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September 22, 2005

Cards can count on Elvis

Elvis Presley was born on Jan. 8, 1935.

Elvis Dumervil was born on Jan. 19, 1984.

That makes them both Capricorns. But the similarities don't end there.

Elvis Presley spent more weeks at the top of the charts than any other artist (80).

Elvis Dumervil is at the top of the charts for sacks at Miami Jackson High School (78).

Elvis Presley's nickname was "King."

Elvis Dumervil's nickname is "Kool." Yes, it's with a "K." He said so.

Elvis Presley had a hit with "All Shook Up."

Elvis Dumervil has hit quarterbacks so often this season he has Louisville opponents all shook up.

Elvis Presley starred in Blue Hawaii.

Elvis Dumervil made Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson black and blue when he sacked him a school-record six times in the season opener.

Elvis Presley had the greatest number of consecutive #1 hits (10).

Elvis Dumervil has established an NCAA record for sacks in consecutive games (9).

Elvis Presley had a hit with "Suspicious Minds."

Elvis Dumervil caused some suspicious minds on the Oregon State coaching staff to try and stop him with double and triple teams last week. It didn't work; he sacked Beavers quarterbacks three times.

All right. Enough of the frivolity. The undersized Louisville defensive end (6 feet, 256 pounds) is on a tear, and South Florida quarterback Pat Julmiste is next this Saturday in Tampa in the Big East opener for both teams.

"I don't know what to say, really, I just thank God (on the NCAA record)," Dumervil told Rivals.com this week. "I get a great opportunity every week because I'm on a team with a great offense. They're putting a lot of points on the board early and we have the other team down and they have to throw the ball. I know it's a pass situation, so I'm ready to go."

Coming off the edge like Tony Stewart out of Turn 3, Dumervil might as well be Presley the way he has quarterbacks dancing in the pocket. Not only has he gotten to the QB nine times in two games, but he's doing more damage when he gets there. He already has forced four fumbles and recovered one.

Dumervil admitted he might have to adjust his preseason sack goal.

"Before the season, I said 15-plus," Dumervil told Rivals.com. "That was my goal after last year (he had 10 as a junior) because I felt like I missed some last year. I figured if I could make the plays that come to me I could get that many."

So far, so good.

Dumervil frequently watches tape of smallish NFL defensive ends, chief among them Dwight Freeney of the Colts. Freeney is listed at 6-1, but after what he has done since coming out of Syracuse in 2001 NFL personnel people know the only measuring stick for getting to the quarterback isn't a tape measure.

"(Dumervil) is extremely strong for his size," said Russ Lande of GM Jr., an NFL draft guide. "He works hard, comes to play and has a knack for getting to the quarterback."

Lande knows Dumervil's size will knock him down a peg with NFL scouts. Jerry Jones of the Drugstore List, another popular NFL draft guide, concurs.

"Everybody loves a pass rusher, and he has been a very productive college player in a program that has produced very nicely over the last several years," Jones said. "But with his size, he can't compete with the premier guys in the draft."

The premier guys would be ends such as Boston College's 6-7 Mathias Kiwanuka and N.C. State's 6-7 Mario Williams. But you can't count out a guy who has the knack.

"I know I'm way undersized for a defensive end in the NFL," Dumervil said. "But that just makes me hungrier. I'm not 6-6, 6-7, but I'll go to the draft combine and try to rip it up.

"I have to work harder than everybody else, but that's OK. I just need to get a look."

Just ask a quarterback who has found himself looking at the sky whether Dumervil deserves a look.

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