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University of Miami Athletics

Tavares Gooden






220 lbs.




Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

High School

St. Thomas Aquinas

CAREER: Talented athlete who has the most games played and starts of any returning linebacker…In 2006, reclaimed his starting job at strongside linebacker after being sidelined with an injury in 2005…Started at weakside linebacker most of the 2004 season and started the 2005 opener at strongside linebacker before being injured (he received a medical redshirt that year)…Made a name for himself as one of the team’s top special teams performers in 2003…A high school track star who is one of the team’s most athletic players…For his career, has 14 starts in 37 games played, with 137 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, a half sack and five passes defensed…Has already graduated with a double major in liberal arts and criminology and is taking classes in African studies in the fall.


2006 (JUNIOR): Team’s starting strongside linebacker all season…Played in 11 games, making four starts (did not start when team opened in nickel and dime defenses and missed two games with a concussion)…Ranked 11th on the team with 41 tackles (27 solo), adding five tackles for loss, three QB pressures and two pass breakups…Started the opener vs. Florida State, his first game in one year, and made three tackles, with one tackle for loss…Did not start vs. Florida A&M (nickel defense) but had no tackles…Did not start at Louisville (nickel defense), but made five tackles (four solo), with one tackle for loss…Did not start in a nickel defense and played sparingly (no tackles) vs. Houston…Saw limited action as the strongside linebacker vs. North Carolina, making five tackles (two solo), with one tackle for loss, a QB pressure and one pass deflection…Started and played all 70 defensive plays at Duke, making four tackles (three solo) and one pass deflection…Started again a week later at Georgia Tech, tallying eight tackles (five solo), with one tackle for a loss and one QB pressure…Started his third consecutive game vs. Virginia Tech but saw action on just 13 plays before suffering a concussion. Made two assisted tackles and a QB pressure…Missed the next two games (Maryland and Virginia), returning for the Boston College game (two solo tackles and a pass breakup)…In the MPC Computers Bowl vs. Nevada did not start in a nickel defense but made a season-high nine tackles (eight solo), with one tackle for loss.


2005 (JUNIOR): Started the season opener at Florida State at strongside linebacker but suffered a dislocated left shoulder in the first quarter and missed the remainder of the year…For the game, made three tackles (one solo)…Underwent surgery on October 3…Received a medical redshirt.


2004 (SOPHOMORE): Played in all 12 games, starting nine games at weakside linebacker…Suffered a shoulder injury and did not start the final three regular-season games, though he did see action…For the season, totaled 83 tackles (third on the team), 10 tackles for loss, a half sack and three pass breakups…Made his first start for the Hurricanes in the season opener vs. Florida State and made five tackles…Totaled 10 tackles the next week vs. Louisiana Tech, including a half sack, three QB pressures and one pass breakup…Started at Houston and registered 12 tackles, as well as three tackles for loss, one QB pressure and a pass breakup. Scored his first touchdown on a punt blocked by Anthony Reddick to open the scoring in a 38-13 victory…Started at Georgia Tech and recorded eight tackles, including one tackle for loss…Made eight tackles and one QB pressure vs. Louisville, then added two tackles at NC State…Started at North Carolina and recorded a season-high 13 tackles…Made eight tackles vs. Clemson, including three tackles for loss, before suffering a shoulder injury…Did not start at Virginia due to his shoulder injury but played sparingly, making one tackle…Against Wake Forest, did not start, but played most of the game at weakside linebacker, notching seven tackles and one tackle for loss…Made three tackles as a reserve vs. Virginia Tech…Started in the Peach Bowl vs. Florida and made six tackles (two solo), one tackle for loss and one pass breakup.


2003 (FRESHMAN): Played in all 13 games, almost entirely on special teams, where he excelled in kickoff and punt coverage…Made 10 tackles (six solo)…Had a season-high four tackles (two solo) in a win over Temple…Made two tackles against Syracuse…Had one tackle against Louisiana Tech, East Carolina, Florida State and Rutgers.


HIGH SCHOOL: Regarded as one of the state’s top players as a junior and senior…Has excellent instincts and regularly made plays in the opponent’s backfield…Showed tremendous competitiveness and a strong work ethic…Two-time Class 4A All-State selection…First-team All-Broward selection at defensive end in 2002…Considered among the top two most dominating defenders in Florida…Was the 2002 state champion in the discus at 181 feet (and had a personal best of 197 feet)…Has a best of 20 feet in the long jump and 6-8 in the high jump…As a junior in 2001, made 87 tackles, 12.5 sacks and three forced fumbles…Rated the nation’s No. 6 linebacker and the No. 10 overall player in Florida by Allen Wallace’s Super Prep and was named a SuperPrep All-American…Rated the No. 48 player in Florida and the No. 6 outside linebacker in the nation by Tom Lemming’s Prep Football Report…Rated the No. 87 player in the nation on the Rivals100 National Top 100…Member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100…The No. 26 player on the Orlando Sentinel Florida Top 100…Second-team selection on the Fox Sports Net All-South Team…Chose Miami over Ohio State and Louisiana State…Coached by George Smith.


2003 13/0 10 6 4 0-0 0 0-0 0 0-0 0 0-0
2004 12/9 83 23 60 10-14 0 0.5-2 0 0-0 3 0-0
2005 1/1 3 1 2 0-0 0 0-0 0 0-0 0 0-0
2006 11/5 41 27 14 5-7 3 0-0 0 0-0 2 0-0
Totals 37/15 137 57 80 15-21 3 0.5-2 0 0-0 5 0-0

Total tackles 13 (at North Carolina 2004)
Solo 8 (vs. Nevada 2006)
Assists 11 (at Houston 2004)