Some of the best players to ever play for the Miami Hurricanes have played the safety position. They’ve been the backbone for some of the greatest defenses to ever play college football. So, let’s take a look through Miami’s history, and construct the perfect safety room for the Miami Hurricanes.
What makes a great safety truly great?
- Great speed and lateral movement
- Stuffing the run
- Fearsome blitzer
- Being able to cover almost anyone on the field
- Being able to cover a lot of ground (free safety)
- Doesn’t let anything get behind them
This is Miami’s perfect position room: Safeties Edition
Reed is a College Football Hall of Famer and is about to be a Pro Football Hall of Famer, and deservedly so. Ed finished his illustrious Canes career with 288 total tackles, 21 interceptions, 52 passes defended, and 4 forced fumbles. Reed was a freshman All-American in 1998, and finished his career with two additional All-American honors in 2000 and 2001. Along with the All-American designation in 2001, Reed was a unanimous First Team All-Big East selection, the co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year, and he was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the best defensive back in college football. Reed, who holds the all-time record at Miami for interceptions and interceptions returned for touchdowns (4), had an exemplary career at Miami, and he’s the perfect player to lead this perfect position room.
The hard-hitting fan favorite is one of the most talented and electrifying players to ever come out of The U. Taylor was a superstar in 2002 and 2003. Over those two years, Taylor was loaded with accolades, such as being named First Team All-Big East in 2002. His true breakthrough year came in 2003, where he led the nation in interceptions (10), and was an All-American and the Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
Blades had a phenomenal career with the Canes, as he earned All-American honors twice (1986, 1987), and was the recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back) in 1987. The College Football Hall of Famer helped lead the Canes to another national championship in 1987, to cap off a stellar year for the safety. Blades had set the record for interceptions (19), and interception return yards (305), but both were broken by Reed.
Although he didn’t play for any of Miami’s national championship winning teams, Meriweather still made a massive impact at Miami. He was a two-time Second Team All-ACC member, as well as a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award in 2005 and 2006. During his fantastic junior season, he finished with 115 total tackles, 13 TFLs, and seven pass breakups, which was the hallmark of a very good career at Miami.
A UM Sports Hall of Famer, Marion was an All-American in 1981. He left the school with the record for interceptions (16), and consecutive games with an INT (4), before Blades broke those records. Marion led the team in interceptions in 1980 (7), and was the second leading tackler for UM that year as well.
To finish off the Canes perfect safety room, Johnson was a Cane through and through, and was a sensational player at Miami. Jaquan was an All-ACC Second Team member in 2017 and 2018, and was an All-American in 2017. Johnson finished his career with 252 total tackles, eight interceptions, and six forced fumbles. Finally, Jaquan was always a big play waiting to happen, as you can see in the video above.