Defense: Johnson and Quarterman ready to put 2017 behind them, see who's improved in spring

Defense: Johnson and Quarterman ready to put 2017 behind them, see who's improved in spring

Stefan Adams
Johnson: "All we’re thinking about now is upcoming games, and that’s LSU"


After a tough finish to the 2017, senior safety Jaquan Johnson and the Miami Hurricanes’ mentality in spring ball is to put the past where it belongs and start fresh in 2018.

“When we come out here, we come out with the mindset we want to erase last year,” Johnson said. “We’re coming out here a new team, new faces, and we’re trying to be leaders and compete every day. That’s how we go about our business.”

Even though the opener against the Tigers is 6 months away, the team has been watching film on LSU since January.

“All we’re thinking about now is upcoming games, and that’s LSU. That’s the first one on our schedule,” Johnson said.

A former leader of the DB unit, Malek Young suffered a career-ending neck injury in the Orange Bowl against Wisconsin in the final game of last year. Today, he was with the team for their first spring practice and helped coach Mike Rumph run the cornerback drills.

“That means everything, he’s a tough guy,” Johnson said. “He’s a tough guy, is coming out here to coach up the cornerbacks. I talk to him all the time, we’re always together and he’s taking charge every day to make sure his mind is free and he’s feeling well.”

In the early viewing portion of the practice available to the media, Johnson curiously was not out on the field. However, that was due to the senior’s class schedule this spring.

“I had class this morning, had to leave after team meetings, but I came back,” Johnson said.” It’s all good. Being a student-athlete, it comes with the territory,” Johnson said.


Quarterman looking for accountability within team, loves new coach Patke


The Canes are aiming to use their time wisely in their 15 spring practices, getting the freshmen caught up to speed and shoring up the depth at the bottom of the roster. Junior linebacker Shaquille Quarterman is ready to see how the competition in spring will breed progress and improve the defensive unit for 2018.

“We look forward to getting better,” Quarterman said. “It’s always fun, especially grinding with your brothers, like my family. We just come out here and get better. The competitive nature we bring forth from both sides, it really gets everybody better. I like to compete, we all like to compete. That’s what we look forward to.”

With the NCAA allowing for a 10th assistant coach in 2018, the Canes decided to promote from within and hire defensive assistant Jon Patke as the new outside linebackers coach.

“Oh, I love Patke,” Quarterman said. “I’m so glad he got the job. It’s well deserved. He does a lot for us. He always helps me out. He’s just a great guy, great coach. He’s really fun, cracks jokes the way we crack jokes on each other. That’s a testament to what type of love he has for this game and this team.”

Talking to OC Thomas Brown earlier, he said the staff has made a point to harp on the team about getting more of a “players coaching players” atmosphere within the team. While Quarterman is now officially an upperclassman as a true junior, he’s been looked to as a defensive leader on the Canes since last season and he sees it as his duty to raise the rest of the roster’s play.

“We have to help everyone come to where they need to be,” Quarterman said. “Everyone has to get acclimated to how we play this game, because we play different than a lot of teams. So we are just going to grind it out every day, day in and day out, can’t let each other slack, have to hold each other accountable.”
 

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2021 Commits

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190
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S
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200
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