CB target Tyrique Stevenson weighs in on chasing dreams, Miami and UGA
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Tyrique Stevenson is from the 305 area code. That is Dade County in South Florida. The Miami Southridge High student has been to Miami’s campus more times than the average Georgia family has visited their closest Chick-fil-A.
Stephenson was committed to Florida for about eight months before he backed off that pledge last December. That sounds like a lot of Florida on his mind.
But there is still a chance for UGA to sign another elite South Florida DB. The Bulldogs pulled three future major contributors from that region for their top-ranked 2018 class.
That is exactly the sort of thing that Kirby Smart hoped to see happen when he hired ace recruiter James Coley for his staff.
Coley has deep ties in South Florida, given his time there as a high school coach.
He built upon those relationships with his time on the staff at both Florida State and Miami.
Coley should have been hearing about a guy Tyrique Stevenson for a while now.
He has. Stephenson said Coley also knows his friends and loved ones call him “Rique” at that.
“The connection I have with Coach Coley is real,” Stevenson said. “He came down and we met and we actually connected.”
“Then I came up for a camp and we just hung out. I got the vibe from him that he’s a real dude and he’s always going to keep his word with what he says.”
“Then on top of that, they just signed one of my really good friends in Divaad Wilson. That was also what kind of woke me up about Georgia.”
The speed read on Tyrique Stevenson
His 247Sports profile page lists his composite ranking as the nation’s No. 8 cornerback prospect. The 247Sports composite standard also places him at No. 68 overall for 2019.
Stephenson has gotten a tad bigger these days. He’s up to 200 pounds from the 190-pound weight that’s listed on his profile.
That is also a jump from his 188-pound measurement when he tested for the Nike’s The Opening regionals. The 6-foot-1½ prospect will be at The Opening Finals in Texas later this month, too.
He wears No. 7 for a specific reason.
“My grandma has seven grandchildren and you know that’s always been my favorite number,” he said.
Stevenson plans to sign early and enroll in January 2019.
“My mom and I feel like the earlier I get to college the better off I will be,” said Stevenson, who has committed to play in the 2019 All-American Game.
More Intel on Tyrique Stevenson
He’s thinking of a pair of potential degrees: Psychology or sports medicine.
Stevenson sees the same path from playing football that many do. But it does not make it any less important to him.
“Growing up I never really had much,” he said. “I’m not saying that football is a way out but it is one of my opportunities to live a better life. That would mean a better life for me and my family. So what I do [on the field] is I go out there and give it my all to be the best. The best at what I do.
“So when I make it to college be it God’s will and when I make it to the NFL be it God’s will I feel like I can actually change their lives. But if that doesn’t happen I still have other plans. I go hard in everything I do. It takes a lot out of me some days with football. It might take days of me not even talking to my family when I come home because I’m so tired I want to sleep. I just believe all of that is going to pay off. I feel that all of those days are going to pay off. That’s why I do it.”
He sees the game differently than his peers do. It is more camaraderie and communion.
“My favorite part is just being out there with my teammates,” he said. “But also being out there in front of the crowd of people who care about you and love you and want to see you do well. You can show them you are an up-and-coming player who can be one of the greatest players ever.”
Is that a little brash? Maybe. But that’s the confidence necessary to bring those changes to the lives of his loved ones.
Stevenson could be the first in his family to make it in college football. It is a very big family.
He has one brother and bunch of sisters after that. There are four sisters on his mom’s side of the family. He also has three older sisters on his father’s side.
“My uncle went to Tulane but decisions messed him up,” Stevenson said. “So I would be the first in my family to go to a big school and actually play football. That means I have to step up even though I’m one of the youngest in my family with all my uncles. I still have to step up and grab this torch and put our family in a great situation where they have someone to brag about and point to in a good way. I can encourage my upcoming little cousins and nephews that they can also do this. All they have got to do is put their minds to it.”
Tyrique Stevenson: The Dreamchaser
He the phrase “Dreamchaser” on his Twitter page. Those family connections are the reasons why.
When he was in the sixth grade, he formed a club of sorts with his friend Edward Foster, Foster’s brother and a few other kids.
“We always called ourselves ‘The Dreamchasers’ so when everyone else was always partying or messing around and not doing anything, we were always working out or going to wrestling practice. So we came up with that code name and then Meek Mill blew it up and we just took it on. We called ourselves ‘Young Dreamchasers’ and we’ve been calling ourselves that ever since.”
“Now, we’re not all that young anymore so we just called ourselves ‘The Dreamchasers’ with that.”
That won’t change.
