Miami Hurricanes Al Blades Jr. becoming shutdown cornerback

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: . (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: . (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Junior Al Blades Jr. has become the shutdown cornerback the Miami Hurricanes need this season.

Miami Hurricanes junior Al Blades Jr. has become one of the best cornerbacks in college football. Blades is the 25th ranked CB overall by Pro Football Focus. Opponents have completed only eight passes in 14 attempts for 79 yards and one touchdown this season according to PFF via Inside the U. 

Blades has interceptions in the last two games for Miami. The interception by Blades against Florida State came after a deflection by Miami safety Bubba Bolden in the end zone. Blades is sixth on Miami in tackles, leads Miami with the two interceptions and with three passes defended.

Blades graded out at 71 overall defensively a 60 pass-rush grade, a 75.1 grade in pass coverage which ranks 11th nationally among CBs, a 50 grade against the run which is 125th out of 144 CBs. The play of Blades has been critical this season with junior D.J. Ivey ranked 98th and sophomore Te’Cory Couch ranked 101st nationally.

Ivey was 98th overall and in coverage. Couch was 101st overall and 119th in coverage. Blades has proven to be the shutdown CB Miami needs this season. Miami is 29th in quarterback rating against with 123.65. Next up is the biggest test the Hurricanes secondary has had in a few years.

Miami plays at Clemson who is 12th overall in QB rating. The Tigers are 13th averaging 309.5 passing yards per game. Clemson Trevor Lawrence ranks first via PFF. The Clemson wide receiver corps will test Blades, Ivey, Couch and the Miami secondary. Six Clemson receivers are ranked in the top 90 nationally via PFF.

Frank Ladson is a former South Dade star who leads the Tigers with two TD receptions on four catches for 127 yards. Amari Rodgers has six for 124 and one TD. Miami has been good but not great limiting long passing plays this season. Opponents have nine completions of 20 yards or more to rank 53rd.

Next. Miami defense greatly improved versus Florida State. dark

Miami is 39th with three completions allowed of 30 yards or more. Blades will likely alternate covering Ladson and Rodgers. Ivey and Couch will have to play to the level Blades has this season for Miami to have a chance against Clemson. Blades at least provides Miami with one CB who can limit the Clemson WRs.