Miami is expected to showcase two players at safety this Saturday vs. Bethune-Cookman – exit Vaughn Telemaque and Kacy Rodgers II, enter A.J. Highsmith and Deon Bush.
For safety A. J. Highsmith, it has been quite the journey to get where he is at. He began his career at Miami serving as Jacory Harris’ back-up for two years and was then switched to the safety position, a spot he hadn’t played since middle school. This will be the chance that Highsmith has long been waiting for.
Starting safety Vaughn Telemaque suffered a knee injury against Kansas State and Highsmith seeks to make the most of his opportunity. “It’s a big thing for me – especially with everything I’ve been through with the old staff, waiting all this time,” said Highsmith. “It’s a big step, but it’s only the first step. We have to keep getting better, myself and the rest of the team. I just want to contribute and make plays to help the team win.”
Highsmith needs to look no further for advice than to his own father. Alonzo Highsmith was a standout running back at Miami and a former first-round draft pick in the NFL. He was one of the most highly recruited players in 1982 and capped his UM career off in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, where he rushed for 119 yards. Both father and son have donned the no. 30.
The elder Highsmith has some words of encouragement for his young son: “…you’ve been in this program. You understand what Hurricanes football is about better than anybody out there…he understands what winning is and what Hurricanes football is supposed to be like…He’s been with me and Michael Irvin. He has listened to me and Melvin Bratton and all my friends talk about the stories about Miami.”
According to Golden, he was impressed with Highsmith’s play vs. Kansas State.
On another note, freshman S Deon Bush will be making his first career start for the Hurricanes on Saturday.
Bush showed signs of promise at Kansas State, recording six tackles and a forced fumble. In his first two games he has totaled 10 tackles and a fumble recovery.
“It’s exciting to go out there and have a starting role, and to be able to play at Sun Life Stadium for the first time…”
Coach Golden said that Bush “…was the most productive of the safeties [at Kansas State] that was in the game, in terms of tackles…that’s what we’re looking for.”
Bush has replaced junior S Kacy Rodgers II this week who started in Miami’s first two games.