Watching the Miami Spring Game in 2016, I started noticing a number 55 on defense making tackles from sideline to sideline. Who was that guy, I asked myself and probably out loud with nobody else around. I’m sure my wife was somewhere in the room.
Who was this number 55 guy?
He was none other than true freshman Linebacker Shaquille Quarterman from Orange Park, Florida. It was hard to not notice how physical he was making tackle after tackle. He showed great instincts, speed, tenacity and good size at 6-1, 240. He was the 3rd rated Inside Linebacker in his recruiting class and a 4 star. Quarterman was a nice pick up for the Hurricanes and he could be a future All
In the Fall, two other true freshmen Linebackers Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud, joined Quarterman to form a trio of Linebackers somewhat reminiscent of the Bermuda Triangle group back in the early 1990’s. Bermuda Triangle
Zachary McCloud was a 4 star recruit and the 11th rated Outside Linebacker in the nation, from Lantana, Florida. But, Michael Pinckney was only a 3 star and the 20th rated Inside Linebacker from Jacksonville Raines High School.
Miami is in rebuilding mode with coach Mark Richt in his second season. His first recruiting class was outstanding for a coach just coming in and ranked 19th by ESPN. Even though the top two recruits in that class are already gone, it was still a top class because of Quarterman, Pinckney and McCloud at Linebacker. Plus, Ahmmon Richards, Travis Homer, Patrick Bethel, Joseph Jackson and Romeo Finley that either already start, or will be competing for playing time.
The program went through some growing pains in Richt’s first season. They won their first 4 games, then lost their next 4. They finished the season with 5 straight wins to end with a decent 9-4 record. I wrote on here before that Miami needs to find a Quarterback for next season with Brad Kaaya taking off for the NFL. Miami QB
Improvements across the board, especially in the Offensive and Defensive Lines, have the Hurricane faithful smiling again. If they can just find the right guy at Quarterback this team can be good.
Linebacker is set for at least the next couple of seasons if they can remain injury free.
True freshman Linebacker Shaquille Quarterman finished the 2016 season as the team’s second leading tackler behind senior Safety Jamal Carter. Quarterman has a knack for the big play, picking up a fumble and returning it 17 yards for a Touchdown. He also had 10 tackles for loss and 3 Quarterback sacks and another 8 Quarterback hurries. Quarterman, will be the Quarterback of the defense and a team leader for the next couple of seasons before he leaves for the NFL.
Michael Pinckney finished fifth on the team in tackles with 61. McCloud finished 10th last season, but those numbers should go up this season.
The Bermuda Triangle Linebackers from back in Miami’s glory days won a national championship. Unless you are a big Florida State, or Florida Gators fan, it would be fun to at least see the freshman Linebackers of 2016 compete for a national title. First, they have to win the ACC Coastal which is becoming harder by the season.
But, Miami has an outstanding Defensive Linemen and they have 3 sophomore Linebackers that should make a huge difference in 2017.