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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Best of the ACC's spring

By Andrea Adelson


Best spring game performance: That belongs to none other than "Famous" Jameis Winston, whose performance sent Clint Trickett packing his bags less than a week later. While coach Jimbo Fisher did not proclaim Winston his starter, Trickett probably knew what was coming after being outplayed in the spring game. Winston went 12-of-15 for 205 yards and two touchdowns -- one of them a long score on his first throw. This, by the way, while he moonlights for the baseball team. Talk about taking advantage when the spotlight is on.

Best overall spring: Nobody had a better spring than commissioner John Swofford. Nobody. A league many believed to be teetering on the brink of another raid solidified itself well into the future with a grant of rights agreement that makes it next to impossible for any school to leave without incurring major financial debt for a lifetime. While all these football teams worked on their techniques, Swofford was mastering his. That's all that matters right now in the ACC.

Best addition: Syracuse has been enmeshed in a quarterback controversy all spring, but it's not going to let up until the fall, not with Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen coming onboard later this summer. Allen sat behind Sam Bradford and Landry Jones and is hoping to find his way into the starting lineup. He gives Syracuse a high-quality transfer from a high-quality program, but he's going to have to fight off hard-charging Terrel Hunt and Charley Loeb for the starting job.

Best performance by an early enrollee: Two-way tie here between Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Facyson and Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett. Facyson turned heads when spring practice opened, so much so that he has given himself an opportunity to be on the field when the season opens against Alabama. Leggett, meanwhile, has got a terrific opportunity to start at tight end when the season opens against Georgia because of a knee injury to Sam Cooper. Leggett had a great spring game, with seven receptions for 97 yards and the game-winning touchdown.

Best underdog story: Take a look at the spring Virginia center Jackson Matteo had. The walk-on opened practice as the backup behind senior Luke Bowanko, who started every game last year. By the end of spring, Bowanko was moved to left guard and Matteo was listed as the starting center. Matteo, a redshirt freshman, turned down a scholarship offer from Temple to be a preferred walk-on for the Hoos last year. And yes, he remains walk-on, though he has an opportunity to earn a scholarship in the fall.