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Top 60 Countdown: No. 1, LB Sean Spence

We've reached the end of our Top 60 Countdown and by now you've figured out Sean Spence is the player No. 1 on my list. When I set out to rank these players, I factored in what they've already accomplished, what they mean to the team and what they are expected to do in 2009. Spence ranked No. 1 in two of those categories (accomplished, expectations) and thus earned the top overall spot.

Sean Spence > What we heard about him on Signing Day '08: The leader and three-year captain of Miami Northwestern's defense, which won back-to-back Class 6A state titles. An Under-Armour All-American, he made more than 250 tackles in his final two season combined and was ranked the 13th best outside linebacker in the country by Rivals.com and the second best by ESPN.com.

> What he's done as a Cane: Spence wasn't the biggest name UM landed from Miami Northwestern or even the best linebacker in his class (Arthur Brown was rated higher). But he's certainly risen through the ranks quickly. He heard ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2008 after finishing third on the team in tackles (65) and starting in nine games. He returned his first interception for a touchdown against Florida State and made a SportsCenter Top 10 hit on Tim Tebow and Gators running back in the loss at Florida. But his biggest play was coming up with the fumble at Virginia in UM's overtime come-from-behind victory.

> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: Spence climbed to No. 1 on my list because he embodies all three characteristics I set out when I began ranking players. He's already made a huge imprint win Freshman All-American honors, he's the bonafide leader of UM's defense (say what you want about Randy Phillips, Spence is the man) and without question he's talented enough to be a first round pick in two seasons. At 6-feet, 212-pounds, some people may question if he's big enough to handle the strongside linebacker position. Spence (4.55-speed, 425 squat) is more than qualified. What has always been his strength aside from desire and play making ability is his understanding of the game. This a kid who was breaking down film for seniors at Miami Northwestern when he was a sophomore. Now, he's doing the same at Miami. Players who make it big aren't just physically talented, but they're smart and they're great leaders. Spence embodies it all. And he's just a sophomore. Without him, Miami's defense is at a huge disadvantage. With him a junior, Miami's defense could once again become one of the best in college football. He should not only be top three in tackles again (Colin McCarthy will lead in tackles if he's healthy), but biggest defensive plays (he won that one last year). That's why he's No. 1.

FYI... I decided to take this week off (knowing the Canes start prepping for Florida State next week). So, there updates here from practice later this week. Our Susan Miller Degnan will be out there covering it all when practice resumes this morning. I'll be back out at UM beginning Monday.


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doesn't matter if it's history a s s clown. the fact is that it is somthing uf will never do. EVER........

Are U ready for another FIVE LOSS CAMPAIGN?







Andre Debose, line one.

Any body see the head on tebow.

I told you that you should of been down here with your boys. it's family down here. Up there, not so much.

How bad did Uribe want cookie to go to UF?


It took 23 years for UF finally beat miami again.


this is florida's best decade in thier history and they are 1-4 against miami in that same decade.


how bad did you want me urban? too bad i didn't fall for that "next percy" pitch you tryed to sell to everyone.



we're both luaghing at urban. you should of seen the fit he gave me for wanting to go to fsu. I could never be a gator and i could care less if urban was the first person to offer me.


An Open Letter To The GATOR NATION- Resist the temptation to respond to the hate that is going to pour in. Let the trolls do their griping and belittling. It wont change the fact UF is in the middle of a run for the ages. Besides yet another NC to be won, there are other records to be broken. This will be a fun season to witness all the way around. It's GREAT to BE a FLORIDA GATOR!

Wow , well said.

Good luck to you Hurricanes. You will face adversity like never before. The challenges that lie ahead will test your resolve in unimaginable ways. Do not give into the temptation to lash out others that are more successful than U. You have your own work cut out for you and should be grateful for the competition that has been created around you. Humilty will shorten the lenghty road that U must travel.

Your "UF run of the ages" as you put it begin their campaign as the "game of the week" on ESPN 360! Isn't that the network Art used to bust us about last year? What's your spin this year Art, now that UF is playing on 360?

But don't worry Art, I looked ahead to week 2 and UF is playing on...let me see...it's right here...hold on...it's coming into focus...ESPN 360!!!! Wow! Looks like you have that network locked down Art! This is awesome! Now I can watch the Gators on my Playstation!


Welcome to the club Florida! Where the hell have you been for the last 100 years???????

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