Break Down Of The 2019 Miami Hurricanes Defensive Backs

By David Udel

With both Sheldrick Redwine and Jaquan Johnson graduating and headed to the NFL, we will have two new starting Safeties this season. Normally that would mean disaster for our defensive back field, but we have a lot of talent to take their place.

Also our starting Cornerback Michael Jackson gradurated and is off the the NFL as well. So we will have three new starters this year at DB. So here is our breakdown of the Miami Hurricane defensive backs.

JAMES MURPHY
Safety. 5’7″ 195 Senior

Murphy saw action in seven games last year, and was one of Miami’s top tacklers on special teams.
We don’t see Murphy breaking the rotation as more talanted players from the 2018 class will step up to take starting roles. Murphy will likey remain a special teams player and do very well.

DERRICK SMITH
Striker. 6-2. 215. Junior

Derrick Smith will likely continue his role in the striker position for coach Diaz. Smith thrived in that position last year playing in 12 games and getting 11 tackles. Though he only had 11 tackles, they were huge plays in pressure situations. Smith played much larger than his stats would indicate. Though we see Romeo Finley being the starting Striker, Smith will once again see plenty of time on the field.

ROMEO FINLEY
Striker. 6’1″ 215 Senior

Finley saw action in all 13 games and made four starts in a breakout season for the Canes. Finley had 28 tackles, five tackles for loss and two interceptions and one forced fumble. Finley also tied for Miami’s longest play of the season on an 83-yard interception return for a touchdown.

We see Finley remaining the starting Striker this season and hope he has another great season and gets noticed by NFL scouts.

TRAJAN BANDY
CB. 5’9″ 188 Junior

Bandy made ALL-ACC, THIRD TEAM last year in his best season as a Cane.

Bandy started all 13 games posting a career high 36 tackles and 4.5 for loss. Bandy had 3 interceptions and 2, fumble recoveries along with 8 passes defended. Bandy also wore the “Turnover Chain” five times, more than any other player.

We see Bandy taking a leadership role as the starting Corner Back. We believe he will have to become more than our best DB, but become a true leader in our DB room on and off the field.

GILBERT FRIERSON
CB. 6’1″ 192 RS.Freshman

Though Frierson only saw action in two games, We expect to see a lot more of him this season. Miami has even talked about putting him in the striker position in which I think he would thrive. Also expect him to play a lot at Nickel though I see Al Blades Jr starting there unless he takes DJ Iveys spot as starting Cornerback.

AMARI CARTER
Safety. 6’2″. 200  Junior

Carter saw action in 12 of 13 games, making two starts. Carter finished with 12 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, one sack.

I’m afraid with the addition of Bubba Bolden via the transfer portal, Carter won’t ses as much playing time, but may very well become a leader on special teams. We imagine Gurvan Hall and Bubba Bolden to be our starting Safeties. But don’t be surprised if Carter rises to the challenge and makes Hall really earn his spot over Carter.  In other words, I see all three being a big part of the rotation.

AL BLADES, JR.
CB. 6’1″ 185 Sophomore

Blades saw action in all 13 games in his first season, but mainly on special teams. Blades served as special teams captain twice during the season while making 13 tackles.  

Blades will probably be starting at Nickle but will see plenty of time as a regular CB with Ivey and Bandy. Make no mistake, Blades will live up to his family name and be a star at Miami. I expect Blades to start kicking some ass August 24th against the Gators. As a long long time Canes fan, I have seen Bennie, Brian and his father Al Blades all become stars at Miami. Al Blades jr will do the same.

DJ IVEY
CB. 6’1″. 194 Sophomore

Ivey saw action in 11 games, primarily on special teams.
Ivey is a straight out dog at the CB position and I expect him to get the starting job. I believe Ivey has the most natural instincts of all our Defensive Backs and will become a fan favorite in no time.

Ivey has everything Diaz loves in a CB, speed, height and that dog mentality. Though Ivey and Blades will have a few growing pains, we can count on our front seven to put enough pressure on the opposing offence to help them during this process.

I honestly believe that by the FSU game, we will have the best defensive backfield in Florida.

ROBERT KNOWLES
DB. 6’1″ 200 Senior

Knowles saw action in 12 of 13 games and totaled 16 tackles. Unfortunately I don’t see Knowles becoming a starter though he had a decent year last year. There is simply to much younger talent on our team. I do however see him getting some playing time especially on Special Teams.

GURVAN HALL, JR.
Safety. 6’0″. 200 Sophomore

Hall saw action in 12 of 13 games. We believe he will be the starting Safety along with Bubba Bolden. Let me tell you, I have watched a lot of film on Hall, and this young man can bring the WOOD. It won’t take long before receivers think twice about going over the middle with Hall at Safety. Yes, once again I see a learning curve with Hall, but it won’t take long. Meanwhile, receivers will be introduced to some wood from this young man.

NIGEL BETHEL, JR.
CB. 6’0″ 170 RS Freshman

We all knew when he joined the Canes last year he was a Speedster but needed to put on some weight and be groomed.

Honestly, I have no Idea how far he has come, but his outright speed should get him off the Practice squad this year and into a little more playing time. We all knew Bethel would be a project that might have a high ceiling because of his speed. Well maybe this year we will begin to find out.

BUBBA BOLDEN
Safety. 6’3″ 200 Junior

Bolden transferred from USC after being wrongly suspended for drinking at a college party. He
was later cleared by USC for the incident but decided to join his fellow Bishop Gorman teammates, Bevin Jordan and Tate Martell at Miami.

Bolden is one of the countries best Safeties and will start for the Hurricanes this season. Bolden will bring much needed experience and leadership to Diaz’s defence. We imagine Bolden and Hall as our starting Safties this season.

We also added three four star Defensive backs this season.

Christian Williams 6’1″ 180
from Daphne Alabama. This was a huge sign for the Canes and I expect to see him receive playing time this year.

Keontra Smith 5’11” 182 from Holywood Florida. I also expect to see playing time for Mr. Smith.

Te’Cory Couch  5’10  150 who is also from Holywood Florida. Couch is a pure athlete but as you can see, he needs to put on a few pounds. Never the less, I expect to see playing time for Mr. Couch as well.

So there you have it, your Miami Hurricane Defensive Back Field.

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