Dee, we hardly knew you.
It’s bittersweet that Miami has to say goodbye to a player who we hardly got to know.
What is meant by that is that we have seen glimpses of Dee Delaney, the FCS transfer from the Citadel, try and transfer his talent to regular FBS competition. The expectations coming into the season for the grad transfer were immense. Miami lost every starter from their secondary to graduation last year, and were in need of not replacements, but players ready to step in and step up for a program with lofty expectations.
Delaney fit the bill. A cornerback who measured over six feet tall. A defender who has experience playing a variety of coverages against FBS-level competition. The conversation around Delaney trended to who would fall in line after him, more than any concern of him transitioning smoothly to being a Miami Hurricane.
It appeared that the move to regular-level competition was going to be too big for the corner, after having a shaky debut against Bethune-Cookman. Chalk it up to rust or opening day jitters. In his second appearance, the trend continued with busts in coverage, misreads, and a player who was projected to be Miami’s top corner to begin the season ridiculed for being out of position against Toledo. The game came after a two week layoff due to Hurricane Irma, and would have been a tough matchup had Miami been able to have a normal routine leading into a game with pass-happy Toledo.
Regardless, there was resentment and frustration surrounding Delaney’s play, even though Miami was able to pull off a resounding victory in both games. However, something began to click. It started against Duke—Delaney was in position, looked more comfortable in coverage, and was doing less looking around after the player and more walking back to the huddle with that confidence that Hurricane fans expect of their players.
The following week against FSU, Delaney took his performance to another level in Miami’s most important rivalry. Delaney joined the chain gang, securing his first interception of the season and allowing him to be presented with the ‘Turnover Chain’ upon his return to the sideline after the play. Delaney ultimately put together another solid game against the best opponent that the ’Canes faced at that point in the season.
Delaney’s play was illustrating the promise that many thought it would. Then it all came crashing down. Reports soon after the FSU game was that Delaney had suffered a ‘right lower extremity’ injury that would force him to miss anywhere from six to eight weeks. While those reports were soon refuted, it was unknown when or if Delaney would make a comeback.
After missing games against Syracuse and Georgia Tech, it appeared that Delaney was set to return to field sooner than what was reported as a season-ending injury. However, Delaney would not play in the next four games for Miami. Returning to game action in a blowout against Notre Dame. Adding depth to a secondary that is filled with talent and promise, with 24 tackles, one tackle for loss and, one interception, the Beaufort, South Carolina native has contributed to the competition in the secondary for UM. Showing the world that he can be a great teammate, Delaney has not been a distraction in his reduced role. There is still plenty of season left before the final whistle, and having a player with the experience and talent that this redshirt senior possess could be the difference between a win and loss moving forward.
State of the U salutes Dee Delaney and the rest of the 2017 senior class
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!