Where Did Hendricks Come From?

Junior defensive tackle Dwayne Hendricks seemingly came out of nowhere to become a starting defensive tackle for the Hurricanes. Read on to see why he's a starter, how he got to this point, and what to expect from that position...

When Dwayne Hendricks inked with the University of Miami a few years ago, he was one of the most talked about players in the entire class.

A four-star defensive line recruit according to Scout.com, Hendricks picked the Hurricanes after also taking official visits to Iowa, Michigan, and Virginia. He was a U.S. Army All-American so he had a lot of hype coming in.

He spent the 2004 season on the scout team, using a redshirt. As a second year freshman in 2005, Hendricks played the first five games of the season as a reserve tackle before missing the final six games to injury. He made just six tackles that season.

Last season, he served as the team's fourth defensive tackle in the rotation and played a limited role in nine games. He made just five tackles and one sack.

He put on some extra weight to get over 280 pounds (after signing here weighing in the 250 range) and was rewarded on Tuesday for having a good fall camp. Randy Shannon talked about naming him as one of the two starters at that position, along with Teraz McCray.

"Dwayne played a lot around here," he said. "He played 15-20 plays last year and now it'll go up to 30-35 plays. He's made some plays for us."

The Canes are hoping Hendricks can deliver them a season like his recruiting hype indicated a few years ago. Shannon drew up a comparison to another former Hurricane defensive tackle who also played end in high school.

"He reminds me a little bit of a five pounds lighter Santonio Thomas," he said. "He has good hand placement, good feet, and can recognize blocks well. He can do things in space and that's what we like about him."

Shannon's mentioning of the number of plays he expects Hendricks to get indicates there will likely be a rotation going on at that position. Josh Holmes is out due to injury this week so Shannon addressed the depth.

"Chaz (Washington) -- no, no, Dwayne Hendricks, Teraz McCray, Joe Joseph, Antonio Dixon, and we can always throw Vegas Franklin in there on third down," he said.

Look for Hendricks and Dixon to rotate quite a bit while McCray looks to be the guy who will get the most snaps heading into Saturday.

Where Holmes will factor in when he gets healthy again or where Washington factors in at all remain to be seen.

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