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Cincinnati star linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. declares for NFL draft

Sep 24, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (0) runs onto the field prior to the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati All-American linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. announced Saturday that he is entering the NFL draft.

Pace had 136 tackles this season while becoming the first unanimous first-team All-American in Bearcats’ history. He accumulated 21.5 tackles for loss, including 10 sacks, and was a finalist for the Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation’s best defensive player.

Pace, who was named American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, played one season at Cincinnati after transferring from Miami. He played three seasons for the Florida school.

“I want to thank the coaches from the University of Cincinnati as well as Miami University for taking the time to coach and guide me to be a better player on the field, but also a better person off the field,” Pace wrote in his announcement on Twitter. “… With that being said, I will NOT be using my final year of eligibility and will declare for the 2023 NFL Draft.”


Counting his time at Miami, Pace had 21 career sacks.

Pace is projected to be selected on the second day of the three-day draft.

–Field Level Media