Corn Elder showed glimpses of his ability in his first three seasons at Miami, but this season under defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, he raised his level of play to the point where Miami fans now expect him to be playing on Sundays.
Elder’s production went up drastically during his senior season, almost compiling as many tackles (76) as he had in his first three seasons combined (82).
The elusive game-breaker also made an impact on special teams, everyone remembers his game-winning return against Duke in 2015.
So the question is, who will replace him?
The cornerback situation looks a bit grim at the moment, with there not being a lot of proven corners on the roster. The top three candidates would have to be Malek Young, Sheldrick Redwine and Michael Jackson.
Ryan Mayes and Terrance Henley could also see some burn next season, but are probably on the outside looking in for a starting position.
Every starter on Miami’s defense made improvements this season, and it would not be unreasonable to think that some of the players further down the depth chart are improving as well. This staff has done a fantastic job in developing players, and unlike the previous staffs, I expect this trend to continue.
In terms of commits, I expect cornerback Trajan Bandy to come in and play in the slot early on. There is also the possibility of Deejay Dallas playing cornerback, but it will be difficult to place such an explosive playmaker on defense with similar depth issues at the receiver position.
Ideally, Miami would have more instant impact cornerbacks committed, but thankfully, unlike in past years, players are continuing to develop after their first season at Miami.