ACC: Beau Reliford
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BOSTON COLLEGE (1)
- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
- Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
- Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
- Antoine McClain, OG, Clemson
- Rennie Moore, DT, Clemson
- Coty Sensabaugh, DB, Clemson
- Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
- Nigel Bradham, LB, Florida State
- Andrew Datko, OT, Florida State
- Mike Harris, CB, Florida State
- Shawn Powell, P, Florida State
- Beau Reliford, TE, Florida State
- Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State
- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
- Davin Meggett, RB, Maryland
- Travis Benjamin, WR, Miami
- Marcus Forston, DT, Miami
- Jacory Harris, QB, Miami
- Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
- Sean Spence, LB, Miami
- Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami
- Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami
- Brandon Washington, OT, Miami
- Charles Brown, CB, UNC
- Zach Brown, LB, UNC
- Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
- Dwight Jones, WR, UNC
- Donte Paige-Moss, DE, North Carolina
- Tydreke Powell, DT, UNC
- Audie Cole, LB, NC State
- T.J. Graham, WR, NC State
- Markus Kuhn, DT, NC State
- Terrell Manning, LB, NC State
- J.R. Sweezy, DT, NC State
- Jarrett Boykin, WR, Virginia Tech
- Danny Coale, WR, Virginia Tech
- Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
- David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
WAKE FOREST (4)
For Florida State, freshman Nick O'Leary will start in place of senior Beau Reliford at tight end, noseguard Anthony McCloud got the start of Jacobbi McDaniel, and Mike Harris will start at corner instead of Greg Reid. I am told receivers Kenny Shaw and Bert Reed are still game-time decisions. I expect an announcement here in the press box shortly before kickoff. Both are out on the field right now, dressed and running practice routes.
Truth? It would be stunning to me if Shaw -- after the viscious double helmet-to-helmet hit he took last week from Oklahoma -- played in this game and starting quarterback EJ Manuel didn't, but hey, I'm not a doctor and FSU has already confirmed that backup quarterback Clint Trickett will start. Manuel didn't even warm up. His receivers at least look like they're ready.
For Clemson, Brandon Thomas will start at left guard instead of Mason Cloy, and running back Andre Ellington (hamstring) is cleared and back in the starting lineup.
As early as three hours before the game, traffic into Death Valley was slower than a crawl, and the tailgating scene was in full force long before then. There have been a few sightings of Florida State fans, but this is Clemson's home and the Garnet and Gold is hard to find. Most of the fans are still outside the stadium at this point, but the Hill is starting to fill up.
This is one of the toughest venues in the ACC. We'll find out soon enough if Trickett is ready for it.
- Georgia Tech senior DE Anthony Egbuniwe, junior DB Michael Peterson and freshman DB Louis Young will sit out the first half of Monday's AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl against Air Force because they missed a team curfew. Egbuniwe started all 12 regular-season games. Young has been one of the top reserves in the secondary, and Peterson is a backup corner and a member of special teams.
- Virginia Tech’s arrival to South Florida for the Discover Orange Bowl has been delayed until 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday because of heavy snow to in eastern Virginia. The NC State Champs Sports Bowl pep rally, which was scheduled for 5:45 p.m. on Monday at Pointe Orlando, has been canceled. The Wolfpack band and cheerleaders had planned to leave from campus on Sunday morning, but because of snow in the area, students in both groups were unable to get back to Raleigh after spending Christmas at home. The band and cheerleaders are now scheduled to leave Raleigh this morning and will be in Orlando in plenty of time for game-day activities on Tuesday.
- Florida State starting tight end Beau Reliford is academically ineligible to compete in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl and was not with the team in Atlanta. Junior left tackle Andrew Datko, whose shoulder injuries prevented him from practicing in Tallahassee, worked with the first team throughout Sunday’s session in Atlanta. Quarterback Christian Ponder and offensive lineman Rodney Hudson have both accepted invitations to the Under Armour Senior Bowl. The game is Jan. 29 in Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., and will be televised live on NFL Network.
What’s new: Everything. New coach, new coordinators, new attitude under first-year coach Jimbo Fisher.
Sidelined: Linebacker Nigel Carr has been suspended indefinitely after facing a felony charge. Nobody else on the two-deep depth chart is expected to be missing.
Key battle: Boundary corner, where redshirt senior Ochuko Jenije, the only returning starter in the secondary, will be fighting off redshirt freshman Xavier Rhodes. Offensively, the tailback position is so loaded that Jermaine Thomas, the top returning rusher from a year ago, is not at the top of the preseason depth chart. That spot belongs to sophomore Chris Thompson. Ty Jones, Tavares Pressley and Lonnie Pryor will also be competing for time.
