Senior linebacker Shaquille Quarterman was the only Miami player found on Sports Illustrated’s list of the best 100 players in the country.
“Quarterman 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.”
34 is a respectable ranking, but it’s confusing as to why he’s the only Hurricane to make an appearance on the list. Players such as Trajan Bandy, Jeff Thomas, Jonathan Garvin, and Michael Pinckney all have solid cases to at least crack the top-100.
Pinckney, also a rising senior, had the 3rd-most tackles for Miami in 2018 — amounting 74 tackles and 3.5 sacks — also earning an honorable mention All-ACC nod.
Jonathan Garvin’s efficiency in 2018 was even more impressive than Pinckney’s — totaling 60 tackles, 17.0 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, and five pass breakups. He possesses the most experience on Miami’s defensive line and is looking to top his breakout sophomore season.
Miami’s inability to move the ball in 2018 could hold the reason as to why no players from offense were found on the list — but there are players who could have ‘easily’ placed within the top-100.
Jeff Thomas had a monster 2018 season despite missing 2 games. The rising junior made acrobatic catches in the season opener against LSU and continued to burn opposing secondaries throughout the remainder of the year. It’s well-known to Hurricane fans that Thomas is a force to be reckoned with — Dan Enos’ system will hopefully give him a chance to shine and display his talent.
If the Manny Diaz Era gets off to a strong start, it’s safe to assume that we’ll see multiple Hurricanes included on the 2020 edition of Sports Illustrated’s list.