From the moment he enrolled early, there has been a buzz around the potential of Greg Rousseau. Out of high school he split time playing wide receiver on offense and safety at six foot six. He committed to the University of Miami knowing that his future would be much closer to the ball, at defensive end. The strength staff raved about Rousseau as he began filling out his tall frame. After entering the spring semester at 210 pounds, he gained 35-40 pounds that first semester.
Greg Rousseau: Miami’s Next Superstar
His on the field play drew astonishment from the coaching staff as well. During team scrimmages it became a regular occurrence to hear that Rousseau finished with three sacks. All of this as he was still supposed to be a high school senior. Then defensive coordinator and current head coach Manny Diaz compared Rousseau to Manny Lawson, a first round pick under Diaz at North Carolina State. After a strong start to his freshman season, Rousseau’s season ended early in just the second game of the season. He broke his ankle and missed the rest of his true freshman season. This season he has became one of the best players that few in the country have heard about
Around the Miami campus, Rousseau has gained plenty of nicknames. Groot, inspector Gadget, and Elastic Man all can fairly describe the 6-6 phenom. In his first extensive period of college football he has dominated opponents just like he has his own teammates in practice. After a slow start in training camp, Rousseau was a rotational option on the defensive line playing a limited amount of snaps. That changed near the halfway point of the season as Rousseau led the team in sacks.
He moved into the starting lineup against Virginia, as they were ranked 20th in the nation. The entire defense stifled Bryce Perkins and the UVA offense holding them to only nine points. Individually he recorded two tackles for loss and one sack but that was only the beginning of what was to come. On the road against the Pittsburgh Panthers, Rousseau and the Hurricanes defense again held another team from scoring a touchdown. The Panthers scored only 12 points and Groot recorded his first multi-sack game finishing with three sacks.
After his performance against Pittsburgh, it became more likely that Rousseau could possibly obtain ten or more sacks. That achievement hasn’t been accomplished at Miami since 2006. He entered the game against Florida State with eight sacks needing just two more to enter that category. After his five tackles for loss and four sacks performance, Rousseau skyrocketed to the second in the nation in sacks. The potential top pick in the NFL Draft, Chase Young, has 14 sacks but Rousseau is on his trail for the top spot.
Another graphic for @Greg_R5? Yes.
Rousseau after tonight’s game:
🔸 12 sacks on the year
🔸 Tied for most sacks in FBS
🔸 Tied for fourth in UM history for sacks in a single season
🔸 First Hurricane since ’00 to have four sacks in game
— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) November 3, 2019
The emergence of Rousseau gives Miami a potential top ten NFL draft pick whenever he decides to enter the NFL. Also he gives the Hurricanes another key player that will return for another season as Miami is set to lose two starting linebackers. At six foot six and 260 pounds, Rousseau has drawn comparisons to Calais Campbell but his potential is unrivaled. As only a true redshirt freshman there is much more for Rousseau to improve on and that is the scary part as he could become of the greatest in Miami’s long history of defensive linemen. With potentially four more games left this season, another multi-sack game could have Rousseau in contention to break the school record of 17 sacks.