Miami's system calls for interchangeable safeties who could help in run support as well as the passing game. The Hurricanes return both starters.
Sean Taylor (6'3 225) is arguably the hardest hitter on the team. At free safety, Taylor uses his size, speed, and athleticism very well. Taylor has a very bright future ahead, which should include being a very high draft pick. Sean may have the most talent of any individual on the Canes' defense. Needs to keep getting better and continuing to polish his skills. Still growing physically, which is scary.
Maurice Sikes (5'11 195) earned a starting spot last spring and has gotten better since then. Sikes had shoulder surgery after the Fiesta Bowl but should be a 100% once spring practice starts. The major question make with Maurice has to do with tackling with better technique. Sikes is yet another athlete who could only get better. He will face some competition this spring from some of the younger guys.
Marcus Maxey (6'3 195) is the forgotten man in the secondary. Maxey needs to show and prove this spring. He is a very athletic youngster with a tremendous upside. Came into UM very raw and has made some progress. This spring will determine whether he is a future starter or will be a career special-teamer here.
Greg Threat (6'2 190) made an impact this year after signing last year. Threat showed that he fits in and will make a major impact at UM. Threat has cornerback cover skills and safety instincts and awareness. He should see a lot of time as the second-team strong safety behind Sikes.
Brandon Merriweather (6'1 185) had a strong senior season, which led to him becoming a Cane'. Merriweather is a tremendous hitter who brings the wood every time. Another young man with a bright future. All the tools to become the next Cane' great at his respective position. Future look has him as a strong safety due to his hitting ability but could also play free safety. Expect to see him make some bone-crushers on special teams.
Willie Cooper (6'2 190) was one of two safety prospects the Canes signed this February. Cooper played QB and Safety for his high school in St. Augustine. Cooper has the instincts, ability, and smarts to become a factor in the Canes defensive backfield. Once considered a Seminole lock, Cooper surprised the world by signing with the Hurricanes. Should contribute on special teams at a minimum although a redshirt year is not out of the question.
Jon Beason (6'0 215) is the second safety prospect the Canes inked. Beason is very versatile. Playing high school ball at Chaminade-Madonna with Glenn Cook, another Cane signee. Beason is a hard hitter who could grow into a linebacker.
Spring Peek: Safeties
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