Tyrique Stevenson, Will Mallory among a dozen ‘Canes prospects hoping to be picked in NFL draft

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Will Mallory arrived on Miami’s campus five years ago as a promising tight-end recruit. He leaves Coral Gables positioned for an NFL career.

“It seems like it was forever ago, but also felt like it was yesterday,” Mallory said at Miami’s Pro Day in March. “It went by fast, but I cherish the memories and all the relationships I made here. Miami is very special to me and always will be.”


Mallory and cornerback Tyrique Stevenson appear to be the most likely Hurricanes to be selected in this year’s NFL draft, which begins Thursday night and runs through Saturday.

Stevenson is expected to be picked in the second or third round, while Mallory is often listed in the fifth or sixth round in media projections. The rest of Miami’s prospective draftees will likely sign as undrafted free agents after the draft ends on Saturday.


“You obviously dream of this moment,” Mallory said. “Now you’ve got to keep putting the work in, get that opportunity and make the most of it.”

Mallory spent five seasons with the Hurricanes, becoming a major contributor to the offense. He leaves UM with 1,544 career receiving yards, which is the second-most among tight ends in program history — at a program that has sent 21 tight ends to the NFL thus far.

“I want to keep trying to make the tradition proud,” Mallory said.

Stevenson’s route to Miami was more circuitous. A highly recruited Miami native, Stevenson opted to leave South Florida to play at Georgia. But after two seasons with the Bulldogs, he transferred back to his hometown school.


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“I should have just stayed at Miami and built that here instead of trying to build it somewhere else,” Stevenson said before his first season at UM. “I built it at Georgia, and I came back down here. And I explained to my mom, ‘I know what I have to do, and I know I’m going to do it.’ So there’s nothing to worry about — the worries we had when I first signed with Georgia.”

Stevenson was a two-year starter at Miami. Last season, 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. He was named to the all-ACC third team.

“I’ve just been putting in the work for so long and I’ve just been playing football forever, and I just love the game of football at the end of the day,” Stevenson said. “Whatever opportunity I’m blessed with and whatever selection I get picked with, I’m going to go ahead, and once I’m in the door, I’m going to just give my all.”

Ten other Hurricanes are hoping to hear their names called this week: cornerback DJ Ivey, punter Lou Hedley, offensive linemen Justice Oluwaseun and DJ Scaife, defensive linemen Mitchell Agude and Antonio Moultrie, linebackers Caleb Johnson and Waynmon Steed Jr. and running backs Devon Perry and Lucious Stanley.


“Everyone’s dream is to get drafted in the NFL,” Ivey said at UM’s Pro Day. “But regardless of that, no draft, get drafted, I’m going to just make the best of my opportunity. That’s all I need is an opportunity.”

Although these 12 Hurricanes are leaving the program, several said they were confident Miami coach Mario Cristobal will have UM back to its winning ways in the future.

“He got that Nick Saban mentality,” Stevenson said. “That’s the same mentality that’s at Georgia right now. … We’re going to do whatever it takes and we’re going to put everybody in position to win and go out there and dominate. So just the fact that he came in and he’s teaching these younger guys that and teaching the coaching staff around him that and just having them portray it towards one another is going to push everybody over the edge.”

Adam Lichtenstein

Adam Lichtenstein

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