The future of Miami’s defensive roster: Which Hurricanes are on track to redshirt, who has played, who hasn’t

Miami Hurricanes defensive back Sheldrick Redwine (22) recovers a fumble by Toledo Rockets quarterback Logan Woodside at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 23, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Let’s see how the Hurricanes roster is shaping up for the future.

Courtesy of data kept by Post contributor Daniel Gould, a list of the Hurricanes on scholarship who have and have not played in the first seven games of 2017, entering November.

Special teams data is not available, but mostly everyone with a limited offense/defense snap count has some some kind of role on special teams.

We’ll try to explain what it all means in the analysis.

[Click here for the offensive portion of this two-part story]

DEFENSE

True freshmen who haven’t played

LB Waynmon Steed

What it means: Miami, for the second year in a row, isn’t on track to redshirt very many freshmen. Steed would likely have played, had he not needed knee surgery around the time he enrolled (January).

Others who haven’t played

Redshirt sophomore LB Jamie Gordinier

Redshirt freshman DT Tyreic Martin

Redshirt junior DT Gerald Willis

What it means: Gordinier (knee injury) and Willis (sitting out season because of what UM says are personal reasons) were expected to be key reserves. They’ll probably see a lot of action in 2018 (Willis is a likely starter if juniors Kendrick Norton and/or RJ McIntosh depart for the NFL, a strong possibility). Martin hasn’t made an impact yet.

Others who have played a little  

Redshirt junior LB Terry McCray (6 snaps)

Redshirt sophomore DT Ryan Fines (7 snaps)

What it means: depth players unlikely to see a great deal of playing time without significant improvement.

True freshmen who have played a lot

DB Trajan Bandy (167 snaps: 109 NB, 57 CB, 1 FS)

S Amari Carter (85 snaps)

What it means: Both valuable special-teamers and promising talents. Bandy is UM’s starting nickel and is a small, aggressive corner. Carter is a hard hitter who projects as a good starting safety.

True freshmen who have played a little

DE DJ Johnson (15 snaps)

LB Bradley Jennings (16 snaps)

LB De’Andre Wilder (17 snaps)

DT Jon Ford (23 snaps)

DB Derrick Smith (34 snaps: 29 NB, 5 S)

DE Jon Garvin (54 snaps)

What it means: Johnson, Jennings, Wilder, Smith and Garvin have had special-teams roles as they try to work into the rotation. Garvin blocked a punt at North Carolina last week. He and Johnson are UM’s next wave of starters at defensive end (likely seeing a lot of action next year). Ford arrived late in camp (academics) and will be counted on next year, especially if Norton and McIntosh leave early.

Others who have played a fair amount

Sophomore S Romeo Finley (50 snaps)

Junior CB Jhavonte Dean (67 snaps)

Sophomore DT Pat Bethel (122 snaps)

Redshirt junior LB Mike Smith (126 snaps)

Redshirt junior LB Darrion Owens (145 snaps)

Junior LB Charles Perry (155 snaps)

Senior DT Anthony Moten (160 snaps)

Redshirt sophomore S Robert Knowles (161 snaps)

What it means: Improved defensive depth this season, with most of these players providing solid snaps. Perfect play? No, but there’s talent. All but Moten will return next year, so UM will return a good amount of experience in 2018.

Others who have played a lot 

Junior S Jaquan Johnson (487 snaps)

Sophomore CB Malek Young (457 snaps)

Sophomore LB Shaq Quarterman (446 snaps)

Junior DT RJ McIntosh (415 snaps)

Junior S Sheldrick Redwine (376 snaps)

Junior CB Michael Jackson (358 snaps)

Sophomore DE Joe Jackson (344 snaps)

Junior DT Kendrick Norton (340 snaps)

Senior DE Chad Thomas (334 snaps)

Sophomore LB Michael Pinckney (330 snaps)

Sophomore LB Zach McCloud (304 snaps)

Senior DE Trent Harris (278 snaps)

Senior CB Dee Delaney (265 snaps)

Redshirt junior DE Demetrius Jackson (199 snaps)

What it means: A ton to like from a talent and depth standpoint. Miami has replacements for the seniors that are leaving, though replacing Norton and McIntosh, should they depart, will not be easy. The Hurricanes will be senior- and junior-heavy at every position. They’ll bolster this group with a host of high-quality recruits in the secondary, where depth lacks most (four-star commits Al Blades Jr., Josh Jobe, Gurvan Hall, Gilbert Frierson and three-star D.J. Ivey have committed, and UM is chasing five-star Tyson Campbell and others). One of the best defenses in the ACC stands to get even better.

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