Thanks, perhaps, to the hiring of new University of Miami head coach Manny Diaz, the Hurricanes have hit the trifecta.
Translation: All three standout starting linebackers have indicated they will return for their senior seasons in 2019.
In addition to strong-side junior linebacker Zach McCloud telling the media before the Pinstripe Bowl that he was returning, and weak-side junior backer Michael Pinckney saying Monday evening on Twitter that he was returning to join Diaz, junior middle linebacker Shaq Quarterman posted Tuesday afternoon on Twitter, “One more round. I’m all in!’’
Quarterman, who earned All-ACC first-team honors this season, has long said he wants that “Natty Championship’’ ring.
With all three starters back, the Canes are heading in the right direction.
Quarterman finished 2018 second on the team in total tackles with 82. He had six sacks, one interception, two pass breakups, six quarterback hurries, one forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Pinckney was third on the team with 74 tackles. He added 3 1/2 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, one interception, two breakups and five quarterback hurries.
Diaz posted a wordless reply to Quarterman on social media about 45 minutes after Quarterman’s tweet. It included five rings, “2019” and a couple of pictures of hands throwing up the U.
The Hurricanes won national titles in 1983, 1987, 1989 and 2001.
Now, the Canes are hoping that gifted junior defensive end Joe Jackson also returns for his final season.