Safety James Williams has improved significantly this season and become a leader on the Miami football team. With fellow safety Kamren Kinchens out for the last two games, Williams has added the responsibility of calling the signals on defense. Williams has become a more complete player under new defensive coordinator Lance Guidry.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported earlier this week that Williams has allowed a 70.1 passer rating on five completions in nine attempts for 47 yards. Williams is second on Miami with 17 tackles and two pass breakups this season. With Kinchens out, Williams has had to mentor Jaden Harris, who is the other safety.
Williams had his best game this season against Texas A&M with nine tackles and one pass defended. Guidry has utilized Williams as a free safety and in-the-box. Williams still has room to improve. Through the season’s first four games, Williams is not in the top 20 of the highest-graded Miami football players by Pro Football Focus.
Cornerback Darryl Porter is the 17th highest-rated Miami player through the first four games with a 70.0 grade Kinchens is 14th at 73.3 and CB Jaden Davis is seventh with an 81.4 grade as the only Hurricanes’ defensive backs ranked in the top 20 this season. Williams showed he can be elite in the Texas A&M game.
Williams is part of a defense that has improved significantly this season. Miami is 13th nationally allowing 273.0 total yards per game. The Hurricanes were 65th nationally in 2022 allowing 375.2 yards per game. Miami needs to work on improving its pass defense during the bye week.
There has been no indication of when Kinchens will return. Williams has grown in his role with Kinchens out. Expect Williams to continue being a leader on the Miami defens. A five-star 2021 signee, Williams has the talent and versatility to be one of the best safeties in the country.