New on the scene: Defense. The whole thing -- the scheme, the personnel and coordinator Mark Stoops. He’s tasked with turning around a unit that ranked among the nation’s worst in nearly every relevant statistical category last year.
Breaking out: Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Everett Dawkins. Given all of the issues Florida State has had up front, he’s a player who is poised to make a difference. The staff is expecting a breakthrough season after earning “most dependable” honors this spring.
Don’t forget about: Junior tight end Beau Reliford. He came on to replace Caz Piurowski last year and caught the game-winning touchdown against North Carolina. He could help a receiving corps that lacks proven talent. Taiwan Easterling is back after missing spring practices to play baseball, and he could also help that group.
All eyes on: Quarterback Christian Ponder. The whole nation will be watching, especially during a trip cross country to play Oklahoma, to see if Ponder is truly worthy of the Heisman hype.
Quotable: “That’s why I’m here at Florida State, to win it all.” -- Ponder.
Ponder, who had surgery on his right shoulder four months ago, took all the snaps with the first-team offense in the Seminoles’ first full scrimmage of the spring. He went 6-for-12 for 91 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to tight end Beau Reliford. More importantly, he threw without any pain.
"It’s been a while and to get back and scrimmage and actually play a little football, it was fun," said Ponder. "We really know what we’re doing, having everyone back, and we’re only going to get better."
It's nice to have a veteran offensive line protecting you and a good running game to lean on. Florida State's rushing attack -- consisting of Chris Thompson, Jermaine Thomas, Lonnie Pryor, Tavares Pressley and newcomer Debrale Smiley -- combined for 262 yards on 31 carries with three rushing touchdowns.
Getting Ponder back, though, was the big story.
"His arm is getting stronger," coach Jimbo Fisher said. "He is starting to get a better feel for the pocket where he is flicking the ball around. He missed a few throws, one in the flats to the fullback. I thought overall he was solid. He didn’t do anything bad, but overall he was just OK."
The second-team offense, led by quarterback Will Secord, didn't have as much success. Credit defensive end Brandon Jenkins for causing havoc, with five tackles for loss and three sacks.
With the help of a few sports information offices and the hometown newspapers of the teams with practice reports, here's a quick trip around the league as we head into our final weekend of summer without any ACC football (thank God) ...
The Terps had their final scrimmage of the summer, and while there were some bright spots, it doesn't sound like a lot was determined. However, coach Ralph Friedgen did put some order to the deep group of receivers he has. Friedgen said he thinks nine receivers will travel with the team. At X, it's likely to be Adrian Cannon, Kevin Dorsey and Emani Lee-Odai. At Z, expect to see Torrey Smith, Quintin McCree and Tony Logan, and in the slot position Ronnie Tyler, LaQuan Williams and Kerry Boykins.
Here are a few highlights from the scrimmage, according to the practice report:
Sophomore Torrey Smith, who will be counted on to be a big-play receiver this season, had a hand in two touchdowns. He set up Davin Meggett's 3-yard score by making an acrobatic 30-yard reception from Chris Turner, setting up first-and-goal. Smith also fielded a short kickoff and raced up the left sideline for an 87-yard touchdown. Freshman Nick Ferrara made two 48 yards-yard field goals and added a 45-yard extra point after Meggett's touchdown. Mike Barbour, also competing for the No. 1 place-kicking job, made a pair of 46-yard extra points. Chris Turner completed 6 of 8 passes for 102 yards. The defense also had two other interceptions with linebackers Hakeem Sule and Alex Wujciak forcing turnovers. In addition, coordinator Don Brown's unit posted four sacks.
FSU isn't the only one with injury problems on the defensive line. Clemson defensive tackle Brandon Thompson broke his hand - again.
Clemson spent Thursday's short practice working on Middle Tennessee's tendencies.
Brandon Ford was in a yellow jersey as he continues to heal from a foot injury. Spencer Benton was out again, but is expected to return to kicking duties on Saturday when the team holds its annual "Beannie Bowl." Jacoby Ford continues to improve from a hamstring injury and should be ready for the opener. Brandon Clear is back at full strength after a rib injury.
"The Beannie Bowl is a full rehearsal for the first game," coach Dabo Swinney said. "We will go through our pregame warm ups, even run down the hill. They we will kick off right at 6:00 PM and practice various special situations."
It was a good day for the Noles on Thursday, both at practice and in recruiting. FSU picked up two more recruits, bringing its 2010 class to 13. Florida State also got its first workout in the rain. There's one problem - all three of the senior defensive tackles are injured. You know what that means? It's time to meet Jacobbi McDaniel.
From the practice report:
Senior cornerback Patrick Robinson swatted away a touchdown pass intended for Jarmon Fortson in the end zone during 11-on-11 work. ... The best collision of the day came when linebacker Kendall Smith buried tailback and lead blocker Jermaine Thomas