Size: 6-5, 205
Year: Senior (3 year letterman)
High School: Midway High School (Tex.)
Hometown: Waco, Tex.
As a senior at Midway, Shakiel Randolph racked up 71 tackles, two interceptions and four forced fumbles. He was a three-star prospect, honorable mention All-State, and was ranked as the nation’s No. 74 safety here at Scout. Midway’s team captain held offers from New Mexico State and Southern Miss and brought his talents to the Hilltop.
It was a bit of a disappointing season for Randolph—at least it was compared to the lofty expectations I had for him. He played in nine games, starting five. He registered only 17 tackles (11 solo) but was also credited with eight pass breakups. There was very little to celebrate last season, but Randolph certainly showed some flashes of raw athleticism and untapped potential. At one point, he had at least one pass breakup in six games. He always seemed to be around the football when he was on the field, but—like most of the team, was just not quite able to make the play.
Outlook in 2015
During last season’s training camp, I thought he was the best player on the field and had the best chance to impact games. However, his success—and the rest of the team’s—on the field was a victim of the rollercoaster season.
With a new coaching regime in place, Randolph should be able to flourish in the new, stable defensive environment and really fly around the secondary, making plays like he is capable of doing.
I don’t see anyone on this roster really competing with Randolph for his spot. Darrion Richardson and A.J. Justice are good players, but Randolph’s athleticism and untapped potential seem like enough to warrant a nod—at least in the early going. Kyran Mitchell and Anthony Rhone also had solid springs at the Star, but Randolph just is a perfect fit if he can stay healthy. It will be interesting to see how Van Malone decides to use him, because Randolph is, himself, a rather interesting player.
I want to be a little more careful with my predictions where Randolph is concerned, but I do think he stands a good chance of improving on 17 tackles. Malone should figure out a way to get the most out of him in a way Tom Mason couldn’t. If I were to toss out some very rough statistical projections I’d say somewhere around 40 tackles, 10 pass break ups, three interceptions, and maybe two forced fumbles.