Ivey Battling To Start At UM - South Dade News Leader: Sports

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Ivey Battling To Start At UM

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Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019 1:57 pm | Updated: 10:17 am, Mon Apr 15, 2019.

Former South Dade cornerback DJ Ivey has shown flashes during spring practices at the University of Miami as he prepares for his second season.

After primarily playing on special teams as a freshman, Ivey will step into a larger role in 2019 with the graduation of two players ahead of him on the depth chart and is competing for a starting job.

“I know I have a bigger role to fill in knowing that we had some seniors graduate,” Ivey said. “I just have to fill in the role and compete.”

At 6-foot-1 and 193 pounds—12 pounds heavier than last season—Ivey is primarily in a competition with fellow second-year player Al Blades Jr. to start opposite of returning starter Trajan Bandy although both Ivey and Blades Jr. are expected to play a substantial amount.

“(DJ) is doing some really good things and some not so good things,” defensive coordinator Blake Baker said. “Consistency is his big skill. Probably needs to be more physical at the point of attack, but he flashes. He’s gotten in there with the 1s. He’s pushing Al Blades and competition is going to make everyone better. We have to keep bringing him along and get him more confident in knowing what to do, but he’s got a great skill set and his athletic ability is second to none.”

Cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph has been emphasizing to Ivey about improving his tackling ability and making sure he is in the proper place to defend the run.

“If I get that down, I should be fine,” Ivey said.

Ivey believes his cover skills have improved since last season.

“I’m better against the jam and using my technique,” he said. “It’s pretty easy now.”

Ivey and the Hurricanes are in their fourth of five weeks of spring ball, which concludes on April 20 with a spring game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

They will have their first open scrimmage to the public on Saturday beginning at noon at Traz Powell Stadium.

“I believe it gets a lot of us juiced up because we’re actually going full-out,” Ivey said. “We can actually hit and tackle.”

The Hurricanes will also feature two new starters at the safety positions as the secondary, which has taken its lumps in practice at times.

“We’ve got to replace a lot of really good players especially in the secondary,” Baker said. “Right now I think we’re being exposed in 7-on-7 when we don’t have our front four rushing the quarterback so we definitely have to get better there.”

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