The Canes defense was a dominant unit last season, and will continue to be a stout group this season especially on the back end, as evidenced by the 3 preseason All-ACC first-team nods that went to DBs Jaquan Johnson and Michael Jackson and LB Shaquille Quarterman. The defensive secondary is very deep, which is why a former 4-star recruit like Romeo Finley was limited to a special teams role his first 2 years with The U totaling 14 tackles. During the spring, it was announced that the safety out of Fort Walton Beach, FL would be switching to linebacker for the 2018 season:
At 6’1” 215 lbs, Finley has great size for a safety, so the transition should not be a huge adjustment, and his speed will allow him to add a new dimension to the Canes nickel and dime defenses from the Canes’ Striker position. With the likelihood of seeing high-tempo spread offenses this season, Finley could be a crucial piece of the Canes defense this season.
This season will be a big opportunity for Finley to develop some draft buzz for himself, although it will be difficult with the junior trio of Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinckney, and Zach McCloud garnering the most attention at the linebacker. That was also a problem at safety, where the Canes have seniors Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine making big plays. Hopefully Romeo will earn some Turnover Chains this season and be another strong contributor to the Canes’ talented defensive unit.