Miami Hurricanes CB Tyrique Stevenson ready to play for Manny Diaz

Oct 19, 2019; Athens, GA, USA; Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2019; Athens, GA, USA; Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The return of former Southridge star cornerback Tyrique Stevenson to South Florida after two seasons with Georgia is expected to have a major impact on the Miami Hurricanes in 2021. Stevenson transferred in part to be able to play an outside CB instead of the slot where he played with the Bulldogs.

The hope is that Stevenson can become the shutdown CB Miami lacked in 2020. All of the Miami CBs return in 2021. Stevenson is projected to be the top Miami CB and also greatly helps their depth. Miami often played with four CBs in 2020. Stevenson, Al Blades Jr., Te’Cory Couch and D.J. Ivey provide excellent experience.

In two seasons with Georgia, Stevenson had 47 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and 10 pass breakups in part-time play. Stevenson will become a vital part of the Miami Hurricanes secondary in 2021. The Miami secondary needs to improve in 2021. The Hurricanes were 65th allowing 233.9 yards per game in 2020.

The Miami Hurricanes were 59th in passer rating against at 133.64. The Hurricanes need more consistency from its pass defense in 2021. Five teams carved up the Miami secondary for at least 270 yards last season. Sam Howell of North Carolina was 15-20 for 224 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

That is all Howell had to do with the Tar Heels rushing for 554 yards and another six touchdowns. Stevenson spoke to reporters earlier this week about connecting with head coach Manny Diaz once he entered his name into the transfer portal, what is expected of him and questions about his weight.

"“He was the first coach to call me once I entered my name in the portal, and we talked for 20 to 30 minutes and he gave me this idea and this vibe, like, ‘I’m going to coach you hard and I want you to do everything right that you need to do to prepare yourself for the next level..He’s going to give me all the tools to do it.In some packages it’s just how it was at Georgia (Stevenson playing slot). I might slide in the box for a little nickel…When I first got here the biggest question was, ‘Are you, weight wise, to play outside?’ And lately I’ve been showing them that weight doesn’t matter and my weight isn’t a problem…With this team there are a lot of competitors, and I knew how it was going to be, because at Miami we compete a lot.”"

Diaz re-taking over play-calling for the Miami defense in 2021 should lead to some improvement. Miami is likely to blitz more often and utilize man overage over zone more frequently. That will often leave CBs on an island more. Stevenson and the other Miami CBs have to limit big plays more often in 2021 than 2020.

Next. Miami freshmen WRs praised nationally. dark

Miami was in the middle of the pack in the ACC allowing big pass plays in 2020 by most measures. If the Hurricanes are going to improve on those numbers by most measures in 2021, Stevenson and his teammates need to become better in pass coverage. The retooled Miami defensive coaching staff should also make an impact.