“I’ll call myself an ‘Old Dreamchaser’ because I am going to chase my dreams every day of my life until I can’t no more.”
His best days right now are those that include a workout, a practice and then just spending time at home with his family. When his mother cooks up those mac and cheese and baked beans, the day is pretty much perfect.
His highlight tape shows off the stuff of a very advanced player. He’s long. Big and physical. He fits the Georgia prototype of being hard-wired for contact.
He can move his feet and cover ground with two strides in a way that few players do.
The Stevenson reel will give the eyebrows a workout. His junior tape credits him with 4.44 speed. It appears he brings that rare blend of aggression, length and quickness to the field. There are clear Jalen Ramsey and Patrick Peterson influences in his game, but he’s also quick to credit the work of his former teammates, Jamal Anderson and DJ Ivey, too.
Anderson signed with Florida International in December. Ivey will be a freshman at Miami this fall.
He can be coached up to get his hands on the receiver more at times. Especially off the line. When he shadows the receivers along the route, he knows he needs to do a better job of breaking down with them and keeping his feet. There’s also the challenge of maintaining his backpedal when a receiver is coming straight ahead at him at full-speed.
“But that’s why I go hard in practice every day for,” he said. “To get better at everything I do.”
Are there any Dreamchaser schools yet?
What’s the biggest reason why he likes Miami?
“It is just home,” Stevenson said. “There’s nothing else quite like home.”
Stevenson chooses his words carefully when it comes to schools. He doesn’t want to single any school out over the other right now. It sounds like maybe he has a private top 10 and maybe even a top 7.
“I’m coming to the point where I am going to close it down,” he said. “Just focus on my fall season. Maybe before my fall, I will close it down and focus on my senior season and go for a state title. It is stressful, you know? You just have to know how to handle it.”
Is there a chance he will commit before his senior year?
“It has to be a really good reason why I would commit before my senior season,” he said. “But as of now, I don’t think so.”
He will discuss the matter from time to time with his mother but he said that “nine times out of 10 here” that he will wait until the first day of the early signing period to make his college decision.
Which schools are in the running to get an official?
“I believe that UM, Georgia, Florida State, Alabama and maybe Auburn and maybe Penn State will get an official,” he said.
He said he was still planning out whether or not he can take any of those this month before the dead period starts.
“I know I am blessed and I thank God for all these options right now but sorting through all these schools is really tough,” he said.
The Bulldogs are going to make it hard for him to stay in Dade County. He said that he’s taken at least five trips to check out UGA so far.
“Georgia is a great school,” Stevenson said. “It actually really opened my eyes to going outside of the state of Florida to go to school.”
He was in Athens for the scavenger hunt event last month with several other elite recruits.
“That was amazing,” he said. “We all got to hang out with Coach Coley. We got to see the actual Coach Coley instead of the recruiting Coach Coley. That was a great experience. … The whole thing was my favorite part of that experience. I can’t just single out one thing.”
Where did that one rank out of all his visits?
“That was a top visit,” Stevenson said. “A top one. I can’t single one out [in relation] to that one. That was a great, great trip to Georgia.”
His family already likes UGA. His mother does, too. That is the third campus she has been to, joining Auburn and Miami.
“It is out of state,” Stevenson said. “It would be a good fit for me to get away from Miami. If it happens that would be a good place for me when there is really nothing to do, just focus on football and school.”
Stevenson has very few questions that remain about UGA, but he will not wait long to return.
“It will be pretty soon actually,” Stevenson said. “I will be there and hang with Divaad and actually get the feel of the campus. It will be soon.”
Miami has an impressive program. He has several friends there, and he visits that campus often. Several Hurricanes showed up to watch him at his spring game. How hard will it be for him to leave the state of Florida?
“It won’t be hard because I feel like wherever the best place is for me to go, then I will be there,” Stevenson said. “No matter what it is at. No matter anything else. Whatever I feel the best fit is at, then I will be there. If it is outside of the state of Florida, then it is out of the state of Florida.”
Did you see the best hair in the Class of 2019?
Tennessee 4-star DE Bill Norton committed to UGA in March. He now ranks as the nation’s No. 10 overall recruit at strongside defensive end on the 247Sports composite. He also checks in at No. 140 overall.
The Memphis Commerical-Appeal named him the football Defensive Player of the Year at its end-of-the-year sports banquet.
It looks as if he’s set to crack the rankings for best hair, too.
— Tom Kreager (@Kreager) June 6, 2018
Norton is scheduled to visit UGA for most of the day on Friday. It will be an unofficial visit.
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