Two Miami football players named top 15, three in top 100 nationally

TALLAHASSEE OCTOBER 7: Defensive back Jaquan Johnson
TALLAHASSEE OCTOBER 7: Defensive back Jaquan Johnson /
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Two University of Miami football players have been named among the top 15 in the nation according to Sports Illustrated. Three are among the top 100 according to the iconic magazine.

The Miami football players who are ranked are Safety Jaquan Johnson who is the nation’s eighth-best player, linebacker Shaq Quarterman who is14th and defensive end Joe Jackson who is 67th.

Those three being ranked in the top 100 in the country are up from wide receiver Ahmmon Richards being the only Miami football player ranked last season. Richards who returns for his Junior season was ranked the 56th best player in the country prior to the 2017 season.

He was unranked this year. Richards is coming off of an injury-filled 2017 season.

Depending on the site, all four of the above-mentioned players have been projected as potential first-round draft picks in 2019. Miami cornerback Michael Jackson has also been mentioned as a possible first-round pick next spring.

Joe Jackson has been projected as high as the fifth pick in the draft by Pro Football Talk. Senior Johnson and Juniors Richards, Quarterman and Joe Jackson are all entering their third season as Starters in 2018.

Richards, Quarterman and another third-year starter linebacker Michael Pinckney were all chosen as True Freshmen All-Americans in 2016  by ESPN.  Johnson and the three 2016 True Freshmen All-Americans should all have a chance to earn All-American honors this season.

Richards should have a big bounce-back season if he can stay healthy. The Hurricanes leader in yards in 2016, Richards battled a torn hamstring early last season. He had season-ending knee surgery after tearing his MCL during the week of practice before the ACC Championship game last season.