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Miami Hurricanes 2019 Player Profile: Trajan Bandy

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Muddy Badger is back for his junior season, and is now the leader in Miami’s secondary.

NCAA Football: Savannah State at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The only returning starter in the secondary from last season and a leader on Miami’s defense, cornerback Trajan Bandy has a lot of eyes on him for 2019, and for good reason.

This time last year, we knew Bandy because of his pick-six against Notre Dame and solid freshman play, though we wondered if he could become a consistent starter in the Hurricanes defense. He answered that question with his play, and that answer was a resounding yes.

Even with new starting faces around him this upcoming season, Bandy is still the same lockdown corner he was in 2018, as he helped form the number-one pass defense in the country.

And while UM’s defense was dominating as a whole, Bandy established himself was one of the top cornerbacks in the ACC, as well as the nation in 2018.

Last season, Bandy was one of Miami’s breakout stars, earning All-ACC third-team honors, and becoming a household name for the Canes.

Starting all 13 games in 2018, Bandy totaled three interceptions (tied for 1st on team), two fumble recoveries, eight passes defended (1st on team) and 36 tackles. Whether it was in coverage or in the open field tackling, the Dade County native became a near sure-thing for Miami.

Now as a junior, he’s become top-dog of the secondary, when just last season he was the youngest of all four. Michael Jackson, Sheldrick Redwine and Jaquan Johnson, all veteran starters who were there beside Bandy last year, they’re all gone to the NFL.

With a new defensive coordinator, mentoring three brand new starters opposite corner and safety, Bandy has continued to be the same workhorse and example that turned him into a leader for the Hurricanes in 2018.

Though most people know Trajan for plays like this:

I'm sure if you ask Bandy himself, he’s just as proud with these two plays against UNC last season, where he demonstrated perfect tackling, absolutely rocking Tar Heel receivers on back-to-back plays.

That’s a huge part why Bandy is so beloved by Canes fans, he’s a quiet guy and does his job, and does it extremely well. And along the way, he’s showing the younger guys the ropes.

Now, let’s talk actual logistics and how the 2019 season is looking for Bandy. Just recently, the hometown grown kid, along with defensive teammates Jonathan Garvin, Michael Pinckney and Shaquille Quarterman, were all named to Athlon’s first-team preseason all-ACC defense.

No doubt it’s bright for Trajan, though with #2 coming off a solid year, look for opposing teams to target the other corners, mainly sophomores D.J. Ivey and Al Blades Jr.

Add in new starters at safety like Gurvan Hall, Amari Carter and Bubba Bolden, and Bandy’s veteran leadership and skill-set are absolutely crucial to Miami keeping their reputation as a dominant defense.

One thing that is certain about Bandy, is that he’s a playmaker, and can change a game just like that. It’s not a surprise that he put on the Turnover Chain five times in 2018, he’s always making plays.

Standing at 5-9, Bandy has been doubted, and outside of Coral Gables, he probably isn’t getting the recognition he deserves, but “Muddy Badger” isn’t going to yell, he just lets his game speak for itself.