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Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Updating ACC quarterback competitions

By Andrea Adelson

With a little over one week to go before most teams begin reporting for fall practice, let us take a look at where some of the open quarterback competitions stand now that we have some updated comments from the coaches at ACC media days.

FLORIDA STATE: Not much of an update from coach Jimbo Fisher, who insists his quarterback competition remains open between presumed starter Jameis Winston and Jacob Coker. Fisher did say preparations for the opener will begin a little earlier than usual because the Noles open the season with a conference opponent in Pitt. Otherwise, Fisher reiterated what he has said since Clint Trickett transferred.

"Whoever wins that job, I think you have two guys who are very talented, very capable that the team respects, have arm talent, have leg talent and have mental talent, Fisher said. "They learned to study the game and understand it."

NC STATE: Coach Dave Doeren said five quarterbacks are in the mix to win the starting job. Manny Stocker and Pete Thomas were the only two in the mix after spring practice. Since then, Arkansas transfer Brandon Mitchell joined the roster, and freshmen Bryant Shirreffs and Josh Taylor have enrolled. Remember, Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett has to sit out a year because of NCAA rules.

"I do like the fact that I got here, and there were two quarterbacks to deal with, and now there's five," Doeren said. "So I have better odds of maybe one of them being good enough to get it done. We'll see how it ends up.

On the possibility of playing a freshman, Doeren said, "It worked for A&M last year. If that's where it ends up, that's where it ends up. I've had two first-year starters the last two years. Playing freshmen is not ideal, but there are examples out there that freshmen can play at this level. I'm not going to rule it out until we see them practice."

PITT: Coach Paul Chryst maintained the stance he has held since the end of spring practice -- nothing with his quarterbacks is a done deal. Tom Savage ended the spring No. 1 on the depth chart, ahead of Chad Voytik, but the competition will remain open in fall camp.

SYRACUSE: Coach Scott Shafer was asked repeatedly about his quarterback competition, which features one more player this fall with Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen. Shafer's answer sounded a lot like what reporters heard from Fisher, Chryst and Doeren -- nothing has been decided.

"I'm concerned about the quarterback position, but I love the character behind each kid that's fighting to become the starter," Shafer said. "I love the passion of the kids that play the game. They love football. They love their football, and they're working hard at it."

VIRGINIA: Of these five schools, UVa is the one that had the most significant news. Coach Mike London said David Watford enters fall camp No. 1 on the depth chart. Furthermore, London does not plan on shuffling quarterbacks this season the way he has done over the last several years.

"Early on in August camp, you’ll know definitively who the starting quarterback is and I would say as we ended spring practice, the guy who has the most experience would be David,” London said. “The rein is not handed to David because Greyson Lambert is gonna be special as well, but we want to be able to, with the new coaches we’ve had on staff ... pick a guy early."