Position Group Superlatives: Safeties

Position Group Superlatives: Safeties

Paul Austria
When it comes to the safety position for the Miami Hurricanes, depth and experience are the least of their worries as the Canes basically return everyone from last season, and the decisions of Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine to return for their senior seasons has made the jobs of safeties’ coach Ephraim Banda and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz a lot easier. Barring any injuries, this could easily be one of Miami’s best units.


Most Valuable: Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine

Despite his smaller stature at 5’10”, Jaquan Johnson has established himself not only as one of the best safeties in the nation, but also one of the best overall players in the nation as well. The 2nd-team All-American started all 13 games last season and led the team in total tackles with 96 and tied for the team lead with four interceptions. Johnson has established as the “head honcho” in leading this year’s Miami defense.

Making the move from cornerback to safety, Redwine has shown he is the perfect complement to Johnson. Standing at 6’1”, he has given the Canes much comfort and has proven to be very reliable, finishing with 59 tackles to go along with two sacks.


Sleeper: Amari Carter & Gurvan Hall

Carter played sparingly during his freshman season but he’s absolutely made the most of it. Ever since Coach Richt assumed the head coaching position, there has been so much talk of the goal to “bring the U back” and no one epitomizes that phrase more than Carter. He’s the DB that’s lurking and waiting for that opportunity to deliver a big hit on a wideout trying to make a catch down the middle. It took only one game for Carter to leave his mark on the field, forcing a fumble in his first career game against Bethune-Cookman. If his name gets called early should Johnson or Redwine get hurt, he will thrive.

Hall is a true freshman and he will most likely be receiving some game action due to the more lenient redshirt rule in effect. He missed most of spring practice with a knee injury but teammates were raving about how rangy and physical he was early on. The talent is absolutely there, and remember, Nick Saban landed a helicopter on this kid's high school football field to try and recruit him to Alabama.


Something to Prove: Robert Knowles

This year is crucial for Knowles, especially knowing that he’s now entering his junior season and he has not gotten regular playing time on defense. When Redwine had to exit Miami’s matchup with FSU last season with an injury, Knowles’ number was called. What followed however was something out of a disaster movie. Coverage was blown and Knowles allowed two touchdowns, which consequently both led to FSU taking the lead. One mishap and Knowles can easily slide down the depth chart with Carter, Smith, and even Gurvan Hall waiting in the wings as well.
 

Comments (41)

I was just looking at our base D and taking in 3LB's and 4 DB's but yes we a fuggin loaded at DB. Haven't been like this in a long time.

Not at all remember when the coachea forst got here lol! Grace, AQM, gone 3 freshman! I love Braxton Berrios to death but Thomas, Harley, Pope, Fleming in the slot is Talent upgrade (Berrios was a winner) so are these guys! I wish Dean would step it tf up man if not tho Freison gonna take his ****! Its Great to be a Cane!!!
 
I was just looking at our base D and taking in 3LB's and 4 DB's but yes we a fuggin loaded at DB. Haven't been like this in a long time.
HMMM, that may actually be true. Let me do a little looking around.

Clemson has the best front 4, so we need the best back 7
 
We’re finally loaded in the back end after great recruiting classes 2 years in a row. Carter is going to decapitate someone one of these games if he gets a good stick on someone. I liked the news that Hall was generating prior to his injury, hopefully it’s nothing serious and he can resume his ascend up the depth chart again. Then add in Frierson, Ivey, Blades Jr, Brady, Jackson, and possibly Dean and you have the makings of studs galore back there. Johnson and Redwine will ensure the back half is locked down. I’m loving all of these players sans Knowles; he needs to ride the pine. But the rest? They’re true ballers and the rest of the nation will get to see how deep and talented we are!!!
 
"Most Valuable: Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine"

As much as I love Redwine, I think Jaquan is far more valuable than Sheldrick. That's not a knock on Sheldrick, because I think he is going to have a great season. Jaquan is just on another level. He should not only be the lone MVP of the safeties, he should be the lone MVP of the entire defense as a whole.
 
Not at all remember when the coachea forst got here lol! Grace, AQM, gone 3 freshman! I love Braxton Berrios to death but Thomas, Harley, Pope, Fleming in the slot is Talent upgrade (Berrios was a winner) so are these guys! I wish Dean would step it tf up man if not tho Freison gonna take his ****! Its Great to be a Cane!!!
You right about the talent upgrade but Berrios really understood that position. I think it may take some time for these guys to be as effective. Obviously he was a Sr though so that helped. Speaking only for this season. Damn good looking group at WR. Always great to be a Cane!!
 
If I asked you who had the best SPARQ score of any Miami recruit who participated in Nike Opening events since 2014 would you be surprised when I told you it was Braxton Berrios? He still has the fastest short shuttle time during that timeframe at 3.81 of any player, period. His 40" vertical placed 58th out of every single player. His 131.37 SPARQ score bests Travis Homer's 126.51.

The notion that Braxton Berrios was this scrappy white guy without a ton of athletic talent is misguided. It's crazy to me he tested better coming out of high school than he did at the NFL Combine.
 
And the guy never dropped a punt in his life. HE will be missed on special teams too.
 
If I asked you who had the best SPARQ score of any Miami recruit who participated in Nike Opening events since 2014 would you be surprised when I told you it was Braxton Berrios? He still has the fastest short shuttle time during that timeframe at 3.81 of any player, period. His 40" vertical placed 58th out of every single player. His 131.37 SPARQ score bests Travis Homer's 126.51.

The notion that Braxton Berrios was this scrappy white guy without a ton of athletic talent is misguided. It's crazy to me he tested better coming out of high school than he did at the NFL Combine.
No doubt you correct. I’m sure you saw my comment prior to posting (assuming you read through them) and I’m not discounting his athleticism. When I say “talent upgrade” i moreso mean from top to bottom in that role. Not just the main guy. A trio of Thomas, a year older Harley, and Pope is a talent upgrade at the position as a whole. But pure talent will not trump Berrios’ understanding of playing the slot. Dude was 💵 though
 
No doubt you correct. I’m sure you saw my comment prior to posting (assuming you read through them) and I’m not discounting his athleticism. When I say “talent upgrade” i moreso mean from top to bottom in that role. Not just the main guy. A trio of Thomas, a year older Harley, and Pope is a talent upgrade at the position as a whole. But pure talent will not trump Berrios’ understanding of playing the slot. Dude was 💵 though

No doubt. Not picking on you personally, there is just this notion that Berrios was an overachiever. Dude was crazy athletic and pound-for-pound was the strongest player on the team.

The WR core that we currently have is getting back to the days of old with the speed and talent. We still are looking for that dude to make tough catches outside of his zone consistently.
 
I'm still trying to make sense of Derwin Lames getting first team ACC last year over Jaquan. His experience is going to be invaluable this year for Hall ame the other young db's.
 
Jaquan has been a great leader since he first arrived at Miami. The leadership moment that stands out to me the most is when Redwine forced a fumble against Pitt, but Jaquan recovered the fumble, which means he would be the recipient of the turnover chain. Jaquan walked over to Sheldrick and handed him the ball so that Sheldrick would receive the turnover chain. Everybody and their mama wanted to rock the turnover chain, but Jaquan gave it up.

In the grand scheme of things, we are just talking about a chain, and a nice gesture. However, the moment was much bigger than what showed up on the surface.
 
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255
Miami, FL
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290
Miami, FL
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190
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