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SOTU Awards: Defensive MVP-Jaquan Johnson

As a senior leader, Johnson again was a standout for the Miami defense.

State of the U Illustration by Mike Meredith

For the second-straight year, safety Jaquan Johnson was one of the most impactful forces for the Miami Hurricanes, and the senior was the Canes most valuable player on defense in 2018. The Miami native and product of Killian High School, Johnson had already been putting together a legendary career prior to 2018, and was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2017.

In 2018, Johnson led Miami with 92 tackles for the second-consecutive season, and also racked up two interceptions and two forced fumbles. #4 was one of the reasons why Manny Diaz’s defense was one of the most elite in the country.

Johnson led a Hurricanes secondary along with Sheldrick Redwine, Trajan Bandy and Michael Jackson, as Miami’s defense ranked first in the nation for passing yards allowed.

Johnson cemented himself as one of the great Hurricanes safeties of all-time, and wrapped up another successful season by being voted second-team All-ACC for 2018. Now, Johnson looks to the NFL and is ranked as a top-five safety going into this years Draft, and scouts have him as a third-to-fifth round pick.