Thursday, May 5, 2011
Best of spring
By ESPN.com staff
Best spring game atmosphere: Florida State. The Seminoles had a record crowd of 53,818, which was the third most nationally behind Alabama and Nebraska. The weekend featured a downtown block party with several bands, including country artist Jake Owen, and there were fireworks Friday. A barbecue cookoff contest began Saturday morning before the game, and at halftime former FSU greats played a flag football game.
Best spring game performance: Miami running back Lamar Miller. His touchdown runs of 70 and 64 yards led the Green team past the Orange team 30-17. He finished the day with 10 carries for 166 yards.
Best performance by a freshman: Georgia Tech quarterback Synjyn Days rushed for 112 yards and scored two touchdowns (one rushing, one passing) to lead the Gold past the White 21-7 on April 23.
Best story of the spring: The first-year quarterbacks headlined spring football in the ACC this year, and the future of the position looks bright. Florida State's EJ Manuel, Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas, North Carolina's Bryn Renner, NC State's Mike Glennon and Clemson's Tajh Boyd each made notable progress this spring and earned the praise of their coaches.
Best position change: Maryland safety Kenny Tate to linebacker. Tate was moved to the "star" position under first-year coach Randy Edsall, a hybrid free safety/linebacker position. Tate had been playing close to the line of scrimmage anyway, and Edsall thinks this is where Tate will have the most success at the next level.
Best quote: "Last season doesn't cut it," Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. "It's not like we have a season like we had last year, we can't all get together at Chuck E. Cheese and hand out trophies. At this level, it just doesn't happen and our guys have to understand it. If you don't practice, it's going to be hard for us to be a good football team. We have to have durable and dependable guys."
Best position competition: Virginia's quarterbacks. Ross Metheny, Michael Rocco, Michael Strauss and true freshman David Watford were unable to create any separation this spring, so the competition will continue this summer. Coach Mike London has said they have a chance to separate themselves before then by taking ownership of the voluntary workouts and dedicating themselves to the film room. While Metheny and Rocco are the only two with any game experience, London has said that's not necessarily an edge.