Top Defensive Players

The #14 Miami Hurricanes (8-3) face the #20 Florida Gators (7-4) tonight at 7:30 pm in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The game will be played at the Georgia Dome and will be televised on ESPN. Here are the top defensive players for each team.

#14 Miami (8-3)
19th in Scoring Defense, 17.6
26th in Total Defense, 321.0

CB #6 Antrel Rolle, Senior, 1st Team All-American
Rolle returned for his senior season after flirting with the idea of leaving a year early for the NFL Draft. He has improved his stock after being named to everyone's all-American team this season. He was one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award given to the nation's top defensive back. On the season he has 65 tackles and one interception. In his career, he has recorded five interceptions.

SS #5 Greg Threat, Junior
Threat leads the team in tackles with 129 (50 unassisted) and is the first safety to lead the team in tackles in over 20 years at Miami. He also tied for the team-lead in interceptions with three. His strengths are against the run and shows good pursuit in the open field. Not known for his blazing speed, but he is not slow as he ran a sub 4.4 40 during the spring.

DE #90 Thomas Carroll, Junior
Carroll has been one of the most improved players on the defense this season and leads the team in tackles for loss with 15 and is tied for the team-lead in sacks with 5.5. He has also recovered a team-high three fumbles this season. He has good speed on the outside and has been primarily used at the right end position in his career.

CB #22 Kelly Jennings, Junior
Jennings is one of the quiet leaders on the team and has always been a good student in the classroom. This season Jennings had a solid season and has always been tough in man coverage. At 6-foot-0 and 175 pounds, he has good size, but it is his speed and quickness that give receivers trouble. He has improved on his technique since arriving on campus in 2001. He has two interceptions in his career including one this year.

DT #98 Baraka Atkins, Sophomore
Atkins has shown the ability to play end or tackle for the Hurricanes over the last two seasons. He is a very mature player for his age and is constantly looking to make the big play. Against Houston early in the season, he returned a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown. On the season he has 5.5 sacks and leads the team in quarterback hurries with 18.

#20 Florida (7-4)
29th in Scoring Defense, 20.6
46th in Total Defense, 351.8

LB #55 Channing Crowder, Sophomore, 1st Team All-SEC
Crowder is waiting to decide whether or not to enter the NFL Draft following this season. One big game against Miami's pro style offense and he could be on his way to a big payday. Many assume he is leaving regardless. This year he has 70 tackles including 8.5 for loss. He has very good lateral movement for a player that is 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds.

LB #30 Earl Everett, Sophomore, 2nd Team All-SEC
Everett is quietly becoming a solid player for the Gators mainly because of Crowder taking the majority of the recognition away. Everett was named to the SEC All-Freshman team a season ago after registering 52 tackles and starting six games. This year yeah he has 69 tackles including a team-high 4.5 sacks.

FS #46 Jarvis Herring, Junior
Herring leads the team in interceptions with four and has 51 tackles on the season. He stands 5-foot-11 and is the former high school teammate and still remains in contact with Miami cornerback Kelly Jennings. Both players have battled through injuries, but have had solid junior seasons. Herring is one of the leaders in the secondary.

CB #15 Dee Webb, Sophomore
Webb led the defensive backs in tackles with 59 and also recorded three interceptions. He is one of the players the Florida coaching staff is looking forward to in the next two years. He is 5-foot-11 and has outstanding speed. He qualified for the Junior Olympic Team in high school.

DT #44 Marcus Thomas, Sophomore
Last year Thomas became the first freshman to start on the defensive line since 1992. He finished his freshman campaign with 47 tackles. This year the 6-foot-3, 275-pound native of Jacksonville has 4.5 sacks and 37 tackles.

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

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