The Hurricanes returned both starting safeties from the end of last season -- Ray Ray Armstrong and Vaughn Telemaque. While both had somewhat disappointing seasons in 2011, they're still very talented and bring high expectations to the position.
Armstrong, especially, has really taken his game to another level in recent months. The former five-star prospect from the central Florida area was outstanding in offseason workouts and then had a very productive spring. He finished as Miami's top defensive back. Telemaque went back and forth between the first and second unit but finished as the team's starter next to Armstrong.
Junior Kacy Rodgers started the spring game so he got some reps with the first unit. He's had an up and down career while playing both cornerback and safety but finished the spring as the third safety. Senior Andreu Swasey and junior A.J. Highsmith are also in the mix to provide depth.
Best Guess Depth Chart:
Armstrong and Telemaque are the starters, with Rodgers and either Highsmith or Swasey backing them up.
The Hurricanes could really use a strong senior season from Armstrong. If the past four months have been any indication, there's a good chance that will happen. He needs to become a leader and a difference maker, things that were expected of him when he signed with Miami a few years ago. Telemaque is a fifth year senior with lots of experience so he should be in line for a solid second season in the current system. Rodgers, Highsmith, and Swasey are depth guys so that makes it even more important for the starters to really have strong seasons. Freshman Rayshawn Jenkins will enroll over the summer. He played small school ball in high school and may need some time to adjust to playing major college football.