The Miami Hurricanes were terrible defensively last year. The weakest position on the team was interior of the defense. The defensive tackles looked small, confused, and completely terrified. This season head coach Al Golden and defensive coordinator return the same group – a bit bigger, a little less confused, and perhaps not as terrified. Nevertheless, the defensive tackles still appear to be a weak link on an improved defense.
However, there might be hope.
Starting Wisconsin Badgers defensive end David Gilbert played well last season registering 9.5 tackles and four sacks. Unfortunately, Gilbert suffered a foot injury that resulted in off-season surgery. Gilbert tried to make a go of it, but discouraged with his progress, he “retired” from college football.
Gilbert graduated from Wisconsin in May, and Golden came calling. With his foot injury now healed, Gilbert made the decision to play one more season of college of football – with the Hurricanes. This shocked most Badger fans, but Gilbert grew up in South Florida and the chance to finish his career playing in front of his family was too enticing.
Gilbert will be an immediate difference maker for Miami. There is no doubt that he is very talented. Had he stayed healthy last season, he probably would have been named to the All-Big Ten first team. He is an exceptional pass rusher and his experience will rub off on his younger defensive line mates.
Miami returns both starters from last season, Anthony Chickillo and Shayon Green, but neither played well last season. If Gilbert’s health stops being a concern, he could find himself in the starting rotation.