Rocky McIntosh Interview

Roger McIntosh was looking for a crease in the University of Miami's defensive unit. And now that he's found one, McIntosh is making head coach Larry Coker's job all the more difficult. The hard-hitting McIntosh- from Gaffney, South Carolina- is rapidly emerging as a playmaker for the Hurricanes at strong-side linebacker and battling Howard Clark for reps.

It has to be pretty intense when two guys are fighting for one thing (playing time)?
Its fun to come out here and now you're making some impact on what's going on, you know. But I don't look at it like that at all. It's not really me against Howard. I'm getting a chance to get in there and making the best of the situation. There's really nothing to it.

Is starting that important to you?
To be honest I'm still learning. But every guy who plays this game wants to start. There is question about that. I'll just leave that stuff up to the coaches.

Why do you think you've been able to earn the trust of the coaching staff so quickly?
I don't know. You would have to go ask them that. But I'd like to think that I've worked hard and done everything I've been told. Coach Coker really makes you feel good man and it's a lot of fun to play for him. He's the kind of guy you go through a wall for.

Did you honestly expect to play at this point?
Nothing is really ever had to you. You know what I'm saying? Like I said before I've been working hard- all my life- to reach this point. This is just the beginning of what I feel is going to be a great career at UM for me.

You watched the Hurricanes win the national championship last season from afar (as a redshirt). It has to be gratifying to contribute this season, right?
Definitely, man. Nothing beats being involved and going out there every Saturday with your uniform on. You can't imagine how special it is to wear this uniform.

Do you feel comfortable with the progress you're making?
I'm still learning some of the different reads and trying to pick up things from the other guys. But I really feel its just getting adjusted to the speed of the game. It's a lot from high school.

Speaking of high school, you kind of developed the reputation as a hard-hitter at Gaffney HS. What was that all about?
A: Yeah man. I got that tag put on me. I wasn't a head-hunter or anything. I just liked measuring a guy up some times. It was fun.

Can the Hurricanes finish the job (win another national championship)?
We have to play together for that to happen. Everybody has to focus on what's on the table for us. We do that, we'll be alright.

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