Feliciano takes Wildcats to Dolphins game


Danielle Hamilton

Wildcat Football team gathers at Hard Rock Stadium for the Dolphins vs. Bills matchup.

The roaring crowd, the bright lights, the big plays, and dramatic moments all come along with attending a professional sports event.  Former lineman Jon Feliciano, ‘10, wanted to give that gift to his alma mater’s new crop of players. When Feliciano, now an offensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills, traveled to Miami to take on the Dolphins, he treated the varsity football team and coaching staff to tickets for his hometown appearance. 

Feliciano started his football journey in the 9th grade as a Wildcat. After graduating he made the jump to the University of Miami where he played from 2011-2014 where he was a 3-time all ACC Honorable Mention, as referenced on the Bills’ website.

The next step in his career was to fulfill the dreams of many aspiring football players and he was drafted to the NFL by the Oakland Raiders with the last pick of the 4th round in the 2015 NFL draft according to pro-football-reference.com. He was a part of the Raiders until March 3, 2019 when he decided to sign a 2-year $8 million dollar contract for the Buffalo Bills. He has since earned Pro Bowl honors during both seasons for the team and last year received the Bills’ 2020 Ed Block Courage Award. In March he signed a 3-year $17 million extension with the Buffalo Bills.

Quarterback Collin Hurst stated his praises for Feliciano’s success.

”I had the chance to meet Feliciano a few years ago when my coach introduced me to him and it was a great experience, as I had followed him throughout his college career at the University of Miami because I am a big Canes fan,” Hurst said. “He contributed a lot to the program during his time there.”

This is what brought him back home to Hard Rock Stadium on September 19 where his Buffalo Bills would square off against the Dolphins with the Wildcats in attendance. It was the second game of each team’s season and Buffalo was looking to rebound off of a loss while Miami was looking to stay undefeated. Dashing local fan hopes, Feliciano and the Bills were victorious as they dominated Miami 35-0 to secure their first win of the season. 

For some of the members of the Wildcats team, this was their first trip back to a professional game since the pandemic and soaked up the sights and sounds of the jumping arena. The Bills dominance started from the first quarter where they forced a 4-and-out and sacked the Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa twice. Feliciano and the Bills offense were then able to dominate Miami for the rest of the game posting a 35-0 shutout due to the Bills defense keeping the Dolphins out of the endzone which put the Bills to 1-1.

”As a Miami fan it was really tough to watch because we could never really get a spark to get the game going but it was nice seeing Feliciano play well and contribute to the Bills team win,” senior tight end Nick Watson said.

Team members expressed gratitude for the opportunity Feliciano gave them to enjoy the game and this is what some of the players said. 

”I had a really great time being back in the environment of a jumping NFL stadium and on behalf of my teammates, I would like to say thank you to Mr. Feliciano for giving us the chance to share the experience of Sunday football with him,” right tackle Roger Reyes said.