For three years now, the leader of the Miami Hurricanes defense has been their linebackers, and at the heart of that group is Shaq Quarterman. The junior from Orange Park had perhaps his finest regular season as a Hurricane, and is one of the main reasons why Miami’s defense was an elite force in 2018.
Along with fellow linebackers Zach McCloud and Michael Pinckney, Quarterman joined the trio who all came in and started immediately as freshman in the 2016 season. Quarterman led the way for the three LB’s, and was named to several freshman All-American teams following 2016.
2017 proved to be no sophomore slump for Quarterman either, earning second-team All-ACC, helping Miami reestablish themselves as national contenders, and capturing the schools first ever ACC Coastal division title.
Prior to this season, Quarterman was already gaining national recognition as one of the premiere linebackers in the nation, and was named a preseason All-American.
His performance has lived up to the hype, much to the delight of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and coach Mark Richt, and Canes fans everywhere. As a part of one of the most dominating defenses in the nation, as well as school history, Quarterman tallied 76 tackles, including 13 TFLs and five sacks, both of which were career highs. Against Virginia Tech, Quarterman also recorded his first career interception.
Though the Hurricanes were in the top five in total defense in the country, Quarterman was the lone Cane to be selected first-team All-ACC. With his top-tier performance for Miami throughout his first three seasons at UM, Quarterman has joined the ranks of Ray Lewis, Jon Beason and Dan Morgan as some of the greatest Canes linebackers of all time.
Last December against Wisconsin when these two teams faced off in the Orange Bowl, Quarterman had one of his better games of the season, totaling seven tackles including one for a loss, though Miami fell to the Badgers. Now, #55 leads an even more ferocious Canes defense against this same Wisconsin team in the Pinstripe Bowl, looking for revenge as Miami looks to end 2018 off right.