NAME: Shaq Quarterman
JERSEY: No. 55
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 240 lbs
The middle backer of the much-hyped Hurricanes defense that features the infamous turnover chain, Quarterman is a buzzy prospect. He looks the part and showcases ideal athleticism for a MIKE linebacker. He’s even racked up an impressive 167 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, six sacks and six pass breakups across his two seasons as a starter. A consensus four-star recruit, Quarterman immediately became a starter and has started all 26 games of his career.
And while Quarterman has some appeal, his tape is littered with concerns that need to be ironed out. Quarterman is guilty of frequently under-pursuing and is regularly caught running in circles. Generally speaking, his angles are off and it causes issues for him in space when trying to come to balance and make a tackle.
When playing downhill or laterally, Quarterman takes on blocks with his shoulders and lacks the technique with his hands to stack and shed blocks. The result is detrimental to the defense as he regularly gets turned out of gaps and space is created for the opposing offense. His pad level has a tendency to get high and blockers have their way with him. His struggles to play through contact and poor angles get him caught in the crossfire and stuck in traffic when trying to pursue the football. As a finisher, Quarterman has a tendency to duck his head on contact which leads to whiffs on the ball carrier. He doesn’t appear comfortable in coverage and is late to work into throwing widows in zone coverage. Additionally, his lateral mobility is modest which impacts his ability to win in coverage and in space.
Becoming a more polished linebacker with better mental processing is critical for Quarterman to showcase in 2018.