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Friday, April 12, 2013
Friday mailblog

By Heather Dinich

The mobile office is on the road to Pitt today ...

Kelsi in Robertsdale, Ala., writes: What do you think about the state of FSU's Dline now that our dynamic duo of Warner and Carradine are gone?

HD: There is plenty of talent waiting in the wings, and the group will eventually dominate again. But you don't just replace two potential first-round draft picks in one spring. Don't forget they're also really going to miss the leadership of Anthony McCloud and Everett Dawkins. Guys like Timmy Jernigan, Giorgio Newberry and Mario Edwards Jr. are studs, and don't forget about Chris Casher, who missed last season with an injury. This is group is reloading, not rebuilding.




Kyle in Fort Lauderdale, Fla,: HD,It's been a while since the Canes have cracked the Top 25. Do you think they'll be nationally ranked this season?

HD: If not they've underachieved -- or they're ineligible.




Steve in Cincinnati writes: Will the ACC add two more teams anytime soon? If so would UC be in the running?

HD: I don't see it. There has been no indication of that from ACC officials in Greensboro, and the conference has expressed it is content at 14. Cincy did what it could to woo the ACC, including sending a Christmas card. I think that ship has sailed.




Ryan in Phoenix writes: Logan Thomas for Heisman! You heard it here first.

HD: Yep, that's the first I've heard it. Virginia Tech's offense -- not just Thomas -- has to show some major progress before we go there.




Robert in Texas writes: would u agree that nc state is the mystery team of the acc? I love who they hired but for some reason this is not a consistent program that is what got tom o"brien fired

HD: The entire ACC is a mystery, but yes, NC State is its ringleader. With upsets over Florida State and Clemson in recent years, and then losses to Virginia, etc., the Pack has been one of the league's most perplexing teams. Yes, that is one of the reasons O'Brien is no longer the head coach. I think Dave Doeren needs some time to install his ideas and see if he can bring some consistency to the program.




Alex in cusetown writes: last year I honestly thought Syracuse would go 7-5 and I was laughed at. I still like syracuses chances at a bowl behind their running game and some solid hardnosed shafer defense. curious about your thoughts on the cuse

HD: It definitely helps the transition to have Scott Shafer as the man taking over, but there are still plenty of changes, and with a new quarterback come questions. Unfortunately for Syracuse, it is stuck in the top-heavy Atlantic Division with FSU and Clemson, and I think that is going to make for a rough transition this fall, especially with so many other changes within the program.




Jake in Montreal writes: Hey HD, any update on GT's spring practices on players? position battles? Also, how much of a difference will there be in the a-backs, b-backs and QB position now that coach Johnson is taking over in that area?

HD: Paul Johnson’s time as quarterbacks and B-backs coach (Lamar Owens has coached A-backs all along) was short-lived. Bryan Cook, who was co-offensive coordinator at Cal Poly, took over those duties recently. While at Cal Poly, Cook directed an offense almost identical, in terms of scheme, to Georgia Tech’s.

Concerning position battles, Tech should have some very interesting ones in August as a number of starters or potential starters are out with injuries this spring. However, all eyes may be on the battle at quarterback, where sophomore Vad Lee leads redshirt freshman Justin Thomas only by a nose. Johnson has hinted that he will play both quarterbacks this fall.




Philip B. Miller in Del Rio, Texas, writes: From what I've read, Pitt intends to not permit Rushel Shell to transfer to an ACC school (which may be a moot point in that indications suggest he's headed to the far west). In the event that it's not, does the restriction also apply to the AAC's Louisville, which will be an ACC school by the time he can play again? Thank you in advance! Philip

HD: I have to double check, but most schools typically do not allow a player to transfer to a program that is a future opponent. In this case, Pitt would anticipate playing Louisville in 2014, so that would fall under that header. My guess is that yes, this restriction would apply to Louisville.




John in Greenville, N.C., writes: HD-Have you seen T.J. Logan play? In your opinion is he as good as advertised and can he "almost" replace Gio?

HD: I don't think it's fair to expect one player to replace Gio. I have not seen TJ. play. He's a true freshman, so it depends on how quickly he picks up the offense. Remember, Giovani did not play his first year. I think it would be more fair to focus on the returning guys -- who are pretty darn good -- Romar Morris and A.J. Blue. UNC also has a true freshman, Khris Francis, who enrolled in January and is going through spring practice right now.