Of any Miami Hurricane player or coach listed on the 2021 football roster, cornerbacks coach DeMarcus Van Dyke can claim he has been a Hurricane the longest.
From signing with the program as a four-star recruit in 2007 to his promotion to cornerbacks coach in 2021, Van Dyke been through it all with the Hurricanes over the past 15 years, with stops in the NFL and the junior college coaching ranks along the way.
His impact has already been felt on the program in his new role as he has secured three high-ranking verbal commitments that will change the future of Miami’s cornerbacks room.
But before we dive into his potential impact in 2021, let’s see how Van Dyke, or “DVD” as many call him, got here.
The Miami Hurricane Player
Coming out of Miami-Monsignor Pace in 2007, Van Dyke was a four-star athlete recruit who was ranked the No.34 overall player in the state Florida per 247Sports.com. He was the 10th highest ranked recruit in then coach Randy Shannon’s 2007 recruiting class that ranked No.13 nationally and No.2 in the ACC according to 247Sports.com.
Van Dyke played in 50 games in his Hurricane career, totaling 79 tackles and three interceptions in his time playing cornerback for Miami.
Van Dyke was always known for his speed on the football field and he also parlayed that into a role on Miami’s track & field team. His speed is also what caught the eye of many NFL onlookers and helped launch his career in the NFL.
The NFL Player
Van Dyke’s standout NFL Combine performance made him a household name amongst NFL fans in 2011.
The Miami native registered a 4.28 in the 40-yard dash—the fastest time in 2011 and the fourth-fastest ever back then—and caught the eye of scouts across the league. The time was over a half second faster than LSU’s Patrick Peterson and over a full second faster than Alabama’s Julio Jones.
The impressive combine performance vaulted him to being selected in the third round by the Oakland Raiders with the 81st overall pick. Van Dyke spent just one season (13 tackles, four pass defenses, one fumble recovery, one interception) with the Raiders before spending the next two with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With the Steelers, Van Dyke fought injuries and appeared in just 11 games in two seasons before being cut. He spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, and Atlanta Falcons before ending his NFL career in 2016.
The Support Staff Member
After spending the 2017 season coaching defensive backs for ASA College in Miami, Van Dyke was hired by the University of Miami and then coach Mark Richt as a defensive quality control analyst in 2018.
After a tumultuous season that eventually saw now head coach Manny Diaz replace Richt, Van Dyke switched roles and became Miami’s assistant director of recruiting. It was in this role that he began developing relationships with prospects that Miami was recruiting and serving as a key point of contact for prospects and their families with the Miami coaching staff.
He laid the foundation for the successes he is achieving in his first six months on the job as Miami’s cornerbacks coach during his time as assistant director of recruiting by building relationships with class of 2022 prospects.
As we all know, recruiting in Division I college football is a results-oriented business. You simply are not a good recruiter if you do not get verbal commitments from and eventually sign blue chip recruits.
So far, so good for Van Dyke.
In his first six months on the job, Van Dyke has secured three key verbal commitments at the cornerback position that will completely change the future of Miami’s cornerback room for the positive once these players enroll on campus.
Van Dyke’s first verbal commitment came from Khamauri Rogers, a four-star cornerback from Mississippi. Rogers is the No. 64 ranked player in the country according to the 247sports.com composite rankings. Miami has not signed a cornerback rated higher than Rogers since Tracy Howard in 2012.
Van Dyke also earned a verbal commitment from four-star athlete Chris Graves, who will play cornerback at Miami. Graves chose Miami over Florida, LSU, and South Carolina on July 9. Graves is the No. 286 ranked player in the 247sports.com composite rankings.
Van Dyke’s third major recruiting win came when Alabaster (Al.) - Thompson cornerback Trequon Fegans gave his verbal commitment to Miami on July 30. Fegans is the No.11 ranked cornerback in the 247Sports.com composite rankings and the No.82 ranked prospect overall.
To recap, that’s three four-star prospects, all in the top 300, all who will suit up for Miami at cornerback in fall 2022 should they sign in December or February with the Hurricanes. That’s quite the haul.
And Van Dyke isn’t just winning these recruiting battles by proximity because these players are projected as cornerbacks and he is the cornerbacks coach. He is listed as either the primary or secondary recruiter by 247Sports.com for all three players (along with defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson for Graves and Fegans).
While the first six months on the job have been good for Van Dyke, he still has a lot to learn and a lot to prove as Miami’s cornerbacks coach.
Miami’s cornerbacks unit largely underperformed in 2020 and he—along with Robinson—will be tasked with ensuring that does not happen again in 2021. With Al Blades Jr., DJ Ivey, and Tecory Couch returning, and Georgia transfer Tyrique Stevenson now in the mix, Van Dyke has four experienced corners to work with this year.
Position coaches are always graded on how their units play during the season so let’s check back in December to see the final grade on Van Dyke’s first year in an on-field coaching position with the Hurricanes.
Until then, it’s undeniable that it has been a great start for Van Dyke. And a heck of a ride as a Miami Hurricane.