In this installment of the Recruit Notebook, we meet a player who has bled Orange and Green his entire life, and wants nothing more than to ball out for the Canes: CB Trajan Bandy.
For quite some time, Trajan Bandy let it be known that he wanted to be a Hurricane. The Miami (FL) Columbus standout CB had the game earn numerous scholarship offers thru his HS career except the one he wanted most: Miami.
Miami’s previous coaching staff — Al Golden and Mark D’Onofrio leading the way — had a specific hangup about Bandy that precluded them from offering him: height. Bandy is well built physically, but only 5’9”. In the quest for bigger corners, Miami’s staff didn’t offer Bandy, in spite of his pretty public desire to be a Cane, and a large outcry from fans and recruiting analysts alike.
Without a Miami offer, Bandy committed to Oklahoma in the February 2016. Bandy maintained that commitment for a while, but when Miami offered in May 2016, it became only a matter of time until Bandy flipped his commitment to Miami. That day finally came in August 2016, after Bandy had decommitted from OU and taken nearly 10 unofficial visits to Miami’s Coral Gables campus.
Once committed, it became clear that Bandy was 100% Cane. He hasn’t taken visits elsewhere, and won’t. He’s Miami through and through. Bandy is also close with the family of the late Sean Taylor, which I wrote about earlier this cycle
Bandy got a game worn ST26 jersey, and got his game worn visor too?— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) August 10, 2016
TOO MUCH SAUCE!!!!!
Bandy isn’t a major recruit just by happenstance. In the course of his HS career, Bandy had more than 100 tackles, with 10+ interceptions, and numerous PBUs. Playing CB isn’t always the path to huge statistics, but Bandy did a great job honing his craft, and opposing teams were fully aware of where he was on every play. If that’s not a sign of respect, I don’t know what is.
It took a while, sure, but Bandy-to-Miami is one of the biggest and best moves of this recruiting cycle.
Trajan Bandy Will Prove Doubters Wrong, Again https://t.co/WcJxKqgq3d— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) August 31, 2016
On the 247sports composite, Bandy is a 4-star prospect, the #30 CB in this class, the #33 player in the State of Florida, and the #229 player in this class overall. Bandy is a top recruit at a position of need, and highly regarded by analysts and peers alike. You may find players with higher star ratings, but you’ll struggle to find one more unilaterally respected than Bandy.
Bandy committed to Miami over 35 other offers including Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, and Oklahoma.
Bandy as a player
The first thing you notice about Bandy is his height, or lack thereof. Height is a physical limitation that a player cannot change, so let’s just get that out of the way right now. But, there have been many shorter players to excel at DB, Corn Elder and Tyrann Mathieu — one of Bandy’s idols — being among them. So, it’s a thing to note, but not a thing that stops Bandy from being damn good.
Bandy is a physical player in run support, and on the edge in the quick screen game. When you see him flying in to make solid, physical tackles in these areas of the game, it’s easy to see a comparison to Corn Elder, who also excelled in these areas.
Not only is Bandy good going forward in run and quick screen support, but he’s good going vertical in pass coverage. Bandy is a good technician for the position, and has average to above average speed, which allows him to stay with most receivers as they work their way down the field.
Bandy has good ball skills, but those can improve over time, giving him a better chance to make more interceptions when the opportunity presents itself.
For another look at Bandy as a player, here are some tweets from Bleacher Report recruiting analyst Michael Felder
Trajan Bandy, what a beast. He's built thickly, has powerful hands on the stabs in press, runs down his troubles & has great feet— Michael Felder (@InTheBleachers) March 8, 2016
Trajan Bandy is a monster at CB. He is a rude dude w/ 'tude that just wants to be in your grill ruining your route. Big fan.— Michael Felder (@InTheBleachers) April 4, 2016
Trajan Bandy, fighter at CB, sits on routes & inserts himself into plays. Also had a pick-6 from a great break called back b/c of a timesack— Michael Felder (@InTheBleachers) July 12, 2016
I asked Twitter who their favorite Canes recruit was, and Felder couldn’t help but chime in lmao
OK, one more from Felder
@UnderwoodSports I'm very excited to watch Perry under Richt. And Bandy, get him on the field now b/c he will whip someone's ass.— Michael Felder (@InTheBleachers) January 7, 2017
On top of that essay in tweets, here’s an eval of Bandy from a HS coach:
Strengths: Great feet and hips; can play press man and off man, plus recovery speed, great open field tackler, ball hawk, and has the ability to give you points when he gets his hands on the ball [editorial: meaning he’s a great returner when he intercepts a pass]
Weaknessess: has none if he’s kept at corner
Miami lost several top DBs from the 2016 secondary, including CBs Corn Elder and Adrian Colbert. With the dire need for players to come in and replace the departed players, Bandy figures to see the field from Day 1 at The U. As noted in the player eval section, Bandy is a fierce competitor with very good coverage technique and good play and physicality in run support. He’ll get the chance to showcase those talents early and often for Miami.
Chances for a redshirt: 0/10
The only thing that will keep Bandy off the field this season is an injury. Short of that, he’s playing, and he’s playing a lot.
That wraps up this installment of the Recruit Notebook.