Stellar Spring for SLB

Roger ‘Rocky' McIntosh is a junior linebacker from Gaffney, South Carolina. In his freshman season he started six games including the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. Last season senior Darrell McClover beat McIntosh out of the starting strongside linebacker position.

McIntosh had a knee scope in August during two-a-days and relinquished his starting position. A position he would never regain.

"It was a quick arthroscopic knee surgery. I was able to come back and play on special teams. I wasn't able to get back on the field on defense, but I worked as hard as I could on special teams."

Although he did not see much time on the defensive side of the ball he was a standout on special teams. He constantly lit people up on kickoff coverage and he made sure the opponents knew about it. On the season McIntosh recorded 23 tackles with two pass breakups.

This year McIntosh is ready to get his starting position back after the departure of McClover who was drafted in the seventh round by the New York Jets.

"Spring practices went good. I was able to get in a lot of work on technical things. I worked hard on getting some things down to use during games."

McIntosh will be the leader of the linebacker corps that will feature two other new starters. Junior Leon Williams will take over at middle linebacker and sophomore Tavares Gooden will be the weakside linebacker. All three are extremely athletic, possess good speed, and have shown the ability to tackle well.

"We worked on anything that we need to do to get better. We are good on the pass and we are good against the run. We have developed continuity. When we get down we are going to buckle down and make plays."

McIntosh has a strong relationship with Gooden and thinks he can be a good player for the Hurricanes.

"Tavares is coming along good. He is a young player and we are throwing a lot at him, but he is developing very well."

The defense returns just four starters from a year ago. Cornerback Antrel Rolle, defensive tackle Orien Harris, defensive ends Baraka Atkins and Thomas Carroll. Enter in seven new starters, but most of them have had extensive playing time in their careers.

"The defense came along real good. We are learning and continuing to learn. If we continue to build on that then we will be fine."

Although the defense lost four starters to the NFL Draft in the first round the team still has the ability to possess a good defense. McIntosh and company will continue to work hard throughout the summer to be ready for fall practices.

"I am having a lot of fun along with everyone else."

Christopher Stock is a Staff Columnist for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

Canes Time Top Stories