As we inch closer to the start of fall camp (it starts this Saturday) we move closer to the No. 1 spot on our Top 60 list of the best players at The U. This time we zero in on No. 13: Redshirt freshman safety Vaughn Telemaque. VT is expected to do big things even though he's played in just three games in his career. Will he deliver?
> What we heard about him on Signing Day '08: The kid from Long Beach Poly gave Canes fans a late night thrill when he announced on local cable television he was picking UM over USC. Turns out, it was a late night haircut from his mom to Randy Shannon that made VT fall in love with The U. The Hurricanes may have a budding superstar on their hands. Telemaque was a PrepStar All-American who ranked as the 12th best safety according to Rivals, sixth best according to Scout and 17th best by ESPN. He was a turnover magnet in high school, producing nine interceptions and four forced fumbles to go with 89 tackles. He also shined when the lights were bright. He had three interceptions in his team's state championship game.
> What he's done as a Cane: He's the highest rated player on my list with the least amount of college experience. Last season, Telemaque played in just three games, racking up two tackles on special teams before missing the rest of the season with a a shoulder injury -- compliments of a hard collision with Texas A&M fullback Jorvorskie Lane on a kickoff. Telemaque might have been a forgotten player entering the spring had Shannon not caught our attention near the end of the season when he compared VT to Ed Reed and said the freshman would have started if not for the injury. This spring, he finally made his presence felt, making a few eye-opening interceptions during practice. He ran with the first team at safety alongside Randy Phillips.
> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: No unproven player begins the season with more hype and hope for Miami than Telemaque. The 6-1, 185-pound redshirt freshman isn't expected to just be a solid contributor, but a star. Shannon put that onus on him. Telemaque hasn't been phased by any of it. He says he's ready to roll and contribute. The Hurricanes absolutely need him to. The secondary didn't just have an atrocious 2008 season creating turnovers, but making tackles. Telemaque, we're told, can do both extremely well. Senior Chavez Grant told me in the spring that times Telemaque was lazy about watching film. It seems he's over that. When I asked him at CanesFest how often he watches film now, VT said: "I'm in there five out of the seven days. If the weekends weren't closed, I'd be in there seven out of seven." That's great to hear. But we'll find out soon enough if it all translates on the field.