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Thursday, May 14, 2009
Scouting the ACC's offensive lines

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Thanks to reader "Bentongreen" for pointing out a great link in the Wall Street Journal that takes a look at offensive lines throughout the country and makes it easy to see who's got what coming back in the ACC in 2009.

It's no coincidence that the five teams with the most starting experience returning -- Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Florida State, Boston College and Clemson, respectively -- are probably going to feature the best offensive lines this season. Just because the Hokies have the most starting experience, though, doesn't mean they'll have the best line.

Florida State could very well challenge them for that distinction, and they're good enough that the Noles should have one of their most productive seasons running the ball in recent years, despite the youth at running back. The inexperience and lack of depth at wide receiver can be masked by running the ball, so it wouldn't be surprising if FSU's passing game looked like Virginia Tech's did in 2008.

And Boston College takes great pride in its strong tradition up front, and has two all-ACC candidates in Matt Tennant and Anthony Castonzo. The Eagles return four starters, and like Florida State, will look to the running game for help. And the return of Chris DeGeare from academic struggles at Wake Forest will give the Demon Deacons an immediate boost. As for Clemson, we all know what a patchwork job that line was last season, but it should be a strength of the team in 2009.

Here are some of the ACC's top offensive linemen heading into 2009:

TACKLES

GUARDS

CENTERS