Cincinnati Football: Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. wins Defensive MVP at Senior Bowl

Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr makes tackle during Reese's Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium. USA Today.
Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr makes tackle during Reese's Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium. USA Today. /
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Bearcats star linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. racked up a game-high 10 tackles and received the Defensive MVP in the Reese’s Senior Bowl last weekend.

The Cincinnati native earned All-American honors and was named AAC Defensive Player of the Year during his lone season at his hometown school.

Pace competed alongside former Bearcats teammates Josh Whyle and Tre Tucker on the National Team as both players grabbed one catch in the 27-10 win.

All three prospects will participate in the Scouting Combine from March 2-5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and the 2023 NFL Draft is set for late April.

Cincinnati Football: Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr wins Defensive MVP at Senior Bowl

Despite being labeled undersized at his position, Pace’s draft stock should continue to rise after his impressive showing at the annual Senior Bowl in Alabama.

In addition to securing the Defensive MVP award, Pace picked up National Team Linebacker of the Week because of his hard work throughout the process.

Pace led the Bearcats with 136 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks including a team-high 16 tackles in the Fenway Bowl in December.

During a press conference at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, Pace discussed his ability to drop into coverage and why teams should draft him per Luke Winstel.

"“I was mainly a blitzer at Cincinnati. I started out in coverage but needed to go blitz because it worked out better for our team. Just coming up here and hearing them say I can’t cover so I just tried to be able to do it and I did. I showed I can do that. The only thing really stopping them from drafting me is my height. So stop thinking about the height and you got a ball player.”"

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