Is the Miami Hurricanes Defense Getting Disrespected?

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Shaquille Quarterman
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Shaquille Quarterman /

With college football training camp about a month away numerous lists for the 2017 season have been released. Noticeably absent from those lists are accolades for individual defensive players from the Miami Hurricanes.

Is the Miami Hurricanes defense whole better than the sum of its parts? The Hurricanes had one of the most productive defenses in the nation in 2016, but no one really stood out with eye-popping numbers.

The team put up impressive numbers as a team with contributors throughout the lineup. Wide receiver Ahmmon Richards has been the only Miami player to be getting national recognition on All-American teams and the list of best players.

Richards was ranked the 56th best player in the country by Sports Illustrated and a fourth-team All-American by Athlon. Richards was also named first-team All-ACC by Athlon with teammates running back Mark Walton, tight end Chris Herndon IV, offensive lineman K.C. McDermott, punt returner Braxton Berrios and Kicker Michael Badgley.

Related Story: Miami Hurricanes Lead ACC With Five All Conference First Teamers

Noticeably absent from any of these lists were any Miami Hurricanes. Fourteen defensive players from the ACC were named to Sports Illustrated Top 100. Nine of those players were Defensive linemen.

Miami’s defense was among the best in the ACC in 2016. All three of the starters they lost were in the defensive backfield. The Hurricanes finished second in the ACC in scoring defense in 2016. They were fifth in total defense, first in turnover margin, fifth in first downs allowed, second in fourth down conversation rate, and second in tackles for loss.

Despite their front seven returning intact two deep, none of the Miami defensive players were named All-ACC, All-American or to Sports Illustrated’s top 100. The Hurricanes had several candidates on defense who could have been named to these lists.

Shaq Quarterman was third among freshmen in the ACC last season in tackles. Joe Jackson was eighth in the ACC and second among conference Freshmen with eight and a half sacks and finished tied for ninth in fumble recoveries.

Jackson has the potential to put up big numbers. With the load of talent along the defensive line, it’s going to be tough to break through to be recognized all-conference.

The Miami Hurricanes two new starting cornerbacks are players to watch. Senior Graduate transfer Dee Delaney from the Citadel finished tenth in the Football Championship Subdivision in interceptions per game last season. He finished with six in 12 games. The Citadel was seeded sixth in the FCS playoffs last season but lost their opening game to Wofford in the round of 16.

The Citadel was seeded sixth in the FCS playoffs last season but lost their opening game to Wofford in the round of 16.

Jhavonte Dean will be starting opposite Delaney at the other corner. He is a Junior college transfer from Blinn College in Texas. Dean chose Miami over Alabama. He was the second-ranked Junior College cornerback in the country last season.

Next: Braxton Berrios Says Miami Hurricanes ACC Championship Contender

With the Miami Hurricanes defense in their second year under Manny Diaz, over a dozen players on defense should have a chance to make All-Conference, All-American or ranked among the top 100 players in the country. Delaney, Jackson and Quarterman will be the three to watch.