PFF names Kamren Kinchens and James Williams top 4 returning safeties

Nov 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Kamren Kinchens and James Williams provide the Miami football team with the best pair of safeties in the country based on the rankings from Pro Football Focus. Kinchens is ranked second among the “Top 10 returning safeties in college football for the 2023 season” and Williams fourth in an article recently published by PFF.

Kamren Kinchens was a consensus All-American in 2022 named by multiple sources as first or second team. Kinchens tied for third nationally with six interceptions in 2022. As a true sophomore in 2022, Kinchens led Miami with 59 tackles and contributed 1.5 tackles for loss, six pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Kinchens is one of the few players that has exceeded his ranking when he signed with Miami in 2021. The 247 Sports composite rankings had Kinchens as the 320th player overall, 21st safety and 48th player in Florida. While Williams has shown flashes of greatness, Kinchens has been steady in the back of the Miami defense.

Earlier this month 247 Sports named Kinchens as one of the Players set to emerge as college football’s next superstars in 2023.” Kinchens had a breakout season in 2022 that reached its pinnacle with eight tackles, 0.5 TFLs, four pass breakups and three interceptions including one for a touchdown versus Georgia Tech.

"2. KAMREN KINCHENS, MIAMI (FL) HURRICANESKinchens broke out as a sophomore on his way to becoming a second-team All-American for PFF, as he led all safeties in the country with a 90.0 grade and a 90.7 coverage grade. Kinchens’ six interceptions were also tied for the most in the Power Five."

At 6’5, 224 pounds Williams has NFL size that scouts covet. After an injury-plagued true freshman season in 2021, Williams was second on Miami, one behind Kinchens with 58 tackles and added one TFL, one forced fumble, seven pass breakups and one interception. Miami needs Williams to improve significantly in 2023.

"4. JAMES WILLIAMS, MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES“Between Kinchens and Williams, Miami has the best safety duo in the country heading into next season.Both Williams and Kinchens have recorded 89.9 coverage grades over the last two seasons — tied for first among returning Power Five safeties. At 6-foot-5, Williams has unbelievable length for a safety, which he used to force six incompletions in 2022.”"

Kinchens, defensive tackle Leonard Taylor and Williams will anchor the Miami defense in 2023. Miami returns five starters on defense including Kinchens and Taylor. New Miami defensive coordinator Lance Guidry coached Marshall defensive back Micah Abraham to first-team All-Sun Belt in 2022.

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Abraham had 36 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 0.5 sacks, matched Kinchens with six interceptions, had 10 passes defended and one fumble recovery. Prior to becoming a defensive coordinator, Guidry coached defensive backs and safeties. Guidry coaching Kinchens and Taylor should only be a positive for Miami.