ACC: Andrew Miller

The NFL draft concluded with 42 ACC players selected last weekend, and a slew more ended up signing free-agent deals in the days afterward.

Here’s a quick rundown of where the ACC’s undrafted free agents landed.

BOSTON COLLEGE
QB Chase Rettig, Green Bay Packers
OLB Kasim Edebali, New Orleans Saints
LB Steele Divitto, New York Jets
OT Ian White, San Diego Chargers
OT Matt Patchan, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DB Albert Louis-Jean, Chicago Bears

CLEMSON
K Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona Cardinals
G Tyler Shatley, Jacksonville Jaguars
LB Spencer Shuey, Jacksonville Jaguars
CB Darius Robinson, Buffalo Bills

DUKE
RB Juwan Thompson, Denver Broncos
DE Kenny Anunike, Denver Broncos

FLORIDA STATE
LB Christian Jones, Chicago Bears
RB James Wilder Jr., Cincinnati Bengals
WR Kenny Shaw, Cleveland Browns
FB Chad Abram, Detroit Lions
DT Demonte McAllister, Seattle Seahawks
DT Jacobbi McDaniel, Cleveland Browns

GEORGIA TECH
DT Euclid Cummings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
CB Lou Young, Denver Broncos
DE Emmanuel Dieke, New York Giants

LOUISVILLE
DT Roy Philon, Pittsburgh Steelers
S Hakeem Smith, Tennessee Titans
DT Brandon Dunn, Chicago Bears
WR Damian Copeland, Jacksonville Jaguars

MIAMI
WR Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars
QB Stephen Morris, Jacksonville Jaguars
TE Asante Cleveland, San Francisco 49ers
DT Justin Renfrow, Arizona Cardinals
FB Maurice Hagens, Atlanta Falcons
S A.J. Highsmith, San Francisco 49ers
OG Jared Wheeler, Carolina Panthers
LB Jimmy Gaines, Buffalo Bills

NORTH CAROLINA
OT James Hurst, Baltimore Ravens
QB Bryn Renner, Denver Broncos

NC STATE
DE Carlos Gray, Green Bay Packers
TE Asa Watson, New England Patriots
DL Deylan Buntyn, New England Patriots

PITTSBURGH
P Matt Yoklic, Atlanta Falcons

SYRACUSE
CB Keon Lyn, Indianapolis Colts
CB Ri’Shard Anderson, Tennessee Titans
RB Jerome Smith, Atlanta Falcons

VIRGINIA
DE Jake Snyder, Minnesota Vikings

VIRGINIA TECH
DT Derrick Hopkins, Baltimore Ravens
LB Tariq Edwards, Miami Dolphins
WR D.J. Coles, Oakland Raiders
G Andrew Miller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DE James Gayle, Tennessee Titans

WAKE FOREST
DT Nikita Whitlock, Cincinnati Bengals
LB Justin Jackson, Detroit Lions
LB Zach Thompson, New York Jets

ACC's lunchtime links

December, 23, 2013
12/23/13
12:00
PM ET
Shopping days are nearly gone.
The Football Writers Association of America today announced the watch list candidates for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football. The ACC tied the Pac-12 for the second-most nominees with 12 players. The SEC led the watch list with 16 players.

Here are your ACC representatives:
The FWAA also today announced the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented annually to the national defensive player of the year by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The ACC (12) had the fourth-most players on the list behind the SEC (16), Pac-12 (14), and Big Ten (13).

Here are your ACC reps:

After eight straight seasons of at least 10 wins, four ACC titles and five appearances in the ACC championship game, Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3 ACC) enters Thursday night's ESPN game against No. 10 Florida State (8-1, 5-1) unranked, unimportant in the national picture, and needing to win two of its final three games just to become bowl eligible.

The preseason Coastal Division favorites are playing at home, but they’re still in very unfamiliar territory.

Virginia Tech as underdogs in Lane Stadium? On a Thursday night?! This is not the norm in ACC country.

“For a Virginia Tech team not to be at the top, yeah, it does surprise you because they’ve been there so consistently,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. “It shows the injuries, attrition -- things can happen in a season. They’re still the same coaches, still the same players, they’ll still be doing pretty good, but sometimes the reasons for winning and losing are very small and sometimes the breaks don’t go your way.”

