Shakiel Randolph Player Profile
Size: 6-5, 205
Year: Junior (2 year letterman)
High School: Midway High School (Tex.)
Hometown: Waco, Texas
Recruitment: A three-star prospect, Randolph was named honorable mention All-State and ranked as the nation’s No. 74 safety by Scout. Midway’s team captain made 71 tackles, grabbed two interceptions and forced two fumbles as a senior. Turned down offers from New Mexico and Southern Miss to come to SMU.
2013 Recap: Randolph played in 11 games last season, but didn’t start until Hayden Greenbauer went down with an injury. The sophomore made 37 tackles including 20 solo and really impressed with a seven-tackle effort against Memphis. Randolph has tremendous size that Greenbauer does not have on the back end. Where that helps is in run support, but Randolph made some inexperienced player mistakes in pass coverage that can’t happen again.
In November and their game against UCF, SMU averaged about 30 less yards given up through the air. Those games were with Randolph starting in the secondary. Now Randolph wasn’t exactly the reason why opponents had less success through the air, but nevertheless the defense improved with Randolph starting at safety.
Outlook in 2014: Randolph will be relied upon to make some plays for SMU in the secondary and to better recognize passing plays this season. Randolph looked like he put on at least 15 pounds by the time spring practice rolled around, as did most of the secondary. That prompted June Jones to compare SMU’s secondary to one with NFL-sized safeties. SMU needs NFL-like production out of their safeties this season with unproven talent at cornerback.
The SMU staff would be wise to find a way to get Greenbauer, Randolph and Darrion Richardson in a solid rotation this season until two of the three show they can really handle the full load and take the starting role. Richardson played well after getting some playing time down the stretch so watch for Randolph and Richardson to battle for time and the starting job in camp.