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2019 Fall Camp Preview: CB

2019 Fall Camp Preview: CB

Stefan Adams
Summer Additions: Christian Williams (2019 signee), Te’Cory Couch (2019 signee)

Summer Departures: None

In 2018, the Miami Hurricanes actually led the nation in passing defense, giving up a paltry 135.6 yards per game. While the players in the secondary deserve to be commended for ultimately doing their job, that number is slightly misleading when you consider the competition. UM only played one passing offense in the national top 40 in passing yards per game, and that opponent, Florida State (28th), was completely outclassed by Miami in the trenches on offense and gave their QB no time to throw. The Canes continued their trend of having coverage lapses at key times, and Miami still went stretches of games making average QB’s look like world beaters. All this to say that while UM’s corners helped make the secondary an overall positive for the defense in 2018, there is still room for improvement to be had when looking towards this season.

The only real returning corner with experience was arguably UM’s most reliable cover guy last season, as it was rare to see junior Trajan Bandy get beat in 2018. Bandy led UM in passes broken up with 8, tied for the team lead with 3 INT’s, and led all DB’s with 4.5 TFL. Bandy has proven to be a sure tackler for Miami and shown the initiative to learn his craft. He’s not a prototypical #1 corner at 5’9”, but he’s well-built, uses advanced technique to play bigger than his size, and has the type of versatility where he can play both outside and inside when needed. Bandy was an invaluable presence to a young corner group this spring and he was consistently leaned on by the rest of Miami’s inexperienced secondary as a mentoring figure.

The real battle is going on for #2 cornerback, and most feel that it is DJ Ivey that has a slight lead there coming out of spring ball. Cornerbacks coach Rumph compared Ivey to himself in an interview this spring, never a bad thing for a young player looking to earn a starting role. Ivey uses his length well and plays physically, two attributes that Rumph wants to see from his corners. Team sources feel Ivey could have an All-ACC type season if he stays healthy. Blades is close behind, but is making more mistakes out there right now. Regardless, both will play a ton this season and have bright futures at UM.

The only other corner that participated in spring was Nigel Bethel, who redshirted as a freshman last season. Bethel was considered a track star that would be a project as a football player when he came to UM, and it seems that the process is still ongoing. Bethel is still not where the staff wants him to be size-wise at 6’0” 170 pounds, but this spring he looked like he could get reps if needed, although he’s still well behind Ivey and Blades.

Over the summer, UM added 4-star corners Christian Williams and Te’Cory Couch from the 2019 class and Rumph expects both to see time this season. Williams is the more highly-regarded of the two, and has the prototypical size and length at 6’1” that many scouts are salivating over these days. Couch was almost a guarantee to redshirt, as he was only 150 pounds after his senior season of HS, but he’s added 20 pounds over the offseason and has given himself a chance to earn a role.


Bottom Line

In a passing era of college football where it’s almost essential to have 3-4 quality corners, the lack of unproven depth and sheer numbers at corner is a concern, and I am surprised UM did not bring in more here over the off-season. The battle for the #2 role between two prospects with elite potential in Blades and Ivey will be fun to watch this fall, while Bethel, Williams, and Couch fight for the #4 job and cleanup reps.

The good news is that even though they have the ability to be a stout group, with all else considered, the cornerback unit does not have to be all-world. The rest of Miami’s defense is ACC Championship caliber, and a ferocious and deep Miami front 7 will cover up for a lot of the secondary’s mistakes. Miami can still achieve their goal of winning the Coastal division even with average play at corner; however, this group of Canes will be sure to aim higher.

I see a lot of comparisons to the 2017 season, where Miami also really only brought back one experienced corner in Malek Young and had to rely on talented, but unproven players to fill out the rotation. 2017 ended up working out just fine for the #28 UM scoring defense, and Mike Rumph will have to work that magic again to get the most out of his cornerback group in 2019.
 

