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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Johnson is coming off of a season where he was named the Miami football team MVP. He is ranked as the third best player in the ACC and fifth best defensive player in the country by Sports Illustrated.

Johnson was the catalyst of the Hurricanes defense last season. No one had more turnovers than he did. As the only returning starter in the secondary from 2016, he became the unit’s leader last season. Johnson chose to return to the Miami football team to continue their success from 2017. Sports Illustrated summed up Johnson.

"“No player was more closely associated with Miami’s glorious turnover chain last season than Johnson, a 5’11”, 190-pound safety who donned the garish sideline talisman six times, more than any other player on the team. Johnson could have capitalized on a stellar junior season by declaring for the NFL draft this offseason: Over 13 games in 2017, he picked off four passes, recovered two fumbles and recorded a team-high 96 total tackles. Johnson ultimately decided to put off the start of his professional career for a chance to help Miami build on its breakout 2017 season when it fell short of the College Football Playoff after being upset by Pittsburgh and getting blown out by Clemson in the ACC championship game.”"

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  • If Quarterman, Pinckney and/or Zach McCloud who have all been three-year starters for Miami earn All-American honors they would be the first Miami linebacker to do so since Dan Morgan in 2000. Pinckney’s omission from the Sports Illustrated list is surprising.

    The play of all three Miami starting linebackers has been a huge reason the Hurricanes are quickly making their way back to one of the nation’s elite programs.

    Sports Illustrated praised the Hurricanes defense and named the linebacking corps specifically as a reason that Miami is a legitimate contender for the college football playoff in 2018.

    "“Quarterman’s emergence into a top-flight linebacker coincided with Miami’s rapid turnaround under third-year head coach Mark Richt. After flashing his upside during a promising true freshman season in 2016 in which he tallied 84 total tackles and 10 tackles for loss, last season Quarterman headlined a smothering defense that propelled the Hurricanes to the ACC championship game and a New Year’s Six bowl. With fellow juniors Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud lining up alongside Quarterman in a talented linebacking corps, he’ll serve as a leader and big-time playmaker for a squad with designs on maintaining its place among the Power 5’s legitimate playoff contenders.”"

    Joe Jackson and Senior defensive end Demetrius (no relation) Jackson lead a strong group of Miami of ends up front defensively. Rising Sophomore Jonathan Garvin, rising Junior Scott Patchan and incoming Freshman Greg Rousseau give Diaz and defensive line coach Jess Simpson numerous options in their defensive end rotation.

    Joe Jackson was named to second-team All-ACC in the preseason rankings by Athlon Sports. With Clemson having four potential first round picks on their defensive line that’s high praise.