Canes Convos: Bandy solidifying #2 role, Thomas faster than ever

Canes Convos: Bandy solidifying #2 role, Thomas faster than ever

Stefan Adams
It doesn’t seem like sophomore corner Trajan Bandy has really been challenged much for the #2 CB role in camp thus far; Manny Diaz said yesterday he was head and shoulders better than the competition right now. In addition to playing outside, Bandy will be asked by coaches to man the slot at times as well.

“Coach says he’ll need me to play a little nickel this year, and I’m all for it,” Bandy said.

Playing in the slot gives Bandy the opportunity to guard UM’s fastest receivers in Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley.

“Those guys are so fast, so twitchy,” Bandy said on Thomas and Harley. “Off the ball they help me playing the nickel position because I have to go against the quickest, fastest guys on the football field. Going against them in practice, they prepare me for the game.”

Working in behind Bandy at nickel is freshman corner Al Blades, who has put on some serious size since his St. Thomas days.

“He’s doing great. I’ve been trying to show him the ropes because I played it all last year,” Bandy said on Blades. “The young corners are learning fast.”

When asked who was standing out most among the freshman receivers, Bandy echoed Thomas Brown’s answer earlier in the day.

“Oh, Mark Pope definitely,” Bandy said. “He’s fast, he’s quick, he blocks. After practice he talks to me, asks me questions about what he did wrong in practice. I tell him and the next day he comes out and he runs his routes harder and blocks harder.”

**Earlier in the spring, sophomore WR Jeff Thomas was called the best player on the offense by some. High praise for what offensive coordinator Thomas Brown earlier said was his most talented offense at UM.

“I just try to take it as motivation to keep working on my game so I can be the breakout player people are talking about. I can’t wait to see what I can do this year,” Thomas said.

Thomas says he’s improved both maturity-wise and physically since his impressive freshman season of 17 catches for 374 yards and 2 scores. He’s put on 10 pounds to get up to 178 and lowered his 40 to 4.37.

“I’ve gotten faster,” Thomas said. “That (time) was with shoes, so who knows with cleats on,” Thomas said.

**Sophomore WR Mike Harley was actually timed just a tick slower than Thomas in team testing at 4.38. Why didn’t he beat Thomas?

“My legs were kind of tight, so...” Harley said. “If we run a 60 yard (race) I know I have Jeff for a fact. But he’s quick, so his 40 he can get out.”

The two sophomores are working in the slot for UM this fall and attempting to replace what the departed Braxton Berrios brought to the team. Harley says he’s built a bond with Thomas that leads to the pair always pushing to make each other better.

“We always push each other,” Harley said on Thomas. “We watch film, it’s `You’re supposed to make that play.’ We’ll crack jokes walking to dinner, we’ll watch film together. He’ll teach me some techniques, I’ll teach him hand placement. We are the same speedy guys, small frame body, and we practice on our own sometimes, too.”

In his second season working with starting QB Malik Rosier, Harley says it’s Rosier’s leadership skills that have changed the most from last year.

“The difference I see in Malik is he’s being a leader now,” Harley said. “He’s getting the offense together, is really consistent so far. He’s like a leader now.”

The freshman tight ends have been making some noise so far at practice and Harley sees them both making an impact in 2018.

“I like those guys. Brevin (Jordan) is like a big body guy that makes the tough contested 50/50 (catches). Will Mallory is a route runner, get him in the slot, in space. I like both those guys. They’re definitely going to play this year.”

**Senior safety Sheldrick Redwine feels like he’s ready to see what the team’s got in Saturday’s scrimmage.

“I want to be a senior, lead the team, try to be a leader,” Redwine said on the upcoming scrimmage. “All the mistakes I made last year, try to correct those. Take the mistakes out of my game and turn what people say are weaknesses into strong points.

"Everyone can't wait for the scrimmage. It's a time to finally go full speed. We haven't been full speed since spring (in full pads). It's a time everybody is waiting for."

Redwine sees the current defensive backfield at Miami as having serious potential.

“I trust every guy in there,” Redwine said. “If we do everything right we should be one of the best in the country. We just feel like we just have to come together and there’s nothing that can stop us.”

When talking about the talented DB class UM brought in with Storm18, Redwine says it’s Gurvan Hall that stands out above the rest.

“Gurvan has been doing really well coming off his injury,” Redwine said. “He’s showing great range, has great football speed, is aggressive. That’s a big thing coach Diaz tells young guys, is you have to prove your toughness to the team. He’s been coming out, striking, making plays on the ball. He’s impressed me.”

He may be small, but sophomore cornerback Trajan Bandy has taken full control over the #2 role for Mike Rumph’s position group. Redwine elaborated on what it is about the 5’9 corner from Columbus that makes him so good.

“We say he has `Little Man Syndrome,’” Redwine said on Bandy. “He’s small, but he always plays with a chip on his shoulder. He’s just taking the initiative, is really trying to do everything right. He’s been learning his plays more, has been running to the ball, stuff a young guy really can’t do the first year coming in. He’s trying to take the next step.”

Comments (49)

Still smh at the last clown in charge not offering Bandy...
Still smh at the last clown in charge not offering Bandy...

Bandy is too short to be an effective D1 corner. That play against Notre dame is proof positive of it. A taller DB makes that interception and stays in bounds.


The Dorito-Folden Brain Trust.
So Jhavonte Dean just going to be okay with being mediocre?! I haven’t heard his name mentioned at all since... who knows when! It’s Bandy, Frierson, and Ivey and now Blades?! What is this Dean guy up to? Lol. I hope he’s getting a good education.
So Jhavonte Dean just going to be okay with being mediocre?! I haven’t heard his name mentioned at all since... who knows when! It’s Bandy, Frierson, and Ivey and now Blades?! What is this Dean guy up to? Lol. I hope he’s getting a good education.

I think Dean is working his *** off but he just doesn’t have whatever it takes to be a better player. even if Deans play is equal to the freshmen group that’s not good enough to play him over the younger talent.
I am not even trying to be humorous, they are actually talking about some white boy 2 star from Delaware.

IIRC, it was a debate amongst the corches about offering this 2 star Delaware kid, SPECIFICALLY because he had played the safety position in a similar scheme in HS. Even though the kid wasn’t fast enough nor good enough to play here. They were seriously talking about foregoing some under the radar So. Fla. talent, like a Bandy, for this white kid, because he had played the position before. We had one dissenting voice in that video who tried to stand up to F.A.G and No’Ds nonsense. After watching that video, I wanted to drive down and help them pack their ****!
Being from Chicago and paying attention to the East St Louis program since 2006 I knew Jeff Thomas would be a stud his freshman year in high school. I thought he was Osu or Bama bound but when Miami turned up the heat on him I knew he wouldn’t turn them down. Guy will def have a huge year of Rosier could hit him on a deep ball once a game at least.
Blades at the nickel is going to be scary with his size and athleticism. Still remember all the idiots saying he wasnt ready to play.
People (who probably didn't watch STA games) were obsessed with the fact that he didn't "start" at STA smh
I’m really not even surprised about Blades bc his change of direction and footwork is elite. Rare for dbs his size.
Bandy is my current favorite Miami Hurricane. The beauty with him is he’s a auto 4 year player. These kinda guys win us rings.