The Miami secondary received a boost from the FCS ranks on Tuesday.
Dee Delaney, an All-American cornerback from The Citadel, announced he will play his final season of college football for the Hurricanes. Delaney intercepted six passes in 2016, the second-best mark in the country at the FCS level. As a graduate transfer, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Delaney will be eligible to compete for Miami in 2017.
In a letter on The Citadel’s athletics website, Delaney expressed gratitude for his experience at the school and with the football program.
“I would like to start off by saying thank you to everybody here at The Citadel, especially my coaches and teammates. I had a blast while I was here at The Citadel. As an 18-year-old, coming to The Citadel was a major shock for me. This has been a tough decision for me, but I thought long and hard about it and feel like I am making the right decision for me. My family is behind my decision and also feels the same way,” Delaney wrote.
“I will be transferring to the University of Miami to finish up my college football career. I am very grateful for everything I have learned here and will continue to grow as an athlete and person. The Citadel has truly helped me mature and become a better man. The things The Citadel has taught me will never be erased, and I can say have made me a better person. I hope everybody can be happy with the decision I have made and be behind me no matter what.
“I love The Citadel and everybody here. I remember my first game I was so nervous, but the coaches were behind me 100 percent. They always had confidence in me, and that was something as a young player I really needed.”
Delaney leaves The Citadel with 13 career interceptions and has the chance to help fill the void in the Hurricanes’ secondary left by safety Adrian Colbert and corner Corn Elder. Delaney could presumably slide into one corner spot opposite Malek Young, who made four starts in 2016 as a freshman.
“I appreciate everything Dee Delaney has done representing The Citadel,” Citadel head coach Brent Thompson said in a statement. “He is going to graduate in May and leaves here having played a vital role in back-to-back Southern Conference championships, which had never happened at this school before.
“The pursuit of Dee from one of the most visible and historic programs in college football is a testament to his work ethic and development over the last four years at The Citadel. We were supportive of Dee while he came to this difficult decision, and we will be cheering for him next season.”
Players have had varying degrees of success after making the jump from FCS to FBS. The two Oregon graduate transfer quarterbacks — Vernon Adams (via Eastern Washington) and Dakota Prukop (via Montana State) — come to mind. Adams thrived with the Ducks, while Prukop struggled and was eventually benched.
Though not a graduate transfer like Delaney, another FCS transfer, Cal receiver Chad Hansen, put up huge numbers after departing Idaho State. At Miami, Delaney figures to have the chance to make a splash of his own, and perhaps jump onto the radar screens of NFL scouts.
For more Miami news, visit CaneSport.com.
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