On defense, the Canes are one of the most feared teams in all of college football. They have All-Americans on the defensive line, linebackers and cornerbacks.
Safety is a position where Miami will be strutting strength as well in 2018. Coming back for Miami is Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine, their two starters from the season prior.
Johnson comes into 2018 with pre-season accolades, and almost more hype than any other Hurricane on the roster. Last week at the ACC Kickoff, Johnson, along with teammates Michael Jackson and Shaquille Quarterman were named All-ACC.
Johnson made special news following the loss to Wisconsin after announcing he’ll come back for his Senior season. In 2017 Johnson started all 13 games, earned second-team All-American honors, and led the Canes with 96 tackles, and picked off four passes.
Though Johnson is the more known safety around the country for Miami, its the combination of him and Redwine that’s having people talk around Coral Gables.
After moving from corner to safety, Redwine started 12 games last season as a junior, and is regarded as Miami’s “most underrated player.”
Redwine finished with 59 tackles and two interceptions, including one to ice the victory over Virginia Tech.
Also in the mix of safeties is Amari Carter, who many expected to take Redwine’s spot over spring, which didn’t happen. Still, Carter will bring his playmaking and hard hitting ability to the rotation.
Carter was regularly on the giving end of tackles last season, and recorded his first sack against Virginia Tech. “Every practice, every time he’s on the field, everybody’s looking because we know he’s going to give a big lick,” Johnson said of Carter in an interview with the Sun Sentinel.
Playing in all 13 games in 2017, Carter tallied 26 tackles and two sacks, and also had one of the highlight hits of the season, with his hit against Bethune-Cookman in the season opener.
“He’s the nicest kid in America when you meet him, but he’s maybe the meanest player on the field when it comes to stroking somebody,” said head coach Mark Richt of Carter in an interview with the Miami Herald.
However, all the while the Canes safeties were fun to watch in 2017, obviously there needs to be improvement. In the last three games of the year in 2017, there were zero interceptions, and all three of those games resulted in losses. Even against Virginia, there were times where Cavaliers quarterback Kurt Benkert looked like Dan Marino.
Yes they are talented, and they bring experience. But, this will be a position where a return trip to Charlotte for the ACC Championship the Canes will have to count on.