CORAL GABLES - Tight end Kellen Winslow said there is only one way he is leaving Miami for the NFL after this season - as a national champion.
Speaking to reporters during Friday's annual media day, Winslow - looking more chiseled at 245 pounds and sporting a huge "K2" tattoo on his left biceps - said he won't leave after his junior year unless the Hurricanes win their second title in three seasons. "I've got to win one myself," said Winslow, who played mostly on special teams during Miami's 2001 championship season. "If I win the national championship, I'll leave. If not, I'm staying."
Winslow was a receiver when he arrived at Miami before moving to the position that made his father, Kellen, an NFL Hall of Famer. Last season, the younger Winslow showed he has a chance at stardom as well. He led the Hurricanes with 57 receptions, and his 726 receiving yards and eight touchdowns were second on the team to Andre Johnson, the third overall pick in this year's draft. All three are records for a Miami tight end.
"I had 57, but I could have had a lot more," Winslow said. "I was still learning in the beginning (of the year). I was a baby out there. ... I want to be better each year."
Winslow has bestowed on himself the nickname "Chosen One," which does nothing to dispel the perception he is cocky. He doesn't disagree with it completely. But the fact that 2002 first-round pick Jeremy Shockey wasn't missed much last season speaks to Winslow's talent.
"I am arrogant," said Winslow, who led the team with 11 receptions for 122 yards and scored a touchdown in overtime in Miami's loss to Ohio State in January's Fiesta Bowl. "I also am a modest guy. I know what I can do on the field, but off the field I am different."
Coach Larry Coker said he doesn't have a problem with the way his flashy tight end expresses what is on his mind: "If he wants to be the "Chosen One' that's fine. All I care about is production. Eleven catches in the national championship game, that final TD - nobody else is going to make that play ... I'm talking myself into it. Maybe he is the Chosen One."
As he talked to the media about his struggles as a freshman, his famous father and his workout regimen, Winslow didn't bother to open a ring box sitting on the counter in front of him until prodded by reporters. In it was an impressive ring he had just received for winning the Big East championship. Winslow barely noticed the sparkling gems, calling the ring "worthless." There's another ring he wants - for winning another national title.
And to hear Winslow speak, Miami fans may only have one more season to watch him at the Orange Bowl.
"We're going to win it," Winslow said. "I know. We've worked too hard not to."
PEATTIE ALIVE AND KICKING: Former Countryside High standout Jon Peattie is engaged in two position battles this summer. One is with friend Mark Gent to take over as UM's placekicker after Todd Sievers graduated. The other is with freshman Brian Monroe to fill the job as punter.
Coker has said Monroe has a leg up on the punting job. Peattie, who replaced the injured Freddie Capshaw in last season's opener against Florida A&M and averaged 44.3 yards on three kicks, received a medical redshirt after injuring his shoulder. Right now, his biggest concern is contributing.
"I love punting, it's just I feel better and more consistent at kicking," said Peattie, who kicked a 57-yard field goal to send a game to overtime during his senior season at Countryside. "If I just kicked, I'd be able to focus on it more. ... I just want to play, pretty much."