Not even five minutes into their opening game against LSU, and Miami sophomore cornerback Trajan Bandy was out of the game for targeting. A matchup Bandy and his program had waited to play for almost nine months, and he didn't even finish the first quarter.
While he went to on have an incredible 2018 season, most people around the country remember Bandy’s year for his premature departure against the Tigers. It wasn’t the first time, nor the last that Bandy would be wrongfully looked at.
Flashback to his high school career during his time at Columbus High in Miami, Bandy wasn’t even looked at by then Hurricanes coach Al Golden because of his height. Instead, Bandy started gaining interest around the nation, and was first team All-Dade. In fact, Bandy was committed to Oklahoma until July of 2016. Thankfully, Mark Richt, Mike Rumph and Manny Diaz were able to see star potential in the 5”9 cornerback and offered him.
Playing behind Malek Young and Michael Jackson his freshman year in 2017, Bandy still flashed glimpses of his playmaking ability. None more memorable than his play against Notre Dame.
Trajan Bandy has been waiting a long time to wear that chain. Miami born. Miami bred. Miami Hurricane.— Peter Ariz (@PeterAriz) November 12, 2017
Throughout his freshman year, Bandy was solid all season, ranking third on Miami’s defense for pass breakups, and quickly gained reputation around the UM program as a future star.
Levonta Taylor and Trajan Bandy each allowed only 4 first downs on receptions in their coverage last year - fewest among returning ACC CBs pic.twitter.com/or2b440RN5— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) July 26, 2018
Still, as he entered his sophomore season, many were skeptical how Bandy would handle entering the starting rotation.
Proving doubters wrong once again, Bandy’s 2018 season was one of the best in the nation by a cornerback. Teaming up with fellow CB Michael Jackson, Bandy and the rest of the Miami secondary helped the Hurricanes achieve the number-one pass defense in America.
Of all the fun defensive plays from last night, this back to back sequence from Trajan Bandy was incredible pic.twitter.com/rh0jDjegfa— Chris Wittyngham (@ChrisWittyngham) September 28, 2018
Known primarily for his ball-hawking skills his freshman year, 2018 proved Bandy to be a feisty cornerback who would light up ball-carriers whenever he could.
The junior also became a regular wearer of the Turnover Chain, tied for first in interceptions on the Hurricanes defense.
With 36 tackles, three interceptions, eight passes deflected and two forced fumbles, Bandy earned third-team All-ACC.
Trajan Bandy in coverage on Saturday pic.twitter.com/6alxeAIosF— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) November 18, 2018
All in all, Bandy solidified himself as one of the top corners, not just in the ACC but throughout the nation.
Trajan Bandy was stout in coverage for the Hurricanes pic.twitter.com/weZgsaDCy5— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 12, 2018
Still, even with Bandy putting up lockdown numbers in 2018, many outside of Miami won't give him his due. If you ask Bandy himself however, he’ll give you his answer.
Now as he enters his junior season here in 2019, expectations are high for Bandy as he now becomes the veteran cornerback for the Miami defense due to Jackson leaving for the NFL. In fact, Bandy is the only returning starter for the Canes secondary, with safeties Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine also gone to the pros.
While Rumph and Blake Baker will look to find Jackson’s replacement, you can bet that Bandy will continue to put receivers on watch.