For Ravens rookie free safety Matt Elam, Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins represents a homecoming.

Elam grew up in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where he was named Mr. Football as a senior in 2009 when he rushed for 1,883 yards and 27 touchdowns at William T. Dwyer High.

And the Ravens' first-round draft pick grew up as a Dolphins fan.

"That was my favorite team," Elam said. "The first football team I played on was called the Dolphins."

A consensus All-American as a junior last season at the University of Florida before declaring for the NFL draft, Elam will have a large contingent of family and friends attending the game at Sun Life Stadium.

"Playing in front of my family will be exciting," Elam said. "I can't wait. It should be a lot of fun."

Elam has 17 tackles and one pass deflection in four games (three starts). He had a career-high six solo tackles in a 23-20 win over the Buffalo Bills, but also missed an open-field tackle on Bills running back Fred Jackson's 16-yard touchdown run.

"I just slipped, I lost my feet," Elam said. "There's nothing you can do about that."

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was intercepted three times and lost a fumble during a Monday night loss to the New Orleans Saints.

"I feel like if we execute, we'll have a lot of opportunities to get some balls off of him," Elam said. "We just have to execute."

awilson@baltsun.com

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