Miami junior cornerback DJ Ivey came into 2020 with a lot of questions. Can he step up as an outside corner? Will he fix the inconsistency that marred most of his 2019 campaign? His season opening performance against the UAB Blazers didn’t help. Ivey was picked on by a UAB team that couldn’t get much done on offense. When targeted, Ivey allowed a touchdown and multiple completions. After the game, social media went in on the cornerback. Many called for his playing time to be reduced. Some wanted to see the young, inexperienced corners to play over him.
In the week leading up to the Louisville game, Christian Williams announced he had entered the transfer portal. This made it clear that Ivey was going to continue starting for the Canes. Facing an extremely difficult matchup against Louisville, Canes fans were prepared to see Ivey play similarly against an offense much more talented than UAB. But Ivey had other plans. When watching the game, you wouldn’t have even known that he was on the field. I don’t think Kirk Herbstreit or Chris Fowler said his name once during the prime time broadcast. He shut down his matchup and the Canes beat the Cardinals in convincing fashion. His final stats against Louisville were 11 yards allowed on two targets.
After a great performance, some were excited about Ivey. But others thought this was just the same inconsistency as last year, playing great one week and reverting back to poor play the next. In the lead up to Miami’s rivalry game against FSU, the discussion turned to whether Ivey could keep it up in a big game. Ivey went on to shut down FSU’s star wideout Tamorrion Terry. When I say “shut down”, I mean SHUT DOWN. Terry didn’t haul in a single catch all game. His only touch was a 4 yard loss on a run. Ivey finished the night allowing just 7 yards on 3 targets.
Despite being thought of as a question mark in Miami’s defense, Ivey has looked good as one of its key talents. The junior corner has 8 tackles and one pass break up through three games. He’s becoming a standout defender, and that’s going proving to be a big addition for the Canes defense this season.