Meriweather to Lead UM Defense

Last year Brandon Meriweather recorded a team-high 115 tackles and tied a team-lead with three interceptions. He was also a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back.

Miami's defense returns six starters--including Brandon Meriweather--however, he does not feel they are where they need to be right now.

"I feel confident in our defense, but I know we are not where we want to be," Meriweather said. "We still have people and things we need to develop more. Would I say we are a great defense right now? No, but I will say that we are on our way."

Meriweather has been dealing with a deep inside knee bruise throughout fall practices, but the nagging injury will not keep him off the field on Sept. 4 against Florida State.

Last year, FSU defeated Miami 10-7 in Tallahassee after Miami won six straight in the series.

The last five games have been decided by 20 points.

"They are close because it is two great coaches going against each other, two great defensive coordinators, two great offensive coordinators, and all you can do is sit down and play a little chess game," Meriweather said. "It just so happens that both teams have good chess players."

Meriweather enters the 2006 season as one of the best safeties in the country. He was named to the 2006 Playboy All-American team and is a strong candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back.

"The only expectation I have for myself is to win a national championship," said Meriweather, a senior from Apopka. "I never really cared about awards. I just always happen to be the guy that gets them. I feel if I win a national championship, then all of the awards and honors will come."

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com

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