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Quentin Rollins Named MAC Defensive Player of the Year

The story of Quinten Rollins continues to become more and more remarkable.

Rollins, who prior to this year had not played a down of football since his senior year of high school, has been named the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year, announced by the league office this morning (Dec. 3).

What had Rollins been doing for the past four years? Simple ... playing basketball.

Rollins, the best MAC defensive player on the football field in 2014, played in Millett Hall with the Miami basketball team from 2010-13, finishing his career with 116 games played, 214 steals (second in Miami history) and 391 assists (fourth in Miami history).

The senior joined the RedHawks’ football team in April, just in time for spring practice and was taking first team reps prior to the Spring Game. By the time fall camp had begun Rollins was a mainstay with the first-team defense and in fact, intercepted the first pass of camp in early August.

From that point on, as they say, the rest was history.

Rollins finished the season with 72 tackles, seven interceptions, nine pass breakups, one forced fumble and 4.0 tackles for loss. His seven interceptions match a Miami single season record and are tied for third most nationally.

Rollins would record his first career start on Aug. 30 versus Marshall and his first interception a week later against Eastern Kentucky, but started to make a name for himself in the following weeks.

Inside the “Big House” versus Michigan, the 6-foot, 203 defensive back would record six tackles and an interception to earn MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. The following week at Cincinnati, the Wilmington, Ohio, native dominated the game versus the Bearcats, finishing with eight tackles, two interceptions, 1.0 tackle for loss and two pass breakups.

By the end of September, it was clear. Rollins came to play, and play well.

He had a career-high nine tackles at Buffalo, had four tackles and two pass breakups in a 42-41 win over UMass, and eight tackles versus Akron. He matched his career-high with nine tackles versus Western Michigan and added four tackles and his fifth career interception versus Central Michigan, but arguably saved his best game for last.

Versus arch-rival Ohio, the senior was once again named MAC Defensive Player of the Week after recording six tackles and two interceptions in a 24-21 loss to the Bobcats. His first interception of the night was returned 27 yards for a touchdown, his first (and only) collegiate touchdown.

It was announced back in mid-Nov. that Rollins would be competing in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 24 in Mobile, Ala., and the national scouting departments are taking notice.

“Rollins might be the most intriguing prospect in the entire game when you consider that he started on the Miami basketball team for four years before playing one season of football for the RedHawks,” said Phil Savage, Senior Bowl Executive Director. “He created quite a buzz this fall among the NFL scouts.”

The last RedHawk to win this award was Clay Mullins in 2007. Rollins is the 15th player from Miami to be named the defensive player of the year.

The story of Quinten Rollins continues to become more and more remarkable.

Rollins, who prior to this year had not played a down of football since his senior year of high school, has been named the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year, announced by the league office this morning (Dec. 3).

What had Rollins been doing for the past four years? Simple ... playing basketball.

Rollins, the best MAC defensive player on the football field in 2014, played in Millett Hall with the Miami basketball team from 2010-13, finishing his career with 116 games played, 214 steals (second in Miami history) and 391 assists (fourth in Miami history).

The senior joined the RedHawks’ football team in April, just in time for spring practice and was taking first team reps prior to the Spring Game. By the time fall camp had begun Rollins was a mainstay with the first-team defense and in fact, intercepted the first pass of camp in early August.

From that point on, as they say, the rest was history.

Rollins finished the season with 72 tackles, seven interceptions, nine pass breakups, one forced fumble and 4.0 tackles for loss. His seven interceptions match a Miami single season record and are tied for third most nationally.

Rollins would record his first career start on Aug. 30 versus Marshall and his first interception a week later against Eastern Kentucky, but started to make a name for himself in the following weeks.

Inside the “Big House” versus Michigan, the 6-foot, 203 defensive back would record six tackles and an interception to earn MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. The following week at Cincinnati, the Wilmington, Ohio, native dominated the game versus the Bearcats, finishing with eight tackles, two interceptions, 1.0 tackle for loss and two pass breakups.

By the end of September, it was clear. Rollins came to play, and play well.

He had a career-high nine tackles at Buffalo, had four tackles and two pass breakups in a 42-41 win over UMass, and eight tackles versus Akron. He matched his career-high with nine tackles versus Western Michigan and added four tackles and his fifth career interception versus Central Michigan, but arguably saved his best game for last.

Versus arch-rival Ohio, the senior was once again named MAC Defensive Player of the Week after recording six tackles and two interceptions in a 24-21 loss to the Bobcats. His first interception of the night was returned 27 yards for a touchdown, his first (and only) collegiate touchdown.

It was announced back in mid-Nov. that Rollins would be competing in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 24 in Mobile, Ala., and the national scouting departments are taking notice.

“Rollins might be the most intriguing prospect in the entire game when you consider that he started on the Miami basketball team for four years before playing one season of football for the RedHawks,” said Phil Savage, Senior Bowl Executive Director. “He created quite a buzz this fall among the NFL scouts.”

The last RedHawk to win this award was Clay Mullins in 2007. Rollins is the 15th player from Miami to be named the defensive player of the year.

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