FIU’s all-time leading tackler and current Jacksonville Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien has been a tackling machine since his arrival at FIU in 2009 and it's that skill that could lead Cyprien to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season.
Cyprien, who is currently second in the AFC and fourth in the NFL in tackles among rookies, didn’t take long to make his first collegiate tackle or his first NFL tackle.
On the first play of his first collegiate game in venerable Bryant-Denny Stadium against national power Alabama, Cyprien recorded his first tackle when he brought down Crimson Tide kick returner Damion Square after a 5-yard return.
Cyprien made his first NFL tackle halfway through the first quarter of his first NFL game when he stopped Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles this past September.
Cyprien finished his FIU career in 2012 as the leading tackler in the then 11-year history of Panthers football. Cyprien got the career tackles record out of the way early.
Heading into the third game of the 2012 season against Central Florida, Cyprien needed 11 tackles to break the FIU career tackles record held by former Panthers linebacker Scott Bryant. In the fourth quarter of the game Cyprien tackled Knights running back Storm Johnson for his 11th tackle of the game. Cyprien finished the game with 12 tackles.
In his illustrious FIU career, Cyprien made 365 tackles, 213 of those tackles were solo – both marks rank first in FIU football history.
After Week 14 in the NFL, Cyprien is second to Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso (131 tackles) among AFC rookies in tackles. Cyprien is fourth among NFL rookies in tackles behind Alonso, Atlanta Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow (101 tackles) and St. Louis Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree (94 tackles).
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