Football IQ - Sharp. He is quick to snap his feet and get aligned to work into pursuit. Has seen it all as a 4-year starter and well polished and disciplined in his keys to gain ground towards the football — as evidenced by his TFL production. He's done well to limit movement and length restrictions, too.
Tackling - Don't let him catch you flush or he will KNOCK. YOU. OUT. Tremendous hitting power and has put some really good ball carriers flat on their backs. Takes strong angles, although his tackle radius can be somewhat tempered by his lack of reach and he needs frame clean to finish with authority.
Block Shedding - He's got a nifty little slip move that allows him to duck contact. If you can catch him in tight quarters, you can envelope him due to only modest extension skills. If he decides to plug the gap, he's going to keep it plugged — will get under pads and collapse OL with authority in the run game.
Competitive Toughness - Physical and emotional leader on Canes defense, he's an intense competitor and love the fire that he brings to the game in the box. He's as stout as they come and built thick, which allows him to absolutely unload on the opposition when he's got ball carriers in the cross hairs. Does well to sink and get leverage.
Lateral Mobility - Isn't overly dynamic in this area. He'll challenge plays inside the numbers well enough and has good linear burst once he's got himself down hill. But if you test him off tackle or with wide/ outside zone, you can find success pressing him into gaps and then bouncing to gain free access to the 2nd level.
Coverage Skills - Shallow zones only, please. He doesn't have the foot speed, hip hinge or length to thrive in space in hook/curl or as a Tampa 2 drop MIKE. He can step up in space and fill against RBs on check downs but if he's too isolated on an island, dynamic backs can wiggle him loose and break contain.
Gap Shooting Ability - He's quick to trigger down hill and has the density to push through lateral contact once he's built momentum. He will OWN C-gap to C-gap in the ground game and will be a persistent thorn in blocking run schemes. Build up speed allows him to work back into plays if team defense/ contain is sufficient.
Feet/COD - Doesn't illustrate a high level of foot speed, which is notable when you task him with going any way other than forward. He's agile enough to duck under IOL blocks when they climb to the 2nd level but he's not overly springy in lateral spaces and shallow angles allow him to change directions best.
Flexibility - His linear coil is terrific. Will blow you away with his unload in the box. He's got more issues getting himself open out of his run read steps and as a result OL can climb and beat him to the spot. Fortunately he's got natural leverage built into his frame with how compact his frame is.
First Step Explosiveness - Got the goods when he's attacking the A or B gaps. Short strides put out a lot of power when he's working in straight lines and he often anticipates flow coming out of the mesh point to uncover and meet the ball carrier directly in the hole. Regularly transfers that explosive power into tackles.
Best Trait - Tackling
Worst Trait - Flexibility
Best Film - Florida State (2019)
Worst Film - LSU (2018)
Red Flags - None
Summary - Shaq Quarterman is old school! This is a violent hitter in the middle who thrives in run defending and blitzing as a forward playing linebacker who imposes his will on the opposition. Terrific finisher as a tackler and tremendous pop in his pads. His pass coverage contributions will be minimal due to his lack of range, but teams in need of some *THUD* in run support would be wise to scoop him up. Savvy to help mask his physical restrictions but at his core he's an early down LB.