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Tyrique Stevenson left Miami because he and his mother thought it was the best decision for him. But two years later, his career brought him back to South Florida, which propelled him to the NFL.
Stevenson, a Miami Southridge graduate and two-year Hurricanes starter, was the first Miami player to be selected in the 2023 NFL draft, going at No. 56 in the second round to the Chicago Bears on Friday night.
“I just know that my whole life, I put in the work,” Stevenson said at Miami’s Pro Day in March. “I stayed the course. I did everything that was possible for me to get here. I won’t have no regrets on draft day, depending on where I get picked, I will have no regrets because I know that I woke up every day and put my best foot in front of me, and even if I couldn’t pick it up, I [dragged] it in front of me.”
Stevenson was a star in high school, earning a top-40 ranking in 247Sports’ composite ranking. But the Miami-Dade star said his mother wanted him to go to school away from home, so he chose Georgia. After two seasons there, playing mostly nickel, he transferred to Miami.
With the Hurricanes, Stevenson moved back to outside cornerback and became one of the ACC’s top cornerbacks. He earned an All-ACC honorable mention in 2021 and was a third-team All-ACC pick last season. In 2022, he had 25 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, nine pass breakups and two interceptions. Pro Football Focus gave him a 76.6 defensive grade with a 79.5 coverage grade, which led UM cornerbacks.
Stevenson, listed at 6 feet tall and 198 pounds, impressed at the Senior Bowl and at the NFL combine, running a 4.45 40-yard dash at the combine and helping his draft stock before UM’s Pro Day.
“The combine was great,” “Stevenson said. I feel like I did everything and just coming to here and being able to capitalize on what I did at the combine just made me feel a whole lot better about the process.”
Stevenson is the first Miami cornerback to be drafted since Jaquan Johnson went in the sixth round of the 2019 draft. He is the first UM corner to be picked in the first three rounds since the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Artie Burns with the 25th pick in 2016. He said teams have also talked to him about playing nickel and safety.
“They’ll get a great player,” teammate DJ Ivey said. “Physical guy, comes up and makes tackles, makes plays on the ball.”