The Miami Hurricanes return three of their four starters in the secondary in 2020. After leading FBS in pass defense and third-down conversions against in 2018, Miami slipped in both categories in 2019. Expect both to be emphasized in 2020.
The Miami Hurricanes return three of their four starters in the secondary from 2019. Cornerback Trajan Bandy who left a year early for the NFL Draft is the only Miami starter at defensive back who the Hurricanes lost after the 2019 season. Miami returns Al Blades Jr and D.J. Ivey at CB after splitting the starts last season.
Gurvan Hall led the Miami defense in tackles in 2019 among the returnees for 2020 from his safety position and Bubba Bolden and Amari Carter return at the other safety spot. Beyond those five, the Hurricanes are inexperienced in the secondary. Hall is the cornerstone of the Miami secondary as we enter the 2020 season.
Hall finished the 2019 season with 66 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery. Hall played in all 13 games last season with 11 starts which are the most among the defensive backs returning for Miami in 2020. Bolden and Carter will compete to start next to Hall.
Carter played in all 13 games in 2019 with five starts. The rising senior finished with 37 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, one sack, one interception, one pass breakup and one forced fumble. Bolden had a tough season in 2019. After transferring from USC, Bolden played in only five games because of eligibility issues and injury.
Bolden finished the season with 11 tackles, an interception and one pass breakup. The 2020 redshirt junior missed the first four games and played five games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury against Florida State. When healthy Bolden provides Miami with a rangy defender in the secondary.
Blades and Ivey are entering their junior seasons with the expectations they will be more consistent in 2020. Ivey had a few breakdowns in coverage last season that cost Miami on long pass plays by the opponent. The most memorable was a touchdown off a fake punt by Georgia Tech.
Ivey finished the 2019 season with 25 tackles, two TFL, led the Hurricanes with three interceptions and added a pass breakup. Overall, Blades is the most productive returning CB for Miami in 2020. The Hurricanes legacy finished 2019 with 35 tackles, two interceptions and six pass breakups.
Blades and Ivey will be challenged by sophomores Te’Cory Couch and Christian Williams. Couch finished with eight tackles in 2019. Williams had four tackles and one pass breakup. Crouch and Williams both played in 13 games in 2019 with the majority of their snaps coming on special teams.
Miami will be very thin at CB in 2020. The Hurricanes added freshman Isaiah Dunson and Marcus Clarke. With any injuries, the Miami depth will be challenged at CB. Four safeties signed with the Hurricanes in 2020. Four-star safety Avantae Williams was the top-ranked player in the 2020 signing class for Miami.