The Brooklyn native attended Fork Union Military Academy in Fort Union, Virginia (which has sent over 70 players to the NFL to date) before accepting an athletic scholarship at Miami. The Hurricanes were well on their way to establishing a national presence in the college football world under the leadership of Howard Schnellenberger. It was Schnellenberger who recruited the finely tuned quarterback but it was under Jimmy Johnson that Testaverde became a household name.
He started his college career backing up Bernie Kosar, who passed for 3,642 yards and 25 touchdowns in Testavderde’s sophomore season, Johnson’s first year on the job in Miami. In his junior season the offense was handed over to the groomed Testaverde as Kosar moved on to the NFL, and the Brooklyn kid did not disappoint. Testaverde completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 3,238 yards and 21 touchdowns but was prone to turn the ball over with 15 interceptions. With an offense with guys like Alonzo Highsmith and Warren Williams fueling the ground game and Michael Irvin and Brian Blades leading the receiving game, Testaverde had options to work with as Miami put together the second double-digit win season in school history, and second in three years. The 1985 season was just a stepping stone to the following season for Testaverde and the Hurricanes though.