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Pair of Hurricanes named to preseason watch list for Jim Thorpe Award

Jackson, Johnson recognized; Quarterman named Butkus Award candidate

Miami cornerback Michael Jackson (left) and safety Jaquan Johnson are preseason candidates for the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award.
Miami cornerback Michael Jackson (left) and safety Jaquan Johnson are preseason candidates for the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award. (Getty Images)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes continue to rack up individual preseason accolades.

Senior defensive backs Michael Jackson and Jaquan Johnson were among 35 players named Monday to the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award.

As the starting cornerback for the Hurricanes last season, Jackson was tied for the team lead with four interceptions, including two in a win against Syracuse.

Johnson led the Hurricanes with 96 total tackles as a starting safety in 2017. Johnson, who hasn't missed a game since enrolling at Miami in January 2015, has totaled 160 tackles, forced four fumbles, recovered three fumbles and intercepted six passes in his career.

Not to be outdone, junior linebacker Shaq Quarterman was named to the preseason watch list for the Butkus Award on the same day. The second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree in 2017 has amassed 167 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss, six sacks and two fumble recoveries in his career.

Miami Hurricanes linebacker Shaq Quarterman chases down Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois during the second half of Florida State's 20-19 victory on Oct. 9, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Miami Hurricanes linebacker Shaq Quarterman chases down Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois during the second half of Florida State's 20-19 victory on Oct. 9, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

The Jim Thorpe Award is given to the top defensive back in college football, while the Butkus Award is presented to the top linebacker.

Jackson, Johnson and Quarterman join running back Travis Homer and wide receiver Ahmmon Richards as preseason candidates for individual awards. Homer was named to the Doak Walker Award watch list, while Richards was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list.

Bennie Blades remains the only Miami player to take home the Jim Thorpe Award in 1987. Dan Morgan was Miami's lone recipient of the Butkus Award in 2000.