a senior and Smith was a freshman, they shared a suite in the athletic dorm. Now Clark calls Smith whenever he feels the need to complain about Smith's play or to send a message to the rest of the team ("And you tell them I said so," Clark screams at Smith).
"Tiger's always been a loudmouth," says Smith of Clark. "He just yells into the phone. He always sees the play you messed up on. He threatens me more than anything."
During Smith's freshman year, in 1989, not long after he had moved into suite 36-A, his phone rang. When Smith picked it up, he heard an unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line. "Who's this?" the voice demanded.
"What do you mean? Who's this?" Smith replied.
"I asked you first, who is this?" the voice said.
"This is Darrin Smith. Now who is this?"
"This is Michael Irvin, and you're in my room," the voice said.
It was indeed Irvin, the former wide receiver who played his final season with Miami in '87 and is now with the Cowboys. Irvin still makes a practice of calling his old number to find out who is living in his suite. He befriended Smith over the phone that day and not long afterward returned to campus and stayed in the suite for several days.
Irvin, Clark and other former Hurricanes view themselves as guardians of the Miami legacy. "You want to fire them up, find a way to hit a nerve," says Maryland. "By any means necessary. So you say things. Personal things."