Miami Hurricanes cornerback D.J. Ivey became the latest draft-eligible player to announce his return for 2022. Ivey posted on Twitter on Thursday morning that he is returning for his final year with Miami. Ivey started all 11 games in 2020 but lost his starting job in 2021 behind Marcus Clarke and Tyrique Stevenson.
Ivey had a career-high 36 tackles and four pass breakups in 2020. In 2021, Ivey totaled 25 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. Ivey has 89 tackles, four TFLs, three sacks, six PBUs during his Miami career and all three of his interceptions with the Hurricanes came during the 2019 season.
The return of Ivey is a good sign for Mario Cristobal and his staff. Ivey could easily have chosen to transfer or move on after losing his starting job. The return of Ivey brings depth and experience to the Miami secondary. Stevenson announced his return for his fourth season of college football on Monday.
In addition to Ivey, Miami is also expected to return former starters Al Blades Jr. and Te’Cory Couch in 2022. Miami signed four-star CBs Chris Graves and Khamauri Rogers and three-star CB Jaden Harris in the Class of 2022. The Hurricanes will have one of their deeper CB units in recent memory this fall.
Ivey provides Miami with excellent length at 6’1, 195 pounds. Ivey graded out average in pass coverage in 2021, but poor against the run. Cristobal and whomever he hires as the new defensive coordinator are going to expect more physicality throughout the roster. Ivey will have to improve his play against the run.
Having a fifth-year senior like Ivey on the roster who has been a multi-year starter will help the leadership as Cristobal begins to build the culture he expects throughout the Miami Hurricanes football roster. Ivey should be the last of the Miami players who participated in 2021 senior to announce his return for 2022.