There are players who get labeled ‘must see’. They’re the physically imposing and athletically gifted who often get slapped with the label of freak or specimen. These are the players coaches like to have come off the bus first for away games to let people know what’s in store for for the next 60 minutes between the whistles. Think of past Canes such as DL Allen Bailey, LB Denzel Perrryman and DB Adrian Colbert.
Then there are the few players who, when you arrive at the stadium, allow you to close your eyes and hear them imposing their will on the game. The ‘greats’ at the game. If you cup your hands to an ear, you can still hear safety Amari Carter laying the boom on a Bethune-Cookman receiver in last year’s opener. At 6’2”, 200 pounds, Carter is one of the bigger safeties on the Canes’ roster. As much as he is praised for his physical gifts, the Palm Beach Gardens native prides himself on film study to round out his overall game.
Miami fans will get a good sample of what the future holds at the safety position, with Carter playing in all 13 games a season ago. With 26 total tackles, two sacks, two tackles-for-loss, a QB hurry and one forced fumble, Carter emerged as a promising fixture in Miami’s secondary in the years to come. But could that future actually be the present?
The safety position is in some Allstate-quality good hands at the moment, with seniors Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine starting together for a second consecutive year. There was a brief chance that Carter would get moved to the newly born striker position that operates as a hybrid between linebacker and defensive back. However, safety coach Ephraim Banda was able to hold onto a couple assets after losing Romeo Finley and Derrick Smith to the new position on the block. For another season, the Palm Beach Garden, Florida, native will work behind the incumbent starters.
Aside from the quality of the starters ahead of him, there are not too many other barriers keeping No. 5 from earning more time on the field in 2018. We know Carter will see a similar amount of time on special teams. From a defensive perspective, his snap counts should see an uptick now that he’s familiar with defensive coordinator Manny Diaz’s system. With a priority by Miami’s staff on making and securing a tackle when the opportunity arises, Carter’s reliability in that sense should give him the edge over some of his peers at the position.
Carter has possessed the qualities necessary to be one of the most promising prospects of Miami’s Swag ‘17 recruiting class from the first day he stepped foot on campus. With another year of studying his own techniques as well as those of his peers, it’s simply a matter of time before Carter becomes that next star for the Canes. 2018 will be his year of reckoning. Is he one of the greats at safety or will his new blood dilute the rich bloodline of the U has established? Grab your popcorn and turn the sound down on your TV — No. 5 is about to attack the game at full volume.
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!