Throughout this offseason, one of the main concerns that I've heard from Miami fans is that of the secondary, particularly the cornerbacks. Though, head coach Manny Diaz spoke highly of the DB’s earlier in the week.
Diaz told the media that junior cornerbacks DJ Ivey and Al Blades Jr. have been impressive so far in fall camp, and especially during Miami’s first scrimmage. He also acknowledged sophomores Christian Williams and Te’Cory Couch for having solid camps as well.
Says Te'Cory Couch and Christian Williams have had good fall camps https://t.co/qyabZtWQGp— Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) August 18, 2020
Diaz said S Amari Carter didn't scrimmage. Said he thought Al Blades Jr. and DJ Ivey looked good in scrimmage.— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) August 18, 2020
In 2019, Blades made 36 tackles, had 2 interceptions and 6 pass-breakups. Ivey struggled early on last season, but improved during the second-half of 2019, finishing with 25 tackles and 2 interceptions. Pro Football Focus included Ivey on the list of DB’s in college football who had the most games in 2019 allowing 1 or fewer catches.
Most games with 1 or fewer catches allowed in 2019 (power five CBs):— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 14, 2020
▪️ Trevon Diggs - 8
▫️ Asante Samuel Jr - 7
▫️ Caleb Farley - 7
▫️ Jeff Gladney - 7
▫️ Tre Brown - 7
▫️ Avery Young - 7
▫️ DJ Ivey - 7
▫️ Parnell Motley -7 pic.twitter.com/Kx2v38biwM
While Blades Jr. is expected to have a breakout season in 2020, because of Ivey’s struggles last year, there are many who doubt the cornerback unit for Miami. I was really impressed by what Ivey was able to do at the end of 2019, and with his physical tools, he has the potential to become a household name this season. If he can be consistent, Ivey will put to rest the CB concerns.
DJ Ivey with 3 interceptions in the last 3 games pic.twitter.com/eaZfxHxZmz— Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) November 20, 2019
Williams and Couch were both part of the 2019 recruiting class. Miami was able to flip Williams from Alabama late in the cycle, and I called him the steal of the class for the Canes. 247 Sports had Williams as a top-20 cornerback in 2019.
Canes DC Blake Baker says he expects a lot of cornerback competition when practice begins. Says Christian Williams was extremely productive during those four spring practices Miami was able to get in.— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) May 6, 2020
With exceptional ball skills to go along with his length, I like Williams to play an important role for the Canes defense this year. Then there’s Couch, who very well could end up being the primary nickel cornerback for Miami, and is arguably the best man-coverage defender on the roster.
Baker says Te’Cory Couch and Christian Williams are pushing Al Blades Jr. and DJ Ivey every day. Also adds that both are competing for a starting role— Gaboowins (@GabyUrrutia22) March 5, 2020
Diaz, along with quarterback D’Eriq King, said great things about Bubba Bolden and Gurvan Hall Jr. at safety.
Miami QB D'Eriq King says Bubba Bolden and Gurvan Hall impressed him during the scrimmage.— Josh White (@_JoshRWhite) August 18, 2020
“Gurvan Hall might have had his best scrimmage as a Miami Hurricane. He was everywhere,” said Diaz. Hall led the team in the first scrimmage with 7 tackles.
King highlighted both Hall and Bolden. “They make things difficult on the back end for me. Practicing against those guys every day is getting me better,” King told the media on Tuesday.
D'Eriq King: "I think it was a good scrimmage a couple days ago, but we have to keep building." Says both Bubba Bolden and Gurvan Hall "made things difficult on the back end for me."— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) August 18, 2020
Stepping into a starting role as a sophomore last year, Hall was second on the Canes with 66 tackles, and also finished with 3.5 TFLs, 1 interception and 2 sacks.
“Ballgame”-Gurvan Hall pic.twitter.com/AEuTWWAcWl— Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) November 6, 2019
Bolden came to Miami last offseason from USC, and only appeared in 5 games, before suffering an injury against FSU that sidelined him for the remainder of 2019. In those 5 games, Bolden made 11 tackles and added an interception.
Gimme all the Bubba Bolden in 2020 pic.twitter.com/UoTm3fVbgn— Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) November 20, 2019
I believe Bolden is one of the most talented players on Miami, and could turn into one of the best safeties in college football, as well as forming an elite duo with Hall.
Miami SAF Bubba Bolden (@BubbBolden) is one of the best safeties in the nation. Fantastic coverage ability and really good instincts. Great at diagnosing the opponents play and is someone who has the potential to be a ballhawk in the backend of a defense. #NFLDraft #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/uAjfdsWhga— Jack Borowsky (@thegridiron_nfl) July 5, 2020
Diaz mentioned that senior safety Amari Carter did not participate in the first scrimmage.