JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – By car, getting from Jacksonville to Coral Gables is about a five-hour drive. That hasn’t stopped the Hurricanes from plucking several players from the First Coast.
On Wednesday, Miami head coach Manny Diaz was in town to meet with alumni and fans.
Before taking over as the head coach in late December, Diaz was the Hurricanes defensive coordinator/linebackers coach. He’s a big reason why linebackers Shaq Quarterman (Oakleaf) and Mike Pinckney (Raines) signed with Miami.
“Quarterman and Pinckney are our best leaders,” said Diaz. “They came back for their senior year because they wanted to make Miami better. They really believe it’s their mission to leave Miami in a better place than they found it. That’s really rare in this day and age. A guy that thinks bigger than himself. We've got two that just happen to be from here in Jacksonville.”
Quarterman and Pinckney are just two of a handful of players from the 904 that now call Miami home.
Lot of locals there these days. Jeremiah Payton (Fletcher), Deejay Dallas & Zalon'tae Hillery (Glynn), Augie DeBiase (Raines), Derrick Smith (TC), Marshall Few (PV), Bradley Jennings & Jordan Miller (Swood), Shaq Quarterman (Oakleaf), Mike Pinckney (Raines), Will Mallory (Prov). https://t.co/KqiCk2YBHN— Justin Barney (@JustinBarneyTV) May 15, 2019
“Duval County has been so good to us,” said Diaz. “Everybody knows with recruiting you have to win the state of Miami. But we consider Duval County part of Miami.”