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2017 Miami Hurricanes SOTU Awards: Defensive Player of the Year

Many players had stellar seasons on the defensive side of the ball. But who was the top performer?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 04 Virginia Tech at Miami Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’re back again to continue the voting for the 2017 State of the U awards. In case you missed the first 2 categories, here they are:

Game of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.

And now, we continue our 2017 Miami Hurricanes Football awards with the next category: Defensive Player of the Year.

And the nominees are...

Defensive Tackle RJ McIntosh

Stats: 52 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 7 PBUs, 1 FF, 1 FR

One of the best players on Miami’s defensive line, McIntosh routinely made plays, and disrupted opposing offenses every single game of the year. McIntosh’s combination of size and quickness was tough for teams to deal with, and that’s what led him to put up the stats listed above.

For his efforts, McIntosh was named 2nd team All-ACC in 2017, and I’m sure the rest of the ACC Coastal teams are happy he’s taking his talents to the NFL instead of sticking around to torment them for another season.

Safety Jaquan Johnson

Stats: 96 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 4 PBUs, 3 FF, 2 FR, 4 INT, 57 INT return yards, TD

The unquestioned leader of Miami’s defense, “The Franchise” stepped his game up by a large margin in 2017. He was Miami’s leading tackler, a force in the pass and run games, and routinely made big play after big play throughout the season. Johnson, who played SS, FS, and Nickel this season, was Miami’s leading tackler. When talking about “best defenders”, that seems like a thing to mention, no?

Johnson was absolutely ROBBED of 1st team All-ACC and All-American honors — others had bigger “household names” but Johnson had the better season, and you can fight me about it — but was still 2nd team All-ACC for his season.

Linebacker Michael Pinckney

Stats: 68 tackles, 11.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 PBU, 1 INT, 1 FR

Through his first 2 seasons at Miami, Pinckney has rightfully earned a reputation as an impact player on Miami’s defense. Just look at his 11 tackles for loss; that was 4th on the Canes (man, there were A LOT of TFLs this year).

No matter which game you watch, seeing Pinckney making plays is a thing that’s going to happen. He increased his stats across the board from his freshman to sophomore year, and could be counted on to make big plays when the defense needed it — just think back to that 4th down sack early in the Duke game for proof positive of that.

Linebacker Shaquille Quarterman

Stats: 83 tackles, 7.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 5 PBU, 1 FR

Miami’ 2nd leading tackler, Quarterman, like Pinckney, increased his stats across the board as a sophomore. On top of that, as the team’s Middle Linebacker, Quarterman was in charge of making the defensive calls, and getting everyone properly aligned before the snap. That is a key job, and it helped the other players on defense get in the right position to make plays.

Like McIntosh and Johnson, Quarterman was named 2nd Team All-ACC for his performance in 2017.

Cornerback Michael Jackson

Stats: 43 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 4 PBU, 4 INT, 1 FR

Once a low-rated recruit, Jackson blossomed into a very good player in 2017. He was tied with Johnson with a team-high 4 interceptions on the season, and provided great coverage throughout the year.

In addition, the 6’1” 200lb Jackson was a force in the run game, and made plays as a blitzer as well — just look at the TFLs and a SACK for Miami’s #1 corner. Jackson, like Johnson, McIntosh, and Quarterman, was a 2nd team All-ACC player in 2017.

Defensive End Trent Harris

Stats: 37 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 1 FR

Good old Trusty Trent Harris is your final DPOY nominee. Throughout his 4 year career at Miami Harris consistently did one thing: his job. Keep contain. Cover the TE. Stop the run. Rush the passer. No matter the task, Harris invariably made the right choice and did his job, and that can’t be overlooked.

In 2017, Harris took his game to another level. He had career-highs in both TFLs and Sacks — his 8.5 of the latter led Miami’s team in 2017 — and helped Miami perform at a level that had’t been seen in years. No, he’s not the flashiest player ever, but Harris is damn good, and you better not forget it. Harris was voted 3rd team All-ACC in 2017, and I wonder what his numbers would have been like if he had, you know, BEEN A STARTER this season (but I fully understand the talent on this roster, and why he wasn’t).

Honorable Mention: DT Kendrick Norton, S Sheldrick Redwine, CB Dee Delaney, CB Trajan Bandy, DE Joe Jackson, DE Jon Garvin, CB Malek Young

Those are the nominees for Defensive Player of the Year. Who you got?


Who was the 2017 Miami Hurricanes Defensive Player of the Year?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    DT RJ McIntosh
    (29 votes)
  • 35%
    S Jaquan Johnson
    (314 votes)
  • 1%
    LB Michael Pinckney
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    LB Shaq Quarterman
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    CB Michael Jackson
    (11 votes)
  • 57%
    DE Trent Harris
    (510 votes)
888 votes total Vote Now

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