Ranking Miami's Safeties in 2014

Miami's safety play is improved from last season but there's still room to grow. CanesTime's Mike Bakas breaks down their play after the first seven games of the season.

1. Deon Bush -- Clearly the team's top safety this season, Bush is the most talented and experienced player in this group. He's having a very good junior season. He's around the ball a lot (third on the team in tackles), provides a big physical presence (several big hits and led to a couple forced fumbles), and has the ability to make plays all over the field. His strong play should continue down the stretch and he'll be expected to return in 2015 with a chance to emerge as one of the nation's top safety prospects. He's getting real close now.

2. Dallas Crawford -- A one-time prep quarterback, Crawford started his Miami career on defense but was moved to running back and played a key role there last season after Duke Johnson was injured. He went back to safety in the spring. He doesn't have the physical tools of Bush or Carter but he knows the defense really well and understands his role in it. He started the first five games but lost the last two starts to Fentress. He's never going to be a game-changer here but he should continue seeing the field a lot and playing a major role on special teams.

3. Nantambu Fentress -- A former walkon, Fentress continues to play a key role on defense because of his understanding of the system and how disciplined he plays in it. He played a key role off the bench and on special teams for the first five games of the season and has earned starts over Crawford in each of the last two games. They seem to be neck and neck right now. He's undersized and doesn't have near the athleticism as the others at the position but he continues playing a key role because of how well he gets this defense.

4. Jamal Carter -- A former four-star recruit, Carter could be considered Miami's most physically gifted safety along with Bush. While he's played in all seven games this season, he hasn't been a standout on defense and hasn't been able to break into the starting lineup or even pull ahead of a former walkon for the third safety spot. The talented sophomore has the physical tools and it's just a matter of playing more disciplined in this system. He is very capable of emerging as a starter in the spring and be expected to have a solid junior season.

5. Marques Gayot -- A true freshman that Miami stole from Louisville late in the recruiting process last year, Gayot has played in four games this season and it's been primarily been on special teams. The jury's still out on how bright his future at safety.

6. Rayshawn Jenkins -- After finishing the spring and summer as one of the two expected starters at the safety spot, Jenkins suffered an injury that ended his season. He had a solid sophomore season and should return expected to have a strong 2015 campaign.

Related Story:

Ranking Miami's CBs in 2014

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