As watch list season continues ahead of the college football season, the Miami Hurricanes on Tuesday saw three top defenders add another preseason accolade and an offensive lineman earn his first recognition ahead of the season.
The new Hurricane honored: senior offensive lineman Tyler Gauthier, who is one of 82 players named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, given annually to college football’s best interior lineman.
UM’s three defensive standouts — senior safety Jaquan Johnson, senior cornerback Michael Jackson and junior linebacker Shaq Quarterman — are among the 97 preseason nominees for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given annually by the Football Writers Association of America to college football’s best defensive player. The three also were named to the preseason All-ACC team on Tuesday.
Gauthier is slated to be the Hurricanes’ starting center after starting all 13 games there last year. He has started 17 straight games dating back to the end of the 2016 season.
Johnson, a second-team All-American by Sports Illustrated in 2017, led UM last season with 96 tackles, four interceptions, eight pass breakups, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Johnson has also been named to the watch lists for the Bednarik Award and the Jim Thorpe Award.
Jackson, a 6-1, 200-pound hard-hitting corner from Birmingham, Alabama, played in 13 games with 10 starts in 2017. He finished with 43 tackles and tied for the team lead with four interceptions while adding five pass breakups. This is Jackson’s second preseason recognition after being named to the Thorpe Award’s watch list on Monday.
Quarterman, who earned second-team All-ACC accolades last season, has started all 26 games of his UM career, recording 167 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, six sacks, six pass deflections, and two fumble recoveries. He finished 2017 second on the team with 83 tackles in addition to seven tackles for loss, five pass breakups, and four quarterback hurries. Quarterman, like Johnson, is also on the watch lists for the Bednarik and Thorpe awards.