Comments (61)

Am I the only one that’s more concerned about corner depth than safety? How can anyone look at our depth chart and be thrilled with what we have at corner from the recruiting standpoint? That’s 6 total corners with one absolutely not being Miami caliber in Bethel. So really we have Ivey, Blades and our choice of two true freshman in the two deep - one of them really being a smaller slot type. That means that a few in the two deep will also have to play a lot of special teams. We are an injury away from being in a terrible spot. This is why people are so hard on Rumph about his recruiting for his room. The numbers and the ready to play talent is not there. We better hope Williams is the hype and Couch can help us in specials to save Blades and Ivey
 
Am I the only one that’s more concerned about corner depth than safety? How can anyone look at our depth chart and be thrilled with what we have at corner from the recruiting standpoint? That’s 6 total corners with one absolutely not being Miami caliber in Bethel. So really we have Ivey, Blades and our choice of two true freshman in the two deep - one of them really being a smaller slot type. That means that a few in the two deep will also have to play a lot of special teams. We are an injury away from being in a terrible spot. This is why people are so hard on Rumph about his recruiting for his room. The numbers and the ready to play talent is not there. We better hope Williams is the hype and Couch can help us in specials to save Blades and Ivey
nah you are not, out of the 6 corners we have I only trust 3 on the field. I would have felt a lot better if Manny had got a CB from the portal. Though I think Couch and Williams will be very good for us, as of right now if they get put on the field against UF, they will get absolutely ate up. Both are small and not strong enough yet for this level, kind of like Ivey when he first got here. I would also say S depth is alright you can have 3 deep at SS with Derrick Smith, Amari Carter, and Keontra Smith and FS can be Hall, Bolden, and Knowles. The only real question mark is obviously Knowles and Bolden, who I don't think he has a lack of talent, but he will be getting on campus late
 
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This is where Rumph’s lack of recruiting ability is hurting us.

Yes most of the depth is 4* players, but he’s missed on too many top targets to form an adequate depth chart.
I dont Get it, each of the last 3 classes he’s helped bring in at least 2 or more consensus 4 star caliber dbs at cb. We already know he develops his talent base every year this group is easily his most talented one yet, just let things play out. Christian Williams is said to be impressing early in offseason workouts so let’s just see how he does fall camp. Plus each year a new cb emerges under his tutelage.
 
This is where Rumph’s lack of recruiting ability is hurting us.

Yes most of the depth is 4* players, but he’s missed on too many top targets to form an adequate depth chart.

Would be completely different if we didn’t lose Malek Young. I mean it was 2 years ago but he was still supposed to be here. Also Frierson was supposed to be a CB... most of us knew his future was at Safety (or striker now) but they gave him the opportunity.

I thought we were a little too picky in that first recruiting class when all we brought in was Young and then the following year. We dropped Nick Roberts and now he’s one of the better Group of 5 CBs in the country.

Then we wasted a ton of time recruiting Brian Edwards and Latavious Brini (looking back both of those misses were fine) and wasted time on Henderson and Marco Wilson. The last 2 classes were fine.. I might have taken 1 more this past class
 
that is still on Rumph, Malek got hurt, so it is his job to recruit in order to address how the unfortunate loss of Malek Young will affected the depth, that being said even though he got a few guys he still missed out on a lot of other guys which has affected the depth at the CB position.
How many corners are we supposed to have? We had
5 in 2016
5 in 2017
6 in 2018

What seems to hurt in terms of depth is the stop gap (1 and 2 year players) as they are obviously not here for a long time which is throwing the depth off a little
 
Additions: Christian Williams (2019 signee), Te’Cory Couch (2019 signee)

Departures: None

In 2018, the Miami Hurricanes actually led the nation in passing defense, giving up a paltry 135.6 yards per game. While the players in the secondary deserve to be commended for ultimately doing their job, that number is slightly misleading when you consider the competition. UM only played one passing offense in the national top 40 in passing yards per game, and that opponent, Florida State (28th), was completely outclassed by Miami in the trenches on offense and gave their QB no time to throw. The Canes continued their trend of having coverage lapses at key times, and Miami still went stretches of games making average QB’s look like world beaters. All this to say that while UM’s corners helped make the secondary an overall positive for the defense in 2018, there is still room for improvement to be had when looking towards this season.

