For the past few years during the Golden era, it seemed like time after time, the top South Florida recruits were choosing to play for other programs. Year after year schools like Alabama, Florida State, Florida and even Louisville were taking all of the home grown talent that put Miami on the map in the past.
In the short time that Mark Richt has been here, he has made it a point to bring Miami back with players from Miami. Last year’s group included the likes of Navaughn Donaldson, Jon Ford, Mike Harley, and Robert Burns (to name a few), but none of them stick out more than Trajan Bandy. You could argue that Donaldson has been by far our best freshman this year, but O-Line doesn’t pop for the casual fan, and Jeff Thomas and Deejay Dallas have been stellar, but I am only discussing South Florida kids.
Bandy was born and raised in Miami and was a 4-star recruit coming out of Christopher Columbus High School (my Alma Mater). Kids who come out of Columbus always come out ready to perform day one, as they are playing the top Florida High School competition since their Freshman year. Bandy plays with a similar chip on his shoulder as former Miami and Columbus Safety, Deon Bush. The moment has never looked too big for Bandy.
Bandy started off the year rotating in and out of the lineup with Mike Jackson, Malek Young, and Dee Delaney holding down the corner spots. Once Delaney went down with an injury, Bandy had his chance to step up. Bandy for the most part held down the slot corner position with Jackson and Young shutting down the perimeter. While the stats may not be there, Bandy was all over the tape breaking up passes and delivering big hits.
Bandy finally had a season-defining moment taking an interception to the house against Notre Dame right before halftime. Not only was this the first “Chain moment” for Bandy, but it also put the Irish away before HALFTIME! Bandy legit took the life out of the Notre Dame players, and he let them know.
Bandy is looking like a future star for the Hurricanes, and he is the perfect ambassador for the homegrown talent looking at Miami. He wears the U proud, and plays with the “I don’t care if you hate me” attitude that built Miami in the past. Bandy looks like a clear fan favorite for the next few years, and he is showing all the kids in Miami that they are the ones who need to bring The U back.