CORAL GABLES — Linebackers Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney and Shaquille Quarterman are listed as true freshmen, but don’t tell them that.
“I mean we aren’t freshmen, really. We’re just players,” Pinckney said Tuesday when asked what it’s like to play next to two other freshman linebackers. “The way we look at it, man, we’re just players out there trying to dominate and trying beat everybody else.”
There is one Miami Hurricanes tradition in particular that has freshman linebacker Shaquille Quarterman excited for the team’s season opener.
“Running through the smoke, that’s always been a dream,” Quarterman said. “I hear so many rumors about it, it just puts you in a whole different mode for the game. Running through the smoke is going to be very exciting.
“I heard that it gives you a type of energy. You may think you’re ready to go for the game, but as you run through the smoke, it’s a whole different setting.”
Quarterman and other freshmen spent time at the Hurricanes’ media day Monday talking about what they were excited for when the season starts on Sept. 3. And they all expect Miami to return to its former glory during their time in Coral Gables.
“It’s an honor to play here,” freshman defensive end Joe Jackson said. “I think we’re going to do something really great.”
“We’re trying to bring that back, by fighting on as a team, by going competitively every rep,” defensive back Malek Young said. “Our name’s going to be in some peoples’ mouths this year.”