Miami Hurricanes freshman safety James Williams not expected to play

Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Hurricanes sideline reporter Josh Darrow said on the pre-game show that true freshman safety James Williams was not in uniform on the field about 45 minutes before game time and not expected to play. David Wilson of the Miami Herald is reporting that second-year freshman Avanate Williams will start.

James Williams is eighth on the Miami Hurricanes with 29 tackles, leads with two interceptions and is fourth with two pass breakups. Avantae Williams who is no relation to James has 11 tackles and one interception in four games. Williams was suspended for the first six games of the 2021 season.

Avantae Williams was the second-ranked safety in the Class of 2020. Isaiah Dunson who signed with Avantae Williams in 2020 is the listed backup to James Williams on the Miami depth chart. Amari Carter who is the starting striker could receive time at safety. Carter was previously a safety before moving to striker.

James Williams is out on Saturday due to what head coach Manny Diaz called a soft-tissue injury earlier this season. Williams suffered the injury in the second quarter last week against Florida State. He returned briefly but ultimately had to leave the game permanently. True freshman Kamren Kinchens starts at the other safety.

Kinchens is sixth on the Miami Hurricanes defense with 34 tackles, has one tackle for loss, tied for second with four PBUs and tied for the lead with one forced fumble. James Williams had started the last seven games after taking over for fourth-year junior who entered the transfer portal last week before the Florida State game.

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Kinchens has started the last three games after Miami lost starting safety Bubba Bolden for the season after the North Carolina State game. Dunson only has four tackles this season. Kinchens and Avantae Williams are likely to get most of the snaps at safety with Carter potentially mixed in. Gilbert Frierson will get snaps at striker.