Make a new plan, Stan: Dobard’s tackle one for Miami Hurricanes lore

Then-tight end Stan Dobard celebrates his touchdown reception against Bethune-Cookman last season. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Then-tight end Stan Dobard celebrates his touchdown reception against Bethune-Cookman last season. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Midway though his senior season at the University of Miami, Stan Dobard took a look around and saw way too many downers for his tastes.

Defensive ends kept going down.

Dobard himself always seemed to be sitting down, on the bench.

And the Hurricanes were dropping down in the ACC standings amid a four-game losing streak.

So Dobard decided it was time to speak up. He approached coach Mark Richt and defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski with an unexpected pitch: What if I switch from tight end to defensive end?

“I kept telling them I want to play defense to help the team out, and it happened,” Dobard said.

“It” did. After a couple of weeks of learning, Dobard found himself on the field late in the Hurricanes’ 51-28 victory over Pittsburgh last weekend. And he found quarterback Nathan Peterman running his way with 2:04 remaining.

And he made the tackle.

It may not meet Rudy standards, but it did transform garbage time into celebration time.

“Everybody went crazy,” Dobard said.

Defensive lineman Chad Thomas: “He’s got a ‘dog’ mentality, even if he doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

Dobard turned it into a dog day despite getting only a handful of snaps.

“I’m still working on my technique,” he said. “You know, I just got there two or three weeks ago. Right now I’m playing with just a dog mentality, just trying to get to the ball, just make plays.”

Dobard’s attitude hasn’t gone unnoticed in the locker room.

“When you see things like that, you just look at a guy, you say he’s unselfish,” defensive back Rayshawn Jenkins said. “Because he’s a senior, he easily could have shut it down and been just like, ‘No, I’m just going to start training.’ He’s unselfish and he works hard.

“And then again, he’s not bad at D-end, either.”

Richt said he listened to Dobard, then discussed it with his defensive coaches.

“He wanted to go help and he knew he had at least the body type and the athletic ability,” Richt said of Dobard, who is 6-foot-4, 252 pounds. “At the time, it was a good idea, as thin as we were at that spot.”

That was then. Now?

“”We’re getting more guys back healthy but we kept him over there because he’s just been doing a good job and he’s been enjoying it,” Richt said. “If we need him to play tight end we can do that in a pinch, too.”

After catching a pass or two in three of the first four games as a tight end, Dobard had been shut out. But after his debut on the defensive line, there’s a big 1 next to his name on the tackle sheet.

“I think I like defense better,” he said. “I don’t know, I just like hitting people.”

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