Canes' RJ McIntosh happy to finally wear the 'Turnover Chain'
Defensive tackle RJ McIntosh struggled with the decision to enter the 2018 NFL Draft after his junior season.
But Saturday, he was selected by the New York Giants with the second pick of the fifth round— 139th overall, undoubtedly filling him with joy after not getting drafted Friday.
McIntosh, 21, out of Cardinal Gibbons High in Fort Lauderdale, is one of three Hurricanes, along with running back Mark Walton and fellow D-tackle Kendrick Norton, who entered the draft as underclassmen.
"RJ has good speed and very good pass-rush skills, can change direction well,'' former UM defensive coordinator Craig Kuligowski told the Miami Herald in February. "I think the NFL will like him a great deal.''
McIntosh is a physical specimen at 6-4 ½ and 288 pounds and was an all-around run-stopping, pass-stopping terror as a junior in 2017. He started all 13 games and had 52 tackles, his 12.5 tackles for loss tying for the team lead with fellow defensive lineman Chad Thomas, who was drafted by the Cleveland Browns on Friday as the third pick of the third round. McIntosh also had 2 ½ sacks, seven pass breakups and four quarterback hurries in 2017. He forced one fumble and took a fumble recovery 35 yards down field.
As a sophomore in 2016, McIntosh started all 12 games and tallied 42 tackles, 8 1/2 tackles for loss and two sacks.
McIntosh has had his recent challenges. He discovered he had a thyroid condition during the NFL Scouting Combine, had lost weight, but now has it controlled medically and is back to his usual size and usual self.
"He's a good player,'' ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said last week of McIntosh. "I think he can continue to develop.''
On Saturday after McIntosh was drafted, McShay called him "a steal.''
Added fellow analyst Mel Kiper Jr: “McIntosh is quick and athletic, and he plays hard. Effort is not an issue. He’s an underrated 3-technique penetrator who had  tackles for loss over the past two seasons.’’
McIntosh's younger brother Deon is a running back for Notre Dame.
"I'm really looking forward to how my parents react when I get my name called,'' McIntosh said this week.
Said his dad Richard before the draft: "Whenever he goes and wherever he goes, it's an opportunity for RJ to live a childhood dream and get his foot in the door. We know he's going to bust his tail and make whoever picks him happy.''