Caulton Tudor – staff columnist
In addition to the losses being absorbed by ACC football teams in bowl games, the league is off to a blistering pace on the NFL Draft underclassmen declaration front.
Five Miami players already have filed for inclusion in the April 26-27 draft. Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to enter. At this rate, the ACC may have to good-bye gala.
N.C. State linebacker Terrell Manning on Tuesday joined a group that already included UNC defensive lineman Donte Paige-Moss, Wake Forest receiver Chris Givens and Virginia Tech cornerback Jay Hosley in addition to the Miami crowd.
At least a dozen more league players are certain to at least consider making the jump. League player of the year David Wilson, a junior running back at Virginia Tech, and Florida State red-shirt junior quarterback EJ Manuel are seen as likely draft picks.
Manuel didn’t have a huge year for the Seminoles (9-4, 5-3). He completed 65 percent of his 311 passes for 2,666 yards and 18 touchdown passes (eight picks). But at 6-4 and 240 pounds with above-average quickness, Manuel meets the popular pro quarterback size mold.
Among those leaving Miami (6-6, 3-5), sophomore running back Lamar Miller is the most important. With 1,272 yards rushing, Miller was second only to Wilson (1,627) in the league.
Joining Miller are teammates Olivier Vernon (junior defensive end), Brandon Washington (junior offensive lineman), Tommy Streeter (junior receiver) and Marc Forston (junior defensive lineman).
NCSU quarterback Mike Glennon (3,054 yards passing, 31 TD strikes) has announced his intention to return for his final season.