Not much has gone right for the Hokies at all this season.

Virginia Tech is in fifth place in the Coastal Division standings and hasn’t been ranked in the Top 25 since losing to Pittsburgh in Week 3. The Hokies have lost five of their past seven games, including the past two during back-to-back road trips to Clemson and Miami. They have struggled in all three phases of the game, but the miscues on defense and special teams have been the most surprising, considering those have been trademark strengths of coach Frank Beamer’s tenure.

Offensively, quarterback Logan Thomas has struggled mightily behind an inexperienced line that lost its only veteran, center Andrew Miller, to a season-ending injury in mid-October. Having to replace eight starters on offense took a greater toll than many had expected. Thomas already has thrown more interceptions this year (12) than he had all of last season (10).

[+] EnlargeVirginia Tech's Logan Thomas
Steve Mitchell/US PRESSWIRELogan Thomas has struggled this season, having already thrown more interceptions (12) than all of last season (10).
Thomas’ teammates said he took last week’s 30-12 loss to Miami particularly hard.

“It was really tough,” receiver Corey Fuller said. “He just wasn’t there. He didn’t pick his head up, he didn’t say anything. He had a towel over his head the whole bus ride home, whole plane ride back home. I wanted to send him a text the day after, ask him how he was doing, but I just felt like I needed to give him some space, let him be, because he really seemed shaken up about it.

“He came out this week, he’s been throwing great passes all week. I think he’s feeling confident and ready to move on and come out and play.”

He’s going to have to in order to keep pace with Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel, who ranks second nationally in passing efficiency (174.03) and has completed 70 percent of his passes. FSU’s offense is No. 3 in the country at 44.78 points per game.

Virginia Tech’s offense has long been one of the most criticized in the ACC, but this year there is plenty of blame to go around in Blacksburg. Some within the program have struggled to pinpoint just what has been the problem, but Beamer said it’s simple: They just haven’t played well enough consistently.

“I have said so many times that there is a thin line between winning and being OK and not winning,” he said. “Winning every Saturday is hard. You play a lot of people you are better than and sometimes you play a lot of people that are better than you. The way that ball bounces on Saturday is just a thin line. We got used to 10-win seasons and I am proud of those and I am proud of this football team …

“… I think everybody in our operation here could have done something better to help this football team. But the thing I am looking at is we got a tremendous football team coming in here Thursday night and is ranked and should be. They are as good as it gets in college football and that is what we put our attention to.”

The Hokies haven’t quit, nor should they with bowl eligibility still on the line.

“Two things we’re playing for: One is a bowl game, of course, and then we’re playing for pride,” Fuller said. “You don’t ever want to just give up and throw in the towel. We’re playing to say, ‘Ok, we’ve lost some, but we can still have pride. We didn’t roll over and let everybody just run over us.' ”

That would be an even bigger surprise than the Hokies’ current place in the ACC race.

VT-Miami injury reports

November, 1, 2012
11/01/12
6:00
PM ET
Here are your injury reports for tonight's game in Sun Life Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, #VTvsMIA)

MIAMI

Probable
Surgery/Out for the season:
VIRGINIA TECH

Out for Season
Probable

Greetings from Death Valley

October, 20, 2012
10/20/12
11:00
AM ET
CLEMSON, S.C. -- This is the REAL Death Valley, right?

As far as Clemson fans are concerned it is.

It's an absolutely spectacular fall football Saturday here. The Clemson fans were zipping down I-85 South early this morning, and the tailgates were set up more than three hours before kickoff. This is not a sleepy football town. I tweeted earlier that if Clemson played all night games, the Tigers might never lose at home. They shouldn't lose this afternoon, either -- not with the matchup against Virginia Tech's secondary favoring Clemson, and not with the concerns the Hokies have on their offensive line. Those will be the two main keys to the game, of course along with quarterback play between Virginia natives Tajh Boyd and Logan Thomas -- two friends and great competitors.

I spoke with Thomas this week, and he said he was confident in Michael Via at center, and it should help the Hokies to have David Wang at left guard. Virginia Tech football (@VT_football) tweeted that, barring a setback in warm-ups, Wang should be able start. If the Hokies can continue the success they had running the ball against Duke with true freshman J.C. Coleman, that might be their best defense -- to sustain some drives and keep DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins off the field as much as possible. That's going to be a tough matchup for the Hokies' young secondary. If they play man, they might just get burned.

