GREENSBORO, Ga. - The media's preseason prediction may be right. This may be the year Clemson wins the ACC. Its skill players and speed are magnificent. But after all the anguish I’ve witnessed at Clemson, I will have to see the trophy hoisted to believe it.
GREENSBORO, Ga. — Frank Beamer said Virginia Tech needed both Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon at quarterback to win the ACC title last season but he'd prefer to use just one quarterback this season.
"We've got to get that figured out," Beamer said. "All of us would like to get it down to one quarterback. We made it work last year, but it's still hard [to use two quarterbacks]."
Beamer said he has not discussed the possibility of redshirting Taylor, a sophomore, and thought it was unlikely to happen if Glennon, a senior, beats Taylor out for the starting position.
Despite losing seven starters on defense, its leading rusher and top four receivers, Virginia Tech was the overwhelming pick to win the Coastal Division. Quarterback was the position Beamer felt comfortable with, even with the looming decision.
"It's a good problem to have," Beamer said.
GREENSBORO, Ga. — Tom O'Brien has never had to choose from five potential starters at quarterback. The second-year coach is not in a hurry to name a starter, or even a favorite, for the Aug. 28 opener at South Carolina.
"It's better to make the right decision than just make a decision," O'Brien said. "You name the quarterback when we're comfortable with who it's going to be. Now we're going to have to name one to play South Carolina, that's the drop-dead date."
GREENSBORO, Ga. — UNC coach Butch Davis said he was "a little surprised" that his Tar Heels, who won only four games last season, were picked to finish second in the Coastal Division, behind Virginia Tech. Carolina even received four first-place votes from the media.
"We don't mind the high expectations,'' he said. "...There will be very few years that the media and fans will have higher expectations than the coaches. We realize it's not going to happen overnight, but we're moving in the right direction with our program. When you take a look at the votes ... I don't think it was a landslide for second, third and fourth."
GREENSBORO, Ga. — North Carolina coach Butch Davis called Greg Little’s time as a walk-on with the basketball team “a good experiment,” considering it kept the starting tailback conditioned and other football players had tried it before.
But it sounds as if the sophomore won’t be returning to the hardcourt next season.
GREENSBORO, Ga. — The ACC will look more like the NFL in one way this football season — injury reports.
The conference will adopt a standard guideline for reporting injuries during the week, associate commissioner Mike Finn said Monday at the ACC Kickoff.
Teams will issue a report twice a week. On Monday, season-ending injuries and pending surgeries will be announced by the school's sports medicine staff. On Thursday, an NFL-style report with categories of "Out, Doubtful, Questionable and Probable" will be released.
GREENSBORO, Ga. — Clemson's the preseason pick by the media to win the ACC. The Tigers, who went 9-4 in 2007, received 51 of the 65 votes to win the ACC Championship Game.
Clemson took home 59 of the 65 votes to win the Atlantic Division. Virginia Tech, with 58 votes, was the runaway pick in the Coastal.
The voting process may need to be reviewed though. Miami, Georgia Tech and Virginia each got a first-place vote in the Coastal.
|1. Clemson (59)||1. Virginia Tech (58)|
|2. Wake Forest (5)||2. North Carolina (4)|
|3. Florida State (1)||3. Miami (1)|
|4. Boston College||4. Georgia Tech (1)|
|5. Maryland||5. Virginia (1)|
|6. N.C. State||6. Duke|
The ACC football gathering now under way in Georgia puts the coaches on the hot seat today. The league's coaches will be meeting with the media starting at 3:30 p.m. Check back for updates.
In today's News & Observer, columnist Caulton Tudor outlined why he thinks the Atlantic Division should lead the way again this year. Check it out here.
Perry Simmons, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive lineman from Sanderson commited to play football at Duke.
"I've been to a ton of camps and just felt the most comfortable at Duke. I really liked the coaching staff," Simmons said.
"The coaches are personable and assessable, but are very intense. They are really going to push me hard. I really believe that Duke is going to start winning a lot more games."
Simmons said he had been to camps at North Carolina, N.C. State, Furman, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Virginia. He had scholarship offers from Navy, ECU, Western Carolina and the Blue Devils.
"Duke tells me that Perry is their No. 1 offensive line prospect," said Sanderson coach Jason Tindal. "He is going to be the type of player that Duke can build around."
— Tim Stevens
GREENSBORO, Ga. — Basketball was Hakeem Nicks' first love. Football is his great passion.
But after attending the annual ACC Football Kickoff this weekend, North Carolina's junior wide receiver has another sport he wants to play more: golf.
"I was never a golfer before,'' he said. "But I am very interested now."
Saturday night, the Ritz-Carlton allowed players (two from each ACC school attended) to test their swings on the driving range, and their accuracy on the putting green. Nicks said he wasn't great with a putter, but after about five minutes of instruction, he was one of the longest drivers out there.
"I can hit it far, now I just have to work on it not going left or right,'' he said, laughing. "... I was telling Deunta [Williams, the other Tar Heel in attendance] I can’t wait to get back to school and get TJ [Yates] out there on the golf course."