Miami Hurricanes CB depth takes big hit with Al Blades Jr. out for season

Aug 24, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 24, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Hurricanes junior cornerback Al Blades Jr. is out for the season with myocarditis.

The Miami Hurricanes secondary lost a key member when junior Al Blades Jr. was lost for the remainder of the season. Blades posted to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon that he was out for the remainder of the season because of abnormal bloodwork during COVID protocols that revealed he has myocarditis.

Blades missed Saturday’s game at Duke. Myocarditis is known as a side effect from having or being exposed to COVID according to an article in TheScientist.Com. A study in Jama Cardiology linked by The Scientist reported that “Myocarditis is a significant cause of sudden cardiac death in competitive athletes.”

Blades reported that he will be out for at least three months. That would take him into any potential spring practice Miami would have. The Hurricanes canceled spring practice after spring break last season. Miami held four spring practices before spring break in March. Blades lost his starting spot earlier this season.

Junior D.J. Ivey and sophomore Te’Cory Couch are the starters for Miami at CB. Freshman Marcus Clarke and Isaiah Dunson received valuable playing time in the 48-0 victory over Duke on Saturday. Ivey had three tackles against Duke. Couch had one tackle and one assist. Clarke and Dunson had their first significant playing time.

Clarke finished with three tackles, a half tackle for loss and his first career interception against Duke. Dunson recorded two tackles. Miami is down to Ivey, Couch, Clarke and Dunson as the only scholarship CBs on the roster. The coaching staff will have to get creative if they have any more injuries at CB.

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Striker Gilbert Frierson played safety when Miami was short there earlier this season. Frierson signed with Miami in 2018 as a CB. Freshman safety Jalen Harrell could also be a possibility if Miami needs him at CB. The Miami secondary will be tested against the best offense in the ACC when they play North Carolina on Saturday.