It's an important game for both teams -- one neither can really afford to lose. Virginia Tech, though, is facing even more pressure, considering the Hokies have yet to win a game away from Lane Stadium this season and they lost to Clemson twice last season. A win in Death Valley would prove last week's three quarters against Duke were legit.

ACC injury report: Week 8

October, 19, 2012
10/19/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are the ACC injury reports for Week 8 from the schools that emailed them:

CLEMSON

Out for the season
DUKE

Probable
Questionable
Out
Out for season


FLORIDA STATE


Out


Out for season
MARYLAND

Probable
Questionable
Doubtful
Out
Out for season

MIAMI

Doubtful
Surgery/Out for season
NORTH CAROLINA

Out
NORTH CAROLINA STATE

Probable
VIRGINIA

Probable
Questionable


Out
Out for season
VIRGINIA TECH

Probable
Out
Out for season
It wasn’t a players-only meeting.

It was, however, a player-driven meeting.

With their coaches in the room this past Thursday, Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas, center Andrew Miller, cornerback Antone Exum and even kicker Cody Journell took it upon themselves to speak up and address the struggles the team has faced in the first half of the season heading into the Duke game.

“They heard everything we had to say,” Thomas said of the coaching staff. “I think they kind of fed off of it.”

Apparently, everyone in the program did.

[+] EnlargeVirginia Tech's J.C. Coleman
Peter Casey/US PRESSWIREFreshman J.C. Coleman rushed for 183 yards and two touchdowns in the Hokies' comeback victory against Duke.
Virginia Tech finally woke up this past weekend and scored 41 unanswered points in the final three quarters of a 41-20 win against Duke for what was the biggest comeback in program history under coach Frank Beamer. It was a critical Coastal Division win that kept the Hokies’ hopes of defending the division title alive, and just the kind of confidence-booster the team needed heading into Saturday’s game at No. 19-ranked Clemson. Virginia Tech had a better team last year and still lost twice to Clemson -- once in the regular season and again in the ACC championship game. Saturday’s game will reveal if Virginia Tech truly turned the quarter in the second half of the Duke game -- and if it is capable of an even bigger comeback in the second half of the season.

“That’s one thing we’ve been talking about the last couple of weeks,” said true freshman running back J.C. Coleman, whose 183 rushing yards last week were the most by a true freshman under Beamer. “The ACC goal is still there. We can still go to the ACC championship. We’re just trying to come together as a team and finish and win out the rest of the season and come out on top, at the Orange Bowl. We can still win the ACC championship. We can still win the Orange Bowl.”

Problem is, a very talented Clemson team is standing in the way -- again.

Last year the Hokies were held to 13 total points against the Tigers in two games. Many of the same playmakers are still in the lineup for Clemson, while the Hokies had to replace eight starters on offense this year, including four on the offensive line. That group took an even bigger hit last weekend when Miller suffered a season-ending ankle injury against Duke.

The message in Blacksburg, though, has always been not to dwell on the past.

“I’m not even really thinking about what happened last year other than we just want to go down there and play the best game we can and hopefully steal one from their home turf because it’s a much-needed win if we can get one,” said Thomas. “To me I don’t think [last year’s losses to Clemson] matters, but to other people it matters a whole bunch. Some people will say revenge, but revenge isn’t in our hearts. I just want to go out there and play the best game I can and steal one from their place like they stole one from ours last year.”

Virginia Tech lost 23-3 in Blacksburg last year, scoring its second-fewest points in a home game since Frank Beamer took over the program in 1987. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said his team is expecting Virginia Tech’s best shot.

“This is a big game,” Swinney said. “They are pretty much in it from a conference standpoint, and so are we. There’s not a lot of room for error for either team from a conference standpoint. It’s a game that I don’t have any doubt we’re going to get their very best, and it’s going to take our very best to win."

Thomas said he’s confident the Hokies can pick up where they left off against Duke -- playing their most complete football to date.

“We definitely can keep it up,” he said. “We just have to be able to come out of the gates fast and keep that momentum going. We played pretty good the past 10 quarters offensively. Our confidence has been a big key for us. If we can keep our confidence up, keep things moving, keep things churning, we should be just fine.”

