Ivan Pace Jr. has announced his commitment to the University of Cincinnati, via Twitter.
Pace, who is the older brother of Bearcats star linebacker Deshawn Pace, served as a focal point inside local Miami (Ohio) University’s defense as an inside linebacker. The 6’0”, 239 lb Cincinnati native led the MAC in 2021 with 125 total tackles, 60 solo tackles (tied-36th in FBS) four sacks, one forced fumble and an interception.
“Hey Bearcat nation, I’m coming home!” Pace said via his Twitter announcement.
Pace exits the transfer portal (entered December 24th) having received other offers from Arkansas, LSU, Miami (Florida) and other power five programs. A former two-star recruit (according to the 247 Sports Composite) out of Colerain high school, he holds two remaining years of collegiate eligibility.
His recorded 84 tackles, 6.5 sacks and four forced fumbles earned him the Ohio Division 1 defensive player of the year in 2018 — the last season before he moved on to Miami (Ohio).
“They keep it loose,” Colerain head coach Tom Bolden said both Ivan and Deshawn when the two played alongside each other in high school. “And I really do enjoy them, because you need that at times. Yeah, we get it, it’s a huge game. But being uptight about it? We’re gonna do what we do… They’re always going at 100 mph, whatever they do. Got great personalities, very witty, very clever. We have a great time.”
As expected, Pace will play a pivotal role in reforming a Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker corps left barren by the recent departures of defensive weapons Joel Dublanko and Darrien Beavers. The first team All-MAC selection and conference defensive player of the year will see action alongside his brother (Deshawn), who registered 95 total tackles (45 solo) and a team-leading four interceptions as a Bearcat sophomore in 2021.