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Pro Football Focus college analyst Max Chadwick told me this might be the first time a college football fanbase has ever come after him for rating one of their players too high.

PFF recently released their list of top ten returning safeties. Two Hurricanes made the top five. Kam Kinchens, unsurprisingly, appears in the top two. Hurricanes supporters were surprised to see James Williams also crack the list. 

Chadwick is the man responsible for these rankings. He sat down with John Garcia Jr. and I on Friday, offering a detailed explanation as to why he's so bullish on Williams heading into 2023. You can watch the full explanation below. 

Chadwick noted to us that the field of returning safeties was extremely tough to rank after the top three, with so many of the top 2022 players entering the NFL draft this year. Williams is one that he expects to separate himself from the back.

"His coverage grade has consistently been really good," Chadwick said of Williams. "The main (negative) that a lot of people have pointed out, and I agree with them, is his run defense has not been great for two years now. It's surprising when you see a 6'5, 224 lb safety, which is a freak of nature, and he's not a very good run defender, but he's actually really good in coverage. This (top four ranking) is more of a projection, because I think James Williams will be a really good prospect in the 2024 draft alongside Kinchens."

Chadwick considers Kinchens and Williams to be the top safety duo in the country heading into next season 

"The potential that Williams has is probably better than any other safety on this list, with the freakish tools that he has."

Williams really is a unicorn with the size and range he has at safety. It's worth a reminder that he played through much of the 2022 season with a shoulder injury. One has to wonder how that might have affected his tackling and run-stopping. 

Williams recorded a stellar 88.5 coverage grade last season per the PFF metrics. His run stopping was a pedestrian 61.1 with a 63.3 tackling grade.

If he can enjoy a healthy 2023 and build on his chemistry with Kinchens, his draft stock could rocket to the moon. is your home for all things Miami Hurricanes football, recruiting, basketball and other athletics, all the time. Follow along on social media at @AllHurricanes on Twitter and All Hurricanes on Facebook for round-the-clock news and analysis.