Three freshmen linebackers praised by Miami Hurricanes coaches

CORAL GABLES — While they seem like bright, intelligent young men who are not adverse to the classroom, Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud are much happier on the practice field, taking tests in College Football 101.

Especially since they’re grading out highly.

Quarterman

Quarterman

Miami’s three true freshman linebackers — Quarterman, a middle linebacker who wears No. 55, McCloud (strong side, No. 53) and Pinckney (weak side, No. 56) — enrolled in January and are already impressing their coaches in spring drills.

“They’re all mature beyond their years. They’ve not been daunted being on the field with guys three or four years than them,” defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said, joking that “they should all be in English 12 right now, reading The Great Gatsby or something.”

Instead, they’re studying their playbooks, scanning the quarterback’s eyes and seeing where the running backs and tight ends line up — and, according to coach Mark Richt, making two of the highlight plays of last Saturday’s scrimmage.

Click here to read more about the three linebackers, including their comments and the key factors that could lead to early playing time this fall.

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