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Miami Hurricanes

McIntosh and Norton to bolt for NFL leaving hole on Hurricanes defensive line

Ari Russell



(USA Today - Jasen Vinlove)

The Miami Hurricanes will be losing quite a bit on the defensive line for the NFL in 2018. On Monday Miami lost both starting defensive tackles who both decided to forgo their senior season to enter the NFL Draft. RJ McIntosh and Kendrick Norton made it official on Monday informing the coaching staff and the public that they will be taking their talents to the next level.

With Norton and McIntosh leaving early and Chad Thomas graduating, three out of the four starting defensive linemen will have to be replaced for the Canes in 2018.

McIntosh ended the season playing in all 13 games, had 52 tackles and 12.5 tackles for a loss which was tied with Chad Thomas. He had 2.5 sacks and seven pass break ups as well as one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. He is projected at this point to be a potential third round pick.

Norton also played in all 13 games ended the year with 26 tackles 6.5 tackles for a loss as well as two sacks. The Projects have Norton at this point going in the later rounds.

The defensive tackle pair took the opposite approach as the defensive backs Michael Jackson and Jaquan Johnson who both decided to return for their senior seasons.

Obviously if Miami were to have McIntosh and Norton to return that would have made their defense one of the most talented and experienced in the nation, but this part of life in major college football.

For Miami these losses aren’t the end of the world. As these two exit, Gerald Willis who has one year left of eligibility is returning after taking a leave of absence from the team for undisclosed reasons in 2017. He did rejoin the scout team during the year staying in shape and apparently was completely unstoppable.

Pat Bethel who was moved to defensive tackle during the season is another guy who will get some burn. He’s a sophomore who played in 13 games and did have 18 tackles one tackle for a loss and a sack.

Also John Ford who played as a true freshman expected to step up on the line in 2018 as well. He played in seven games and recorded one tackle. Ford is a man child at 6’5 275 pounds. Expect more weight to be added by Spring practice however and perhaps even more come the Fall.

Also Miami is hoping Nesta Silvera a 6’2 300 lb four star recruit will contribute right away as he’s expected to sign on February 7th.



Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.

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