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McIntosh Is Not a Typical Guy From 'The U'

You know the terms most often associated with players from the University of Miami. Players from the "U"? They're brash. They're in your face. They're outgoing, to use a euphemism.

Roger "Rocky" McIntosh goes to great lengths to stretch and maybe even break that paradigm.

The 6-2, 237-pound former Hurricane linebacker drafted at No. 35 by the Redskins late on Saturday afternoon seems to be headed more in the direction of introspective, laid-back and unassuming.

He's straightforward and a bit on the quiet side.

Asked about expectations for his first NFL season, McIntosh said, typically: "I just want to prove that I can play. I just want to earn a job. I've heard a lot about that Redskins defense. It's really something else."

McIntosh made visits to nine NFL clubs, the Redskins included, in the days leading up to draft day 2006. What he remembers about his trip to Redskins Park is that after meeting with Redskins coaches he came away feeling that the way they play defense is "awesome. Really awesome."

At this year's combine in Indianapolis, McIntosh ran a very respectable 4.61 in the 40 and his vertical jump of 41.5 inches was tops among all linebackers.

He started 26 games for the 'Canes and produced 9.5 sacks in 46 contests. McIntosh totaled a career-best 111 tackles as a junior.

At Miami, he played three seasons with Redskins safety Sean Taylor and one with running back Clinton Portis. Portis and Santana Moss have been in head coach Joe Gibbs' ear about McIntosh's talents in recent weeks. Gibbs jokes that Portis is now the team's "assistant general manager."

In any event, having Taylor, Portis and Moss around figures to ease the transition for McIntosh, who is expected at Redskins Park on Monday.

Various media profiles have referred to McIntosh as "not your typical U. of M kind of guy." He already has degrees from the University of Miami in Criminology and is close to two more, one in African-American Studies and the other in English.

On Wednesday of this week, he and fiancee Alessia were married in Miami. Married on Wednesday and drafted on Saturday? It's been a momentous week for the young man Gibbs has called "a top athlete and a very versatile linebacker."

McIntosh was born in Roosevelt, N.Y., which is on Long Island and in the backyard from the Jets' facilities in Hempstead.

His father, Roger, Sr., and mother, Darcia, raised their family of three sons in military fashion, i.e., in various locations around the country. McIntosh explained that he has lived at various times in Washington state, Kentucky and South Carolina. His father received a medical discharge from the U.S. Army and now runs a diner in Killeen, Texas.

Nicknamed "Rocky" by his grandmother, Patrice Lattimore, with whom McIntosh spent some of his high school years in Gaffney, S.C., he was heavily recruited by Clemson, Tennessee and Florida State before winding up at the University of Miami, where he starred as a redshirt freshman by the fourth game.

Slowed by a pre-season knee injury as a sophomore, McIntosh rebounded in his junior and senior campaigns to become a force in the Miami defense with 111 and 89 tackles. This, even though he missed some time in 2004 with shoulder and back problems.

Gibbs said McIntosh was the player the Redskins wanted all along and that they didn't think he would be available at No. 53. That's why they made the deal with the Jets, involving 2006 and 2007 draft selections, especially after seeing linbackers go at No. 33 and 34.

Said Gibbs of McIntosh: "He is explosive. He can really run and he covers a lot of ground. You see when he gets matched up covering people, like tight ends and backs, he does a very good job there. If you see him and watch him play, he is an athletic guy."

Asked how his day went, McIntosh said late Saturday afternoon: "I thought I was going to go a little higher. The Redskins traded up to come and get me and I appreciate that."

Now there's your basic minimalist response. It's not often that a product of "The U" gives such a succinct answer.

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