Miami football top 10 scariest defensive players of all time

Miami football
Miami football /
4 of 10

7. Gregory Rousseau, DE, 2018-19

Rousseau had one of the most dominant seasons in the history of the Miami football program in 2019. After missing most of his true freshman season with a foot injury, Rousseau recorded 54 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Rousseau finished 1.5 shy of the record set by Danny Stubbs in 1986.

Rousseau had a breakout season in 2019 as a redshirt freshman. After being a three-star signee in the 2018 class, Rousseau was named All-ACC (First Team), the 2019 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, 2019 All-America (Second Team) and a 2019 consensus Freshman All-American. At 6’7″ and 265 pounds, Rousseau was imposing.

The performance against Florida State was the game that brought Rousseau national recognition. Rousseau dominated the Seminoles with eight tackles, five TFLs and four sacks. Florida State could not block Rousseau, as Miami won 27-10. Rousseau had seven games with more than one TFL and four with more than one sack in 2019.

Miami was set up for one of its scariest duos ever on the defensive line in 2020. Rousseau was expected to team with Jaelan Phillips to provide Miami with a nearly unblockable pair of edge rushers. Instead, Rousseau made the decision to sit out because of COVID-19, taking his mother’s experience as a nurse into consideration.

Phillips earned second-team All-American in 2020, just as Rousseau did in 2019. The Dolphins chose Phillips with the 18th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Rousseau was chosen 30th overall by the Buffalo Bills in the same draft. Miami fans were left to wonder what Phillips and Rousseau would have been like together.