120 Players To Know - MT LB Danny Carmichael
Middle Tennessee LB Danny Carmichael
Who are the players you need to know about? Maybe they've been under the radar, or maybe they're the future NFL stars who'll be a really big deal next April. Get to know the stars of 2009 as CFN profiles 120 Players You Need To Know over 120 days (one for each team) continuing with Middle Tennessee LB Danny Carmichael.
120 Players You Need To
Middle Tennessee LB Danny Carmichael
Who is Danny Carmichael? ... Middle
Tennessee has the potential to come up with a big season with a team
loaded with veterans. None will be more important than Carmichael,
the team’s leading tackler last year and an emerging all-star who’ll
be the heart and soul of the defense.
Carmichael's best game so
far was ...
last year’s 14-13 win over Florida Atlantic. In the key Sun Belt
showdown, Carmichael made nine solo tackles, ten stops overall, with two
tackles for loss and a sack with two broken up passes. He did a little
contributor over his first two seasons, he became a leader and a
strong all-around playmaker last season with a team-leading 89
tackles to go along with three sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss from
his spot in the middle. While he doesn’t have elite athleticism,
he’s a high-octane player who sets the tone for the defense with his
toughness and his focus.
“Danny Carmichael is the heart and soul of our
defense and we feel good about having him in the middle,” said
Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill. “He brings toughness
and experience to the unit as well as the entire defense.”
The defense was among the best in the Sun Belt last season, and now
it has the potential to be special if it can take on an even nastier
attitude while hoping for all the experience to turn into more
production. It’ll be Carmichael who sets the tone.
Danny is a guy on defense who sets the mindset in terms of how we
will practice and play because of his intensity,” said Stockstill.
“We will obviously rely heavily on Danny this season.”
Why you should care about Carmichael ...
Middle Tennessee should be one of the leading contenders for the Sun
Belt title. All the starters are back on offense, the defensive line is
terrific, and the secondary is loaded. The linebacking corps is the main
issue with two unproven starters on the outside and no developed depth
whatsoever. Carmichael will have to do even more and will have to play
at an all-star level early on until the rest of the corps comes around.
If he’s not terrific, the run defense will have major problems early on
with Clemson, Memphis, and Maryland in the first three games.
Carmichael’s pro potential... At best he’s a late pick, but he’ll
spend time in an NFL camp if he can show in workouts that he has the
quickness and the speed to match his intensity and hitting ability. He’s
not a good enough athlete to work on the outside, but he’s big enough
and a good enough tackler to sit in the middle of someone’s defense as a
Negatives about Carmichael ... He’s only a
middle or inside linebacker. He’s a squatty 6-0 and 246 pounds with nice
range, but not elite sideline-to-sideline speed that would translate to
the next level. While he’s decent in pass protection, he’s not fluid at
handling receivers coming out of the backfield.
A cool thing
about Carmichael that you probably didn't know ... along with being
the star linebacker for Woodcock High in Georgia, he was also a key
fullback with seven touchdowns and 381 rushing yards.
2006: 26 tackles, one sack, 3.5 tackles for loss
2007: 55 tackles, two sacks, five tackles for loss
2008: 89 tackles, three sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss, one interception
Statistics, information and
photo provided by the Middle Tennessee sports information department.