Healthy Nunley ready for strong finish at Miami

Dayonne Nunley’s wait is just about over.

After sitting out spring football practice as a precaution, the Miami University senior cornerback said his surgically repaired right knee is fine, and he’s itching to get back on the field.

“At this point, it’s all good,” Nunley said Tuesday during Mid-American Conference Media Day at Ford Field. “The doctors did a great job on me.

“I feel like I haven’t missed a beat. I’m right back where I used to be, if not better. I want to get out and show this country, the world, that I can play.”

The 5-foot-8, 181-pound native of Monroeville, Pa., suffered his injury at Central Michigan last year and missed the season finale against Ball State. He got the surgery done quickly.

“It was a kick return, and I just got tackled weird,” Nunley said. “They had to fix a couple ligaments. It’s all in the past. I feel great.”

He was a first-team All-MAC performer the last two seasons and has 12 career interceptions. That’s four behind Ron Carpenter, Miami’s career leader who also happens to be Nunley’s secondary coach.

“I’m hungry for it,” Nunley said with a smile. “It’s somewhere there inside of me.”

RedHawks coach Don Treadwell likes Nunley fearless attitude on the field.

“He’s a pretty confident young man,” Treadwell said. “You want guys to compete and feel confident, and he’s kind of earned that.”

Nunley was admittedly a bit restless during spring practice, but he realized it was a risk that wasn’t worth taking, especially for a guy who has aspirations of playing at the next level.

Asked to describe himself as a player, Nunley said, “Smart. Good technique. Instinctive. Quick. Fast. A great knack for the ball.”

“Size will be the one thing that people question at the next level, so it’s about me making more big plays,” Nunley said. “I want to lead by example and have my team follow me. I feel like I’ve set a great path. I’ve had a great college career so far, and now I need to finish strong.”

Nunley has earned a spot on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list, which includes 48 of the country’s best defensive backs.