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2016 Player Review: RJ McIntosh

Take a look back at the season that was for RJ McIntosh

NCAA Football: Florida A&M at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

High School Career

McIntosh was a dual sport star at Cardinal Gibbons High School playing both football and basketball. When he was being scouted by colleges many saw him as a star defensive end due to his eye popping senior year numbers which totaled out to be 70 tackles, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Per his ESPN profile his measurable were 6’ 4” and 240 pounds so he could translate well to a defensive end at the next level. McIntosh decided to sign with Miami over the likes of Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech and Wisconsin.

Freshman Season

Two seasons ago McIntosh played mainly defensive end in Al Golden’s “passive aggressive” defense. Due to being asked to “take on blocks” and “stay gap sound” McIntosh, like most of the defensive linemen under the Golden regime racked up very meager statistics. For the 2015-2016 season McIntosh registered just four total tackles and a half sack.

Sophomore Season

Last season for McIntosh brought a drastic change in philosophy when it came to the defensive strategy used by new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Gone was the “gap integrity” ideology and here to stay was the hyper aggressive, “get after the quarterback” mantra. After playing two seasons ago as a defensive end mainly, McIntosh was asked to keep his current weight where it was (which was roughly in the 280 to 290 range) but instead of playing defensive end he was slotted inside to defensive tackle. The slight change in position from defensive end to the interior payed off in spades for McIntosh. He started all 12 games last year and registered 42 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks.

Looking Ahead to Next Season

It’s easy to get excited for next year when you look at McIntosh’s trajectory and it comes to development. Heck, it’s easy to get excited about the defensive as a whole when you zoom out and look at the program. For McIntosh, he gets to work with one of the best, if not the best defensive line coaches in the country on a daily basis so the main goal for him is to keep working on his craft and possibly be even more disruptive in 2017 than what we saw in 2016. If he’s able to accomplish that and be more involved we could have a potential second or third team conference all American by the end of his Junior season.