Miami Hurricanes CB depth excites Co-DC Blake Baker

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes return most of their depth at cornerback for 2020 and co-defensive coordinator Blake Baker is excited about the increased depth at the position over the 2019 season.

The Miami Hurricanes return the majority of their defensive backs for the 2020 season. During the spring D.J. Ivey who led Miami in interceptions in 2020 was one of the first-team cornerbacks as expected. Rising sophomore Christian Williams was surprisingly listed ahead of rising junior Al Blades Jr. as the other first-team CB.

Rising sophomore Te’Cory Couch was the other second-team CB backing up Ivey. Miami co-defensive coordinator Blake Baker told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald on Tuesday that the competition to start at CB will be much greater than it was in 2019. Miami lost two-year starter, Trajan Bandy, a year early to the NFL.

In addition to the aforementioned four CBs, Miami signed four-star coverage ages Isaiah Dunson and Marcus Clarke in the Class of 2020. At 6’2, Dunson gives Baker and head coach Manny Diaz the type of length they like defensively and particularly on the outside in pass coverage. Clarke could be more of a slot CB at 5’11.

The competition Miami is expected to have in training camp with Blades, Couch, Ivey and Williams should allow all of them to improve and for the Hurricanes to upgrade their pass defense from 2019. Miami finished 18th nationally in pass defense in 2019 allowing 195.2 yards per game. Baker discussed his 2020 CBs.

"“If I remember correctly going back to those four days [of spring ball], I’m not sure Christian didn’t start two, maybe three out of the four days. He was having a great spring camp and TC [Couch] was doing a lot of good things too.The thing for me is the competition and amount of depth we have across the board is much greater than last year. Whenever guys feel they have a fair shake to compete for a job they compete that much harder. I’m excited for those two; they’re nipping on the two older guys’ heels.”"

Blades led Miami Hurricanes CBs with 35 tackles in 2019 and finished second on the team with two interceptions. Ivey had 25 tackles, the three interceptions and one pass breakup. In limited playing time in 2019, Couch had eight tackles and Williams four plus a pass breakup. Most of their playing time was on special teams.

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The increase in passing offense in college football makes depth at the position critical. With Blades, Couch, Ivey and Williams Miami should be adept on passing downs against the opposition in 2020. The competition in training camp should be fierce to earn the first-team spots for this fall.