Through all the ups and downs the Hurricanes have had over the past three seasons, the one constant good has been No. 4 on our list: Left tackle Jason Fox. Without question, he's the one senior on this team who has exceeded expectations. The Hurricanes simply need him to live up to what he's already done -- stay healthy and protect the blindside of the quarterback.
> What we heard about him on Signing Day '06: When Fox picked the Canes over Texas A&M, Arizona and Oklahoma State, we heard whispers he was the second coming of Eric Winston. Another player who played tight end in high school, we were told to expect Fox to develop into an offensive tackle. Rivals.com rated him the 16th best tackle in the country. Scout.com had him 24th.
> What he's done as a Cane: Everything that has been asked of him since the day he arrived. Fox has started every game since he was a true freshman, 36 in all. He didn't give up a sack in his first season while starting eight games on the right side and four on the left. He graded out at 83 percent for the season. As a sophomore, he moved full time to left tackle and graded out at 96 percent, totaling five pancakes. His junior year, he was named one of three team captains and produced 16 pancakes, grading out at 97 percent for the season. He even scored a touchdown a throw-back play against Florida State.
> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: The preseason All-ACC selection has to continue to be the leader he's been since he arrived. With so little experienced depth behind the starters, Fox and the rest of the top five may be asked to play major minutes -- possibly without breaks. if this list was ranking players based on who UM could most ill-afford to lose this season, Fox would be No. 1. I don't believe there is a player on this team who could replace him and what he brings. As long as he stays healthy, UM's offense has a chance to be among the best in the ACC.