Shaq Quarterman as only Miami football player on SI top 100 surprising

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

In their complete rankings released on Friday rising senior linebacker Shaq Quarterman presence as the only Miami football player on Sports Illustrated’s top 100 players in the country was surprising.

Shaq Quarterman has been second on the Miami football team in total tackles in each of the last three seasons and overall from 2016-18. His presence as the only Miami Hurricane on the list of the top 100 players in college football as published by Sports Illustrated this week was surprising.

Quarterman is ranked 34th for 2019 after being ranked the 14th best player in the country on Sports Illustrated’s 2018 top 100. The Hurricanes middle or Mike LB was joined on last season’s team by safety Jaquan Johnson who was eighth and defensive end Joe Jackson who was 67th.

There are few other players on Miami’s defense who could be one of Sports Illustrated’s 2019 top 100 players. Quarterman finished 2018 with 82 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and five sacks. He finished second to Johnson in tackles in each of the last two seasons. Sports Illustrated is impressed by the progress Quarterman has made.

"“34. Miami LB Shaq QuartermanQuarterman has steadily improved during his three years with the Hurricanes, rising from All-ACC third team as a freshman to second team as a sophomore and first team last season as a junior.After notching 14 tackles for loss and five sacks in 2018, Quarterman will be the fulcrum of Miami’s defense in Diaz’s first season as head coach.”"

Defensive end Jonathan Garvin, Quarterman’s peer at LB and fellow four-year starter Michael Pinckney and cornerback Trajan Bandy all have cases to have been considered to be ranked in the top 100 players in college football for 2019.

Pinckney has been third in tackles for Miami in each of the last two seasons. He finished with 74 tackles,11 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 2018. Pinckney earned honorable mention All-ACC last season. He projects to make one of the first three teams this season.

Quarterman and Pinckney’s presence coupled with the Hurricanes third four-year starter Zach McCloud gives Miami the nation’s most experienced LB corps in college football and arguably it’s best. Those three starting together at LB for four seasons is likely unprecedented and something we might never see again.

Garvin is the most experienced player on the Miami defensive line. He had a breakout season as a sophomore with 60 tackles to lead Miami DL, 17.0 TFLs, 5.5 sacks and five pass breakups. Garvin should be an All-America candidate in 2019 and a surefire contender for All-ACC. He finished 26th nationally in TFLs.

Bandy was arguably the best defensive back in a Miami secondary full of seniors in 2018. He finished his sophomore season with 36 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, tied for the team lead with three interceptions and led Manny Diaz’s defense with eight pass breakups.

Manny Diaz has led a resurgence on defense for the Miami football team in his three seasons as defensive coordinator. It’s questionable that only one Miami defensive player would rank in the top 100 college football players nationally.

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On offense, running back DeeJay Dallas, wide receiver Jeff Thomas and tight end Brevin Jordan should all have 2019 seasons to be considered among the best players in college football. Dan Enos’ new offense should provide them plenty of opportunities this season.