Who is Jaquan Johnson, the Miami Hurricanes safety drafted by the Buffalo Bills?

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Hurricanes defensive end Joe Jackson, left, and safety Jaquan Johnson address the media after victory over UNC.

UM D-end Joe Jackson, left, and safety Jaquan Johnson helped preserve the victory over North Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017., in Chapel Hill, N.C.

UM D-end Joe Jackson, left, and safety Jaquan Johnson helped preserve the victory over North Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017., in Chapel Hill, N.C.

No matter how fast or slow University of Miami safety Jaquan Johnson proved to be at the NFL Scouting Combine, no matter how tall or short, there’s one indisputable fact: the Hurricanes were far better when he was on the field.

On Saturday, after likely a nerve-racking week wondering when and where he would land in the NFL Draft, Johnson was selected 181st overall by the Buffalo Bills with the eighth pick of the sixth round.

“He’s the heart and soul of our secondary,’’ University of Miami coach Manny Diaz once said of Johnson, a 2018 Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist who led the team with 92 tackles, adding two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick. “The guy is unbelievable. When you need a guy to make a play, that’s the guy. That’s the guy.’’

Not only was the 5-10, 191-pound Johnson — a four-star Miami Killian High alum — the leader of the secondary, he was the leader of the No. 1 pass defense in the nation that allowed only 135.6 yards a game in 2018.

His 4.69 40-yard best last month at the NFL Combine raised red flags, but anyone who has followed Johnson’s career knows of his play-making abilities, including the week of the Senior Bowl.

A second-team All-American In 2017, he led UM with 96 tackles and added four interceptions, three tackles for loss, one sack, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. That season he was named one of just four defensive players among 15 semifinalists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

Johnson was a football magnet with one of the highest football IQs on the team. Expecting greatness from his teammates, He guided his troops like a five-star general, but one with an impeccably upbeat demeanor and unwavering team loyalty. It was rare to see Johnson without a smile. Even when upset, he never was disrespectful of his audience or opponents, just thoughtful and honest.

Johnson chose to return to UM for his senior season instead of entering the draft early.

“I wanted to get my degree,’’ he said, “but most importantly I wanted to play with my brothers for my final year. You develop, you understand the game more. Things start to slow down. You go in with knowledge that you think you had when you were a junior, but in your senior year you definitely know it. …You want to see things through.’’

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said Johnson “is fun to watch.’’

“Playing in the middle of the field he has got tremendous burst,’’ Jeremiah said. “There’s no hesitation, no fear. For a guy that’s [191] pounds, he’ll throw his weight, throw his body into people. It seems when you watch him on tape you can see him really directing traffic.’’

Added ESPN’s Todd McShay, who said the “third-round range’’ is where he projected Johnson, as well as fellow UM safety Sheldrick Redwine: “Obviously, Johnson running a 4.69 in Indy didn’t help at 5-10, 191 pounds, but he’s a really good player. He’s an instinctive, tough guy who is just around the football. On tape I thought Johnson was the better football player.’’

Regardless of his 40 time, Johnson said his play speaks for itself. “Regardless of what happens, I’m going to get an opportunity and that will be my chance to show them what I can do. That’s definitely the most important thing. I’m going to make the most of it.’’