If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I was, and really till am, obsessed with EA’s NCAA Football franchise. I’ve written about the series multiple times on SOTU, covering what if it came back for 2020 and the 2018 impact players (here and here, respectively). Hell, I’ve even written a piece about Bill Walsh College Football (here), NCAA Football’s predecessor.
The series was typically released on the Tuesday after the 4th of July and this July 9th would actually be the release date for the 2014 edition (release in 2013) that was the final installment of the series.
If the game was released today, here is who I think would be Miami’s three impact players.
Shaquille Quarterman, Linebacker
For the 3rd consecutive year, Shaquille Quarterman would be an impact player for the Miami Hurricanes. Quarterman has the ability to be a four year starter at middle linebacker for the ‘Canes. Over the past three seasons Quarterman has logged 249 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and an interception. He’s been the consistent force inside for Miami while defensive linemen have left early for the NFL Draft and the other linebackers have had bigger peaks and valleys.
Quarterman wrapped up the 2018 season with a first-team All-ACC nod and should do the same in 2019. He’ll be surrounded again by Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney and Romeo Finley. The trio of McCloud, Pinckney and Quarterman haven’t quite lived up to the Bermuda Triangle 2.0 moniker many ‘Canes followers gave them early on but Shaq would definitely be an impact player.
Player Rating: 96
Jeff Thomas, Wide Receiver
I feel like at some point in every EA NCAA Football game you played Lee Corso would say, “Speed kills.” Indeed, the NCAA franchise loved fast players and Jeff Thomas would be no exception to that rule. His character has left a lot to be desired but there’s no doubting that Thomas is a threat with the football in his hands. The consensus four-star prospect out of St. Louis, MO would be a 99 speed rating for NCAA 2020.
Miami would need an impact player on offense and I can’t see it being Deejay Dallas, yet, or one of the quarterbacks. Over two seasons with putrid quarterback play, Thomas has caught 52 balls for 937 yards and five touchdowns. Thomas has averaged 18 yards per catch and almost 23 yards per kickoff return. The five-foot-ten vertical threat would be an awesome weapon to have on kickoff returns and in the slot.
Player Rating: 94
Jonathan Garvin, Defensive End
The six-foot-four, 250 pound junior has played in 26 games as a Hurricane in two seasons. Jonathan Garvin started all 13 games in 2018 and had a massive season as a run stopper. The young man from Lake Worth, FL has logged 69 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, with four forced fumbles, five passes defense and a defensive touchdown. Garvin’s stat line has screamed havoc in Manny Diaz’s havoc inducing defense.
The NCAA franchise loved tough guy defensive ends and Garvin would be no exception. The rising junior is on many award watch lists and is a pre-season All-ACC player per Phil Steele. If Nesta Silvera has progressed as quickly as rumored then Garvin could be in for an All-ACC season and an early entrance into the NFL Draft.
Player Rating: 94
On the bubble
Brevin Jordan, Deejay Dallas, and Trajan Bandy would all be bubble players in NCAA 2020. Jordan needs to solidify a better body of work over the 2019 season. Dallas has been moved around quite a bit from wide receiver to running back and at times has played some quarterback. He would be a really fun weapon to use in the game and a sure-fire impact player for ‘21. Bandy isn’t necessarily getting the respect out there that he deserves as a young player who already has 14 passes defensed and four interceptions.