Heading into a big junior campaign at Orange Park (Fla.) Oakleaf high school, 2016 four-star middle linebacker Shaquille Quarterman had a one-track mind when it came to the area of his game he wanted to improve the most.
“Starting off my junior year I knew I wanted to be better with my hands and shed blocks, so I focused on that a lot,” Quarterman told Scout.
“I wanted to be on the ball more and make more tackles and so when I honed those skills I started to make more plays.”
Committing to Al Golden and the Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes back in June of 2014, Quarterman called the verbal a no brainer from a personal standpoint, as well as football.
“What played into my decision is they have a great academic program, I love the defense, the coaches and I fit perfectly into the defensive scheme,” Quarterman said. “I’ve also been a lifelong Miami fan.”
Despite his commitment to the Hurricanes, Quarterman made it clear his recruiting process wasn’t near completion just yet, venturing to Gainesville to visit Florida on multiple occasions during the summer and for the Gators’ game against LSU.
Part of the reason for that interest in Florida was his relationship with then Gators’ defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, who also coached the linebackers.
“Me and Coach Durkin used to talk when he was at Florida,” Quarterman said. “He’s a pretty passionate guy for the game.
“He’s a guy you would want behind you and a special type of guy, especially as your position coach.”
With Durkin now off to Ann Arbor as defensive coordinator of the Michigan Wolverines under new Coach Jim Harbaugh, Quarterman called the move a good one, envisioning a bright future for the program.
“I love Coach Harbaugh,” Quarterman said. “When he was at San Francisco I loved seeing him coach and watching his teams. I’m glad he went to Michigan and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Michigan come up.”
For the 6-foot-1, 228-pound and No. 6 rated middle linebacker in the country in the 2016 class, a call from the Wolverines could open up a new door in his recruitment.
“Yeah I would listen (if Michigan called),” he said. “I don’t know how much of an impact it would have but I would listen.”