The Miami Dolphins have a long line of "unsung heroes," so many in fact, that the second group of players the Dolphins inducted into their "Walk of Fame" was deemed the "Unsung Heroes" class. Six players were added to the Joe Robbie Alumni Plaza outside Gate C of Sun Life Stadium in that 2012 group, defensive tackle Tim Bowens, defensive end/linebacker AJ Duhe, defensive end Manny Fernandez, wide receiver Nat Moore, and quarterbacks Earl Morrall and Don Strock.
This year's team is no different. The Dolphins have their stars, players like defensive end Cameron Wake, wide receiver Mike Wallace, cornerback Brent Grimes, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Players like rookie receiver Jarvis Landry, tight end Charles Clay, running back Lamar Miller, and defensive end Olivier Vernon may not be household names, but they are players who receive accolades from analysts throughout each game.
But, who is the top player that no one notices?
For Miami this year, it is probably linebacker Jelani Jenkins. As fans of the team, we all know who he is, and how much of an impact the second year player out of the University of Florida is having on this squad. No one else, however, seems to have noticed, yet.
Jenkins leads the team in tackles with 68, on pace to finish the year with 108. Hiw 68 tackles has him tied for 32nd in the league through Miami's first 10 games. Not bad for a player who was not expected to see much playing time as he worked as a reserve behind Dannell Ellerbe. When Ellerbe landed on injured reserve, Jenkins stepped in as the strong side linebacker, and has not looked back.
Jenkins is everywhere on the field, and he is having an impact, even if not many people are noticing. Pro Football Focus agrees with what we as fans are seeing, grading Jenkins as the third ranked player on the Miami defense, behind just Wake and Vernon. He's their fourth ranked 4-3 outside linebacker this season.
Jenkins is the definition of an unsung hero so far this year. Hopefully he will continue to play to that level.
Who else would you consider for the team's unsung hero award this year?
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