News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Sat. Dec. 4, 2021: Super Bowl LV champions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are currently 1st in NFC South with an 8-3 record and are listed as favorites to retain the Vince Lombardi Trophy by popular US sportsbook Bovada – with NFL betting odds of +550.
Consequently, the Bucs are also favorites to win the NFC Conference at betting odds of +270.
Much of the credit for last season’s unexpected success for the Bucs was given to legendary quarterback Tom Brady, and rightly so.
It was a great team effort from the entire roster though, including the Belizean nose tackle Rakeem Nathan Nuñez-Roches. In winning the title, Nuñez-Roches became the first Garifuna Belizean-American to win the Super Bowl.
Last season saw Nuñez-Roches record 20 tackles in a total of 16 regular season games for Tampa Bay, 11 of which he started, with a further three tackles in four postseason games. This season to date, Nuñez-Roches hasn’t had quite the same impact, but he has still recorded eight tackles in 11 games.
Nuñez-Roches Route to the Bucs
Nuñez-Roches was drafted into the NFL back in 2015 by the Kansas City Chiefs, where he resided until 2017. He was then traded to the Indianapolis Colts, but was quickly traded to the Buccaneers by the Colts.
The fact that the Buccaneers beat his former team, the Chiefs (31-9), at Super Bowl LV must have made the victory even more special for Nuñez-Roaches.
Nuñez-Roches was born on July 3, 1993 in Dangriga, a town on the Caribbean coast in southern Belize.
His mother migrated from Belize to Alabama when he was eight years old, where he went on to attend Central High School in Phenix City, Alabama. It was there that he developed his football talent, thanks to an in-school program primary through high school.
Nuñez-Roches College Career
In terms of college football stats, his high school football career saw him record 132 tackles, 17 sacks, and four forced fumbles. That in turn saw him selected as an Alabama Top 50 player.
At college, Nuñez-Roches played football at the University of Southern Mississippi from 2011 to 2014, where he also majored in biological sciences.
As a freshman in 2011, he was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team after appearing in just six games.
Nuñez-Roches went on to start 11 of 12 games as a sophomore in 2012, recording 37 tackles, of which 22 were solo, six tackles-for-loss, one sack, and one forced fumble. A season-ending injury after just two games brought an early end to his time as a junior in 2013.
In 2014, as a redshirt junior, he appeared in 11 games, and recorded 63 tackles (35 solo), 15 tackles-for-loss, four sacks, and one forced fumble.
Nuñez-Roches then decided to forego his final year of eligibility and entered the 2015 NFL Draft.
Back in Belize, Nuñez-Roches has an older brother, Raoul, who is a national champion himself, having won the 2015 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament with the San Pedro Town Tiger Sharks.