Overall, the safety group played well this season, with the entire defense improving drastically from the last regime. Rayshawn Jenkins and Jamal Carter led the way, combining for 161 tackles.
The other standout player from this group was sophomore defensive back Jaquan Johnson, who played safety and nickel in 2016. He tallied 38 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one interception.
Now, let’s breakdown each player’s season.
Carter made huge strives in his senior season, he compiled a team-high 85 tackles and started every game except one due to a targeting call in the game prior.
Looking ahead, Carter will be playing in the East-West Shrine game along with teammate Stacy Coley, January 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Carter is not projected to be drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he will surely try to make a team as an undrafted free agent.
The redshirt senior managed to fight off an injury plagued first few years at Miami, and start 12 of the 13 games this past season. He ranked third on the team in tackles with 76 and led the team in interceptions with two.
Looking ahead to the NFL Draft, CBS Sports has Jenkins projected to be drafted in the fifth or sixth round.
Johnson showed his versatility this past season, lining up in both the nickel and safety positions. The sophomore defensive back played in every game, and started five.
For 2017, he is probably an early favorite to be a starter for next season. With Carter and Jenkins graduating, he should have ample opportunity to be the leader of the secondary.
The freshman played in 12 games in his first season, but mostly on special teams. He made some noise in in fall camp, but with two seniors holding down the safety position, he did not get many opportunities to play. He could emerge as a starter for next season, but there will be plenty of competition for those two spots.
Wright saw action in nine games this past season, seeing most of his playing time on special teams. He could be considered the dark horse to get playing time next season.
He was also suspended for the Russell Athletic Bowl Game against West Virginia.
Played in every game this past season, tallying six tackles.
Jeff James Jr
The freshman played in the first game of the season, and he was among those suspended for the Russell Athletic Bowl Game.