Miami Hurricanes Debate: Derwin James the next Sean Taylor?

ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 05: Evan Engram /
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miami hurricanes
MIAMI – JANUARY 1: Sean Taylor /

James in one full freshman season had more college career sacks than Taylor. Taylor also was schematically not asked nor was he afforded to come in the box 70 times to rush the passer. Miami’s defensive line play during that time period and then defensive coordinator Randy Shannon’s philosophy is the main reason why.

Free safeties are ranging tenacious ball hawks that instill absolute fear in a wide receiver’s bones and intercept a lot of passes. You cannot be considered a home run hitter if you do not hit home runs. Likewise, a free safety who does not intercept passes is not a free safety.

Miami fans will elaborate that Taylor won a National Championship and to date James has not. Although a team achievement, the “best ever” will always be discredited by pundits if a player does not add national championship hardware to their resume.

Taylor was tragically taken in the prime of his career. He will always leave a “what if” in the deep recesses of a Miami fans heart. Taylor’s legacy goes beyond the football field. You can still find current Hurricane players genuflecting in his direction. They respect him. They align with his tenacity yet are humbled by his shortened story.