Miami Hurricanes CBs practicing to force more Ints in 2020

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

The Miami Hurricane 10 interceptions in 2019 was 61st nationally with only five coming from the cornerbacks. Miami’s CBs will try to force more interceptions in 2020.

Miami Hurricanes’ cornerbacks have been practicing during training camp with the goal of creating more interceptions in 2019. Junior CB D.J. Ivey led Miami with three interceptions and classmate Al Blades had the other two. Cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph told reporters on Thursday that Miami CBs have worked on securing the ball.

Ivey and Blades return as likely full-time starters after basically sharing one CB spot in 2019. Miami finished 61st in interceptions with 10 in 2019. The Hurricanes had a solid pass defense in 2019 finishing 18th allowing 195.2 passing yards per game. The defensive system might create more interceptions in 2020.

Rumph mentioned after Thursday’s practice that the different coverages the Hurricanes use can potentially help the CBs get their hands on the ball more often. The next step is being able to secure the interceptions and Rumph is working with the CBs on the jugs machines three to four times per week with that goal in mind.

One of the players to watch this fall could be freshman CB Marcus Clarke who has five interceptions through the first two weeks of training camp according to Rumph. Clarke was primarily a wide receiver in high school and is projected to be the third team CB in 2020. Miami only has six scholarship CBs.

"“We definitely want to do that…A lot of times different coverages have a lot of opportunities to see the cornerback hand on the ball type of deals, sometimes you have to just run and cover the guy and your hands have to be down on their hips so it all really depends.The one thing I’ve done as far as to try to help the DBs step up on the interceptions is just ball drills. Getting them on the machines and the Jugs at least three or four times a week, and involving a lot of ball drills and individual drills as well just looking the ball in and being comfortable catching the ball.They’ve been competing…I just love being that question mark and just trying to get back to ’17 when we were No. 1 in the country on third down. That’s the grind of it and you’ve got to love that. I appreciate all of that.”"

Behind Blades and Ivey at CB will be sophomores Te’Cory Couch and Christian Willams on the second team with Clarke and Isaiah Dunson behind them. Miami has good length at CB with Blades, Ivey, Dunson and Williams 6’1. Couch and Clarke are 5’10. The Hurricanes have stressed length throughout their defense.

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Rumph stated late in the zoom meeting that he is rotating the first and second-team CBs currently. There are no set starters at this point in training camp. Rumph said it’s the best competition Miami has had at CB since he joined the staff in 2016. The expectations should still be Blades and Ivey are the starters.