2012 Class Analysis: Safeties

Safety was not a major need in Miami's 2012 class and that's a reason why they signed just one player there. Lets take a closer look.

Coming Back: The Hurricanes return both starters from the 2011 season -- seniors Ray Ray Armstrong (134 career tackles and four picks) and Vaughn Telemaque (167 and 4). Also back from last season are senior A.J. Highsmith (12 career tackles); juniors Tyrone Cornileus (13) and Kacy Rodgers (4); sophomore Thurston Armbrister (0); and redshirt freshman Dallas Crawford (0). Cornileus Will Likely switch to linebacker and Crawford will likely play running back, at least in the spring, moving forward.

Ones who got away: Willie Bailey, a three-star prospect from nearby Hallandale High, committed to Randy Shannon's staff during his junior year. He ended up switching his pledge to Florida and signed with the Gators. Five-star Gerald Bowman, a Junior College standout from California, visited Miami in December but ended up signing with the hometown Trojans.

Best part about this class: Since the Hurricanes will have three seniors on the roster this coming season, along with two other younger players likely switching positions, it was very important for Miami to get at least one safety in the 2012 class. Rayshawn Jenkins provides that. Cornerback Deon Bush, a four-star talent, could also end up playing safety in college.

Most concerning thing about this class: Not holding onto Bailey's commitment could come back and haunt the Hurricanes. He was a talented prospect locally who was a one-time commitment to the Canes and he'll be suiting up, instead, for the Gators for the next few years.

Rayshawn Jenkins
On the field: Jenkins played all over the field during his prep career at Admiral Farragut High in St. Pete. He played running back as a sophomore, quarterback as a junior, and wide receiver as a senior (six catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns for an average of 49 yards per reception). He was a four-year starter on defense and picked off three passes as a senior while helping lead his team to the state title game.

The recruiting process: Jenkins made an original commitment to South Florida back in March of his junior year. He also landed offers from BCS schools like UConn, Cincinnati, and Iowa State during the spring. Miami offered him during his senior season and he switched his pledge to the Canes in early November. After he committed, Jenkins never wavered or took any other visits.

As a prospect: At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Jenkins is one of the best athletes in this entire class. His athleticism is off the charts. Factor in his size and ability to play so many positions and do so many different things on the field and you can see a lot of the reasons why the Canes offered him a scholarship. The biggest question on him will be whether or not he can make a smooth transition from playing such small school competition in high school to playing major college football. The size, athleticism, and production numbers are there to match up with just about any major college safety prospect.

Looking Ahead: Safety will likely be a priority on defense in Miami's 2013 class. Two of the top early prospects for Miami appear to be Ahmad Thomas (6-0/205/Miami Central) and Jamal Carter (6-1/190/Miami Southridge). Both players are local standouts who have offers from the Canes and have a good chance of ending up in this upcoming class.

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