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Jaylyin Minor An Appreciation

He had to wait for his time, but Minor finally got his chance this past season. It’s too bad he can’t stick around a while longer.

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Cincinnati at UConn Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Career Numbers

  • 189 tackles
  • 9.0 TFL
  • 1.0 sack
  • 3 passes defended
  • 1 forced fumble

Patience doesn’t always pay off, but when it does, it can be very satisfying. Jaylyin Minor had to be patient for years and then finally got his chance to shine this past fall. Shine he did, as there may not have been a more important defender on the roster.

A former junior college tackling machine, Minor came to Cincinnati as a two-star recruit out of Texas. His first season was 2014, but an injury kept him out of that season, moving his first of three years of eligibility to 2015. In that first campaign, Minor played in nine games, serving as a backup to guys like Eric Wilson and Bryce Jenkinson. He accumulated 35 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, in what was a pretty positive first year on campus. In 2016, he once again got nine games under his belt, but his production went down a bit. He had 29 tackles, including 19 of the assisted variety, and two stops for loss.

Minor then became the fixture in the middle of the defense for new head coach Luke Fickell and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman in 2017. Following the departure of Eric Wilson, there was a major void to be filled in terms of tackles. Wilson had 106 stops in 2015 and 129 in 2016. Someone needed to step up last fall and Minor did in a major way. While playing a career-high 12 games, Minor tallied 125 tackles, which not only led the Bearcats but the American Athletic Conference as a whole. A solid help defender, Minor also led the conference in assisted tackles (61).

Although Minor was excellent when it came to the fundamentals of tackling, he didn’t make a ton of big plays. He did set a career-high in tackles for loss (4.5) and sacks (1.0) but that was more a symptom of his lack of opportunity in 2015 and 2016. Still, he ranked fourth on the team in tackles for loss and he was still one of the better pass rushers on the team. Unfortunately, that just shows how bad UC was at creating pressure.

The Best of the Best

Nov. 20, 2015 at USF

Minor had five solo tackles and one for loss.

Dec. 24, 2015 vs. San Diego State

In the Hawaii Bowl, Minor did exactly what he did against USF a month earlier.

Sept. 15, 2016 vs. Houston

In his first shot of the 2016 season, Minor had what was then a career-high seven tackles as well as a forced fumble.

Aug. 31, 2017 vs. Austin Peay

Minor finally got his name at the top of the depth chart and he came through, finishing with 10 tackles, including 1.5 for loss, and a fumble recovery. It started a streak of four-straight games with at least 10 tackles for the senior.

Sept. 9, 2017 at Michigan

Nine solo stops led to a tackle total of 11 for Minor, who also had another tackle for loss.

Oct. 14, 2017 at USF

Minor may have finished with more total tackles in a game than the 13 he had in this one, but his 11 solo stops were still his career-best.

Nov. 10, 2017 vs. Temple

This was the career game for Minor, who produced 16 tackles, including one for loss and a pass deflection.

A Final Goodbye

Its really too bad that Minor had to wait until 2017 for his shot because obviously he could have been a consistently reliable linebacker for more than just one year. He had at least 10 tackles in seven of the 12 games of 2017 and helped the defense try to find its footing in a post-Eric Wilson world. Its really unfair that he had to be the anchor and leader of a unit that only went 4-8, but at least he finally got a chance to show his skills.