For the last three seasons, the Miami Hurricanes have been the talk of the college football world as much for their jewelry on the sideline as their play on the field.
The famed ‘Turnover Chain,' designed each time by AJ Machado of AJ’s Jewelry in Cutler Bay, has featured everything from the U logo to the 305 area code during its time in front of national television cameras.
It started as a plan in 2017 from the team's former defensive coordinator and now head coach, Manny Diaz, to celebrate each time the defense would get a turnover. A member of the coaching staff would place the chain on the neck of the player who got the turnover, creating excitement for fans of the 'Canes
Quickly, it spread as the 'Canes started the season 10-0 and were ranked as high as No. 2 in the polls.
In 2019, NBC 6 got a chance to speak with Machado and find out what it takes to make the chain. Machado said it takes three months to create it, using a Cuban link chain that weighs two kilograms on its own.
“It’s getting bigger and bigger,” Machado said. “It’s so exciting the way the team is coming around and different networks and people are calling. It’s gotten huge.”
The school won’t reveal the look of the 2020 chain until Thursday night’s opener against UAB, keeping it a guarded secret much the same way they did in the 2019 opener when a chain was unveiled for the offense as well.
With coronavirus concerns across the area, the ‘Canes assured fans this week that while fewer fans will be in the stands this season the chain will still be in attendance.
“It’s not a turnover mask, which would have made some sense in this year. But we weren’t thinking ahead at the time,” Diaz said during a Monday press conference.
Diaz said the chain (or chains) would be wiped down after each use to insure that it is clean for the next turnover or offensive touchdown.
The chain has sparked plenty of other schools to try and copy the move - from “turnover belts” and thrones to the infamous “turnover backpack” used in the 2018 season by rival Florida State.
As in past seasons, UM would not disclose how much they paid for the chain.