The skinny on Rod Babers

Cornerback University of Texas

Positives…Has a compact frame with good muscle definition throughout…Student of the game, with great work habits…Stays under control in his backpedal, showing quick feet and an explosive burst to break on the ball…Very effective in the short area, working through the receiver to bat the ball away…Can run with receivers deep, showing excellent open field acceleration…Reacts quickly working in the zone, dropping off fluidly in coverage and taking proper angles to make the tackle…Uses his leaping ability to compete for the ball…Has natural hands to make the interception and will not shy away from contact in run support…Aggressive tackler whose power in the weight room transfers behind his hits…Can cover a lot of territory, staying very low in his backpedal…Has that nasty streak needed to excel in press coverage, using his hands with force to redirect.

Negatives…Lack of size poses problems going up for the ball vs. the larger receivers…Not a face-up tackler, lacking the leg drive to be effective in run force…While he has natural hands, he tends to drop too many passes…Lack of bulk causes him to get overwhelmed by blockers when trying to fill rush lanes.

CAREER NOTES

Three-year starter who teamed with Nathan Vasher to form one of the best cornerback tandems in college football…A quick-twitch athlete with sudden movements, speed and range, he recorded 131 tackles (104 solos) with four sacks for minus 32 yards and 11 stops for losses of 50 yards in 47 games…Also had five interceptions for 176 yards in returns with three touchdowns…His interception return average of 35.2 yards shattered the previous school career-record of 20.1 yards by Chris Carter (13 for 261 yards, 1993-96)…Only Carter (261) and Bobby Dillon (190, 1949-51) gained more yards in a career on interception returns for the Longhorns.

2002 SEASON

All-American second-team selection by The NFL Draft Report…All-Big Twelve Conference first-team choice…Semi-finalist for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back…Started every game at left cornerback, recording 42 tackles (30 solos) with a 6-yard sack and three stops for losses of 10 yards…Led the team with 20 pass deflections, the fourth-best season total in school history behind Mossy Cade (21 in 1983), Vance Bedford (22 in 1981) and Quentin Jammer (24 in 2001)…Had a pair of interceptions for 83 yards in returns and a touchdown… Blocked a kick and caused a fumble.

North Carolina…Caused and recovered a fumble, deflected 3 passes and made 4 solo tackles.

Tulane…Registered a 6-yard sack, 4 pass break-ups and 4 tackles (3 solos).

Oklahoma State…Added a 3-yard interception return, a stop for a 2-yard loss, 3 deflected passes and 4 hits (3 solos)…His pass theft late in the fourth quarter preserved a 17-15 win, as he was named Big Twelve Player of the Week.

Oklahoma…Deflected a pair of passes and returned an interception 73 yards for a touch- down…His 73-yarder was the eighth-longest interception return in school history and the longest since Mike Bayer's 80-yarder vs. Texas Christian in 1970.

Kansas State…Posted 4 tackles (3 solos) and knocked down 3 passes.

Nebraska…Blocked Josh Brown's 43-yard field goal attempt and made 5 tackles (3 solos).

Baylor and Texas Tech…Deflected a pair of passes and posted 2 tackles in each game.

Texas A&M…Followed with 7 tackles (4 solos) and 2 pass break-ups.

Louisiana State (Cotton Bowl)…Closed out his career with 3 solo tackles and a deflected pass.

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