The Miami Hurricanes were led by their defense and especially their defensive line once again in 2017. If you flash back historically to the Hurricanes’ best teams they were all led by defensive tackles. It all started back in 1987 with Jerome Brown being drafted 9th overall to the Philadelphia Eagles, and continues on through RJ McIntosh who should be the ‘Canes first tackle off the board in the 2018 NFL Draft. The list of Miami stud defensive tackles is long: Brown, Warren Sapp, Cortez Kennedy, Russell Maryland, Vince Wilfork and William Joseph to name a few.
Here are the best DT’s on Miami’s roster in 2017.
Most Valuable Player: RJ McIntosh (Junior)
RJ McIntosh has declared for the NFL Draft after a three years in orange and green. McIntosh, a 3-star recruit from Cardinal Gibbons in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, played in 29 games for the Hurricanes over his three year career. at 6’4 290 pounds McIntosh has NFL size and explosiveness. McIntosh logged 103 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks over his career. In 2017 it was clear he was the MVP of the defensive tackles. The defense will greatly miss McIntosh as he and Norton have declared early for the NFL Draft.
Most Improved Player: Patrick Bethel (Sophomore)
Pat Bethel, a legacy Miami football player, wasn’t much more than a special teams body in 2016 and got major playing time in the 2017 season as part of the defensive tackle rotation. Bethel, a 6’3 273 pound sophomore from Vero Beach, FL logged 18 tackles including a tackle for loss and a sack in ‘17. Bethel’s explosiveness came in handy as a switch up from the much larger, slower bodies in Kendrick Norton and Anthony Moten. Bethel will need to really improve heading into 2018 as he becomes a starting defensive tackle for the Hurricanes moving forward.
Rookie of the Year: John Ford (Freshman)
John Ford was a three-star recruit from Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. As a true freshman he was called on to get playing time with Gerald Willis taking a leave of absence from the team in 2017. Ford, who could’ve used a redshirt, is 6’5 and 275 pounds. Ford played in seven games but only logged one tackle on a unit that had two experienced juniors and a senior, he served as the fifth defensive tackle. Ford will be asked to log major playing time in 2018 with Norton, Moten, and McIntosh moving on to the NFL.