The only real returning corner with experience was arguably UM’s most reliable cover guy last season, as it was rare to see junior Trajan Bandy get beat in 2018. Bandy led UM in passes broken up with 8, tied for the team lead with 3 INT’s, and led all DB’s with 4.5 TFL. Bandy has proven to be a sure tackler for Miami and shown the initiative to learn his craft. He’s not a prototypical #1 corner at 5’9”, but he’s well-built, uses advanced technique to play bigger than his size, and has the type of versatility where he can play both outside and inside when needed. Bandy was an invaluable presence to a young corner group this spring and he was consistently leaned on by the rest of Miami’s inexperienced secondary as a mentoring figure.

The real battle is going on for #2 cornerback, and most feel that it is DJ Ivey that has a slight lead there coming out of spring ball. Cornerbacks coach Rumph compared Ivey to himself in an interview this spring, never a bad thing for a young player looking to earn a starting role. Ivey uses his length well and plays physically, two attributes that Rumph wants to see from his corners. Team sources feel Ivey could have an All-ACC type season if he stays healthy. Blades is close behind, but is making more mistakes out there right now. Regardless, both will play a ton this season and have bright futures at UM.

The only other corner that participated in spring was Nigel Bethel, who redshirted as a freshman last season. Bethel was considered a track star that would be a project as a football player when he came to UM, and it seems that the process is still ongoing. Bethel is still not where the staff wants him to be size-wise at 6’0” 170 pounds, but this spring he looked like he could get reps if needed, although he’s still well behind Ivey and Blades.

Over the summer, UM added 4-star corners Christian Williams and Te’Cory Couch from the 2019 class and Rumph expects both to see time this season. Williams is the more highly-regarded of the two, and has the prototypical size and length at 6’1” that many scouts are salivating over these days. Couch was almost a guarantee to redshirt, as he was only 150 pounds after his senior season of HS, but he’s added 20 pounds over the offseason and has given himself a chance to earn a role.


Bottom Line

In a passing era of college football where it’s almost essential to have 3-4 quality corners, the lack of unproven depth and sheer numbers at corner is a concern, and I am surprised UM did not bring in more here over the off-season. The battle for the #2 role between two prospects with elite potential in Blades and Ivey will be fun to watch this fall, while Bethel, Williams, and Couch fight for the #4 job and cleanup reps.

The good news is that even though they have the ability to be a stout group, with all else considered, the cornerback unit does not have to be all-world. The rest of Miami’s defense is ACC Championship caliber, and a ferocious and deep Miami front 7 will cover up for a lot of the secondary’s mistakes. Miami can still achieve their goal of winning the Coastal division even with average play at corner; however, this group of Canes will be sure to aim higher.

I see a lot of comparisons to the 2017 season, where Miami also really only brought back one experienced corner in Malek Young and had to rely on talented, but unproven players to fill out the rotation. 2017 ended up working out just fine for the #28 UM scoring defense, and Mike Rumph will have to work that magic again to get the most out of his cornerback group in 2019.

Isn’t Michael Jackson a departure?
 
How many corners are we supposed to have? We had
5 in 2016
5 in 2017
6 in 2018

What seems to hurt in terms of depth is the stop gap (1 and 2 year players) as they are obviously not here for a long time which is throwing the depth off a little
the depth at the CB position in 2016, 2017, and 2018 worked out because nobody got hurt that much during the season, besides Dee Delaney in 2017 for like 3 games, and that problem is what if someone like Bandy, Ivey, or Blades get hurt. You want have enough CBs to have a quality 2 deep if one of the starting corners gets hurt, you keep trying to quantify stuff, but everything is not black and white. If Rumph would have added one more quality corner to the class that included Blades, Ivey, and Bethel we would not be having this discussion right now. He also could have got a transfer that year or the year after, or even this year to fill in while we develop players like Bethel, Couch, and Williams. That being said I like Rumph and think that he is getting better at recruiting.
 

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