Ted Hendricks, Danny Brown, Julio Cortes, Bill Hawkins, Willis Peguese, Kevin Patrick, Danny Stubbs, Greg Mark, Rusty Medearis, Jerome McDougle, Kenard Lang, Kenny Holmes. These are some of the names of Hurricanes past who played defensive end at The U.
UM Sophomore Marcus Robinson (seen here with OcalaCane) enters this season as the starting right defensive end for a Miami defense that desparately needs to improve in many areas and in many ways.
The Canes were last in rushing defense, last in interceptions, next to last in scoring defense and red zone defense, seventh in passing defense, and fifth in sacks in the ACC last year.
That type of mediocre production will not get it done in a tough conference or against an Oklahoma Sooner team with plenty of offensive firepower and a Heisman candidate at QB in Sam Bradford.
Robinson, who was recruited by former UM linebacker and current Hurricane defensive coach Michael Barrow, came to Miami as a highly touted linebacker out of Homestead high school. He played in 12 games in 2008 and finished the season fifth on the team in tackles (35), tied with DT Allen Bailey for the lead in tackles for loss (9), and recorded four sacks while linemate Bailey lead the team with 5.
But if the Canes are going to make any noise in The ACC this year, new Defensive Coordinator John Lovett and Defensive Line coach Clint Hurtt (seen here with Ocala) will have to teach, coach and motivate many of these same players to new levels in 2009.
While much has been made about the Canes registering only four interceptions last year (only two of those were by defensive backs) there has been very little chatter about the Canes defensive line and the lack of pressure and containment they produced. If you can remember the sight of FSU QB Christian Ponder running through and around the tired Miami defense last year, then you know where the Hurricanes must improve this season.
As always, good defense starts up front at the point of attack. If the Canes are to be successful in 2009, it will most likely be the result of a significant improvement along the defensive line.
And that improvement must start with the Canes most talented defensive lineman, Marcus Robinson.