Cincinnati Football: Bearcats All-American linebacker Ivan Pace Jr declares for NFL Draft

Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr celebrates after sacking Navy Midshipmen at Nippert Stadium. USA Today.
Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr celebrates after sacking Navy Midshipmen at Nippert Stadium. USA Today. /
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After becoming the first unanimous All-American in Bearcats history and being named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year, senior linebacker Ivan Pace Jr declared for the NFL Draft today!

During his lone season at Cincinnati, Pace led the Bearcats with 136 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks including a team-best 16 tackles in the Fenway Bowl loss this month.

The Cincinnati native and former Miami linebacker finished his career with 306 tackles and 20 sacks in 35 games. Pace spent three seasons at Miami before joining the Bearcats this year.

In a win over Indiana in September, Pace showed off his elite ability with 15 tackles and 2.5 sacks en route to earning AAC Defensive Player of the Week and Bednarik National Player of the Week.

Cincinnati Football: Bearcats All-American linebacker Ivan Pace Jr declares for NFL Draft

Following the blowout win over Indiana, Pace received a ton of accolades including AAC Defensive Player of the Week, Bednarik National Player of the Week and PFF Defensive Player of the Week.

The senior linebacker was a finalist for the Bednarik Award this season and became the second straight Bearcat to win AAC Defensive Player of the Year after Sauce Gardner did so last year.

Make sure to stay tuned for the latest rumors as the Bearcats await decisions from several other players. Pace explained his decision to declare for the upcoming draft via Twitter.

"“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. I appreciate each and every one of you for pushing me to reach new heights, teaching me new lessons and bringing joy to the game every day. To my teammates at both schools, I appreciate each of you. We created memories and bonds that will last a lifetime and each moment we shared together was truly a blessing.”"

Next. Cincinnati Football: Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr named finalist for Butkus Award. dark