Thursday, March 31, 2011
New era of ACC QBs off to a great start
By Heather Dinich
ACC fans, you should be proud.
I tweeted this last night (@ESPN_ACC), and wanted to reiterate it in the blogosphere: This is a good group of rising ACC quarterbacks.
I don't mean good as in all-conference or Heisman winners -- not even the coaches know what to expect from these guys yet. I mean these players I've been talking to have come across as smart, polite, humble, well-spoken and appear to all be good leaders and representatives of the conference. Several of them -- a Commonwealth contingent -- know each other and have played with or against each other in the past. (Seriously, it's like the six degrees of Tajh Boyd.) Over the past month, I've spoken with or visited with almost every quarterback in the ACC. I'll visit with Boyd on Monday and will make my way to Charlottesville in April, too.
So far, each quarterback has left a lasting impression based on the way he has conducted himself off the field, and based on what his teammates and coaches have said about him. Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas and Florida State's EJ Manuel -- two of the most physically impressive QBs I've seen in the league in a while -- are both on the fast track to graduate.
There are plenty of college football headlines out there right now that have made this sport look dirty. Rules violations, unspeakable allegations, and of course, Auburn.
That's why it's been so refreshing this spring to talk to the likes of Tanner Price. Danny O'Brien. Sean Renfree. Bryn Renner. Mike Glennon. Tevin Washington. The list goes on.
If any or all of them can match their poise off the field with their abilities on it, this could be a special season for a new era of ACC quarterbacks.