College Football All-Suspension Team: Defense

This time of year is pretty dead for the average college football fan.  Let’s face it–spring football just doesn’t do much to tide the football fanatics over.  Thankfully, college football never completely leaves the national media, thanks to some really, really dumb decisions that key players at major programs make.  The vast majority of these actions seem to take place in the off-season and often lead to suspensions five months before the college season begins in early September. 

In case you missed it, College FootBlog came up with an All-Suspension Team for the offensive side of the ball in our last post (link).  This post, we will focus on the defensive players who have recently been suspended for various reasons, which, in turn, have cost the individual players the opportunity to win prestigious awards, and they have disrupted chemistry from their individual teams. 

So, let’s meet our group of degenerates on this side of the ball, shall we?

Florida coach Urban Meyer drew as much criticism for his half-game suspension as Brandon Spikes for his eye gouging incident last season (google images)

Defensive End:  Carlos Dunlap (Florida):  Dunlap is one of the top pass rushers going into next month’s draft.  At 6’6″ and 277 lbs, he was unstoppable off the edge, and he was a standout on special teams because of his ability to block kicks.  In 2009, Dunlap was a Consensus All-SEC selection, but he was suspended for the SEC Championship Game because of his charges of drunken driving on December 1st, 2009.  The experts still have Dunlap going in the first round of the NFL Draft, but his absence from the SEC Championship may have played a part in the loss to eventual National Champion Alabama.

Defensive Tackle:  DeMarcus Granger (Oklahoma):  During the week of OU’s Fiesta Bowl against West Virginia in 2008, Granger allegedly stole a jacket from an Arizona shopping mall.  This begs two questions:  1)  Why did he need a coat in Arizona and 2)  why didn’t he just have a car dealer in Norman just lend him one?  Regardless, the incident likely forced him to stay in college football the next year instead of declaring for the NFL Draft.  He has battled injuries and has been overshadowed by fellow teammate Gerald McCoy ever since and is now projected to go in the fourth round by most experts, costing him millions of dollars.

Linebacker:  Brandon Spikes (Florida):  Spikes surprised many when he opted to return for his senior season in Gainesville.  His overall performance did not suffer (in 2009, Spikes was again selected a First-Team All-American), but his character came into question when a television camera clearly showed that Spikes was gauging the eyes of Georgia running back Washaun Ealey.  His head coaches character would come into question shortly thereafter, as Urban Meyer decided that a half-game suspension would be enough of a slap on the wrists to suffice.  After public scrutiny, it was Spikes who made the decision to sit for an entire game.  Despite the altercation, Spikes is projected as the top inside linebacker in next month’s draft.

Cornerback:  Paul Oliver (Georgia):  After his first two seasons in Athens, Oliver exploded onto the scene as a junior, when he was considered one of the top corners in the SEC.  In that season, Oliver held former Georgia Tech and current Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson to two catches for 13 yards.  Unfortunately, Oliver’s senior season never happened because he failed to meet academic eligibility requirements.  He was later drafted in the NFL’s supplemental draft in July of 2007.  He is now a back up safety for the San Diego Chargers, but another year in the SEC could have produced a lot more money in the following year’s draft.

Safety:  Brandon Meriweather (Miami):  Despite firing three shots from his gun at an assailant who had already shot his teammate Willie Cooper in the butt, Meriweather was not suspended because his firearm was legal.  The suspension was handed down by the ACC because of his involvement in the 2006 brawl against Florida International University, where Meriweather was seen repeatedly stomping several FIU players who were on the ground.  Despite the incident, Meriweather was selected as the 24th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, but the shooting incident and brawl are thought to have cost him a much higher selection.

Tell us what you think.  It was pretty hard to limit the list to just these players, but we probably missed some obvious ones.  College FootBlog wants your feedback!

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