Midseason report: Virginia Tech

October, 16, 2012
10/16/12
6:30
AM ET
VIRGINIA TECH (4-3, 2-1 ACC)

The Comeback Kings are at it again.

Virginia Tech struck out twice against the Big East. It promptly dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 after an embarrassing Week 3 loss at Pitt. It lost back-to-back games against Cincinnati and North Carolina. And it fell behind 20-0 in the first quarter against Duke.

Yet none of it has mattered much to the Coastal Division standings at the midway point of the season.

The preseason favorites to win the division still have a chance to do that, despite a well-documented horrendous start to the season. The Hokies had to replace eight starters on offense this fall, including four on the offensive line, so the offensive struggles weren’t entirely unexpected. Quarterback Logan Thomas hasn’t gotten much help from his receivers, and there’s been a lack of consistent toughness from the offensive linemen. That group took yet another hit this past weekend when starting center Andrew Miller suffered a season-ending ankle injury.

The tailback-by-committee approach has struggled to replace standout David Wilson, who left early for the NFL. The defensive woes, though, have been the biggest surprise. The Hokies’ front seven was expected to be one of the best in the ACC, but has been average at best. Inexperience in the secondary and injuries haven’t helped, but Virginia Tech was good enough to shut out Duke for three quarters in a 41-20 win against the Blue Devils this past weekend.

It was the biggest comeback during coach Frank Beamer’s tenure, and it could be the turning point for an even bigger comeback in the second half of the season -- if the offense can hold it together up front.

Offensive MVP: LT Nick Becton. He’s been one of the most consistent players up front for the Hokies. He was in on 72 plays against Georgia Tech in his first start and graded out at 90 percent. He also graded out at 91 percent in the loss to Pittsburgh and played every offensive snap. He had five knockdowns against Cincinnati and was in on all 80 plays at UNC, where he graded out at 92 percent.

Defensive MVP: Jack Tyler. He has been a bright spot on an otherwise dreary defense and is fourth in the ACC in tackles with 68 total and 9.7 per game. He has started all seven games and leads the Hokies in tackles. He also has two pass breakups, seven quarterback hurries, five tackles for loss and a sack.
Virginia Tech starting center Andrew Miller will miss the rest of the seaon after a left ankle injury he sustained in Saturday's 41-20 win over Duke, the school announced on Sunday.

This is a huge loss for the Hokies heading into Saturday's game at Clemson -- and the second half of the season.

Virginia Tech has been hanging onto its hopes of winning the Coastal Division title this year by a thread. And now it has to deal with losing its most experienced leader on an already rebuilt offensive line. Much of Virginia Tech's offensive struggles this year can be traced back to the inconsistency and lack of toughness up front. This obviously isn't going to help matters.

From the release:
Miller, the lone veteran on an offensive line that had to replace four starters from a year ago, had ankle surgery Sunday morning. He suffered a broken fibula and torn ligaments in his left ankle. With a recovery time of 4-5 months, Miller is questionable for next spring’s practice session.

Miller suffered the injury in the third quarter against Duke and was replaced by Michael Via. Via was forced into the position because backup center Caleb Farris missed Saturday’s game with an ankle injury. Miller has started the last 21 games at center for Tech and has played over 1,400 offensive snaps in his career. Virginia Tech’s depth chart along the interior offensive line is now to be determined until the status of Farris and guard David Wang (ankle/knee) is determined.

ACC injury reports: Week 3

September, 14, 2012
9/14/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are the injury reports from the schools who emailed them this week:

DUKE

PROBABLE
OUT
OUT FOR SEASON
FLORIDA STATE

OUT
OUT FOR THE SEASON
GEORGIA TECH

OUT
QUESTIONABLE
MARYLAND

OUT FOR THE SEASON
OUT
QUESTIONABLE
PROBABLE
VIRGINIA

Out
Doubtful
Questionable
  • Billy Schautz (lower extremity)
Probable
VIRGINIA TECH

Out for Season
Out
Probable

Walter Camp watch list announced

July, 20, 2012
7/20/12
4:30
PM ET
The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the names of 50 players to watch for its 2012 Player of the Year award. Here are your ACC representatives:

Walter Camp Award (Presented to the nation’s most outstanding player by the Walter Camp Football Foundation)

The Walter Camp Award watch list was the final watch list scheduled to be announced by the National College Football Awards Association. As promised, I have been keeping a running list of your ACC players who are up for awards this year. Here is a compliation of the awards released over the past two weeks. Best of luck to those who were nominated:

Doak Walker Award (Presented to the nation's premier running back by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum)
Davey O'Brien Award (Presented to the nation's best quarterback by the Davey O'Brien Foundation)
Biletnikoff Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding receiver by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation)
Butkus Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding linebacker by the Butkus Foundation)
Rotary Lombardi Award (Presented to the college lineman of the year by the Rotary Club of Houston)

Jim Thorpe Award (Presented to the nation's best defensive back by the Jim Thorpe Association)
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive player by the Charlotte Touchdown Club)
Outland Trophy (Presented to the nation's most outstanding interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America)
Lou Groza Award (Presented to the nation's top place-kicker by the Palm Beach County [Fla.] Sports Commission)
Ray Guy Award (Presented to the nation's best punter by the Augusta [Ga.] Sports Council)
Mackey Award (Presented to the nation’s most outstanding tight end by the Nassau County [N.Y.] Sports Commission)
Rimington Trophy (Presented to the nation’s premier center by the Boomer Esiason Foundation)
Bednarik Award (Presented to the college defensive player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club)
Maxwell Award (Presented to the college player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club)

One good reason: Virginia Tech

July, 16, 2012
7/16/12
10:30
AM ET
VIRGINIA TECH

Ten down, two to go. Welcome back. This series gives one good reason why each school in the ACC will win this year, and, just to make sure we cover both sides of the story, one good reason why it won’t. For most schools, the focus is on winning the ACC title. For the programs that missed out on the postseason entirely last year, the focus is on getting back to a bowl game (at least it is here in the blogosphere). We’re going in alphabetical order, and the Hokies are up next.

The series continues today with one good reason why …

Virginia Tech will win the ACC. Again. Defense. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster is one of the best in the business, and the Hokies should once again have one of the deepest, most talented groups in the country. It’s not just Foster, though, it’s his entire staff. They’ve done a great job of recruiting, reloading and putting their players in position to succeed. They’ve also improved their depth and experience through the misfortune of injured players. Nine starters return to this defense, which ranked seventh in the nation last year in scoring defense, 10th in total defense and 14th against the run. The strength this year will be at the ends in pass rushers James Gayle and J.R. Collins, who combined for 22 tackles for loss and 13 sacks last year. Linebacker Bruce Taylor, though, might be the best defender on the team. If everyone can stay healthy, the Hokies’ defense will be championship-caliber. Virginia Tech will have to rely on its defense this year, especially in the first half of the season, because …

Why it won’t: Overhaul on offense. Eight of the 11 starters lost were on offense. Four starters must be replaced on the offensive line, a pair of four-year starters at receiver are gone in Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin, and the Hokies have to also find a replacement for running back David Wilson, who left school early for the NFL draft. Boykin and Coale finished their careers with more combined reception yardage (5,542 yards) than any other pair of receivers in ACC history. Virginia Tech’s staff might have to ask more of quarterback Logan Thomas as it figures out who the playmakers around him will be. Center Andrew Miller is the lone starter on the offensive line. This offense will have a lot of new faces when it lines up against Georgia Tech in the Labor Day opener, and it will have questions to answer in fall camp in both the running and passing games.

More in this series

Nagurski, Outland watch lists announced

July, 12, 2012
7/12/12
4:30
PM ET
The Football Writers Association of America today announced the watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Outland Trophy. Here are your ACC representatives:

Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive player by the Charlotte Touchdown Club)
Outland Trophy (Presented to the nation's most outstanding interior lineman by the FWAA)

Mackey, Rimington watch lists announced

July, 10, 2012
7/10/12
2:00
PM ET
Two more preseason watch lists have been released today by the National College Football Awards Association. (There will be one or two announced every weekday through July 20). I am keeping a master list for you guys that I will publish later this month, but for now I'll just post the most recent.

Here are your ACC representatives:

Mackey Award (Presented to the nation’s most outstanding tight end by the Nassau County Sports Commission)
Rimington Trophy (Presented to the nation’s premier center by the Boomer Esiason Foundation)

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Saturday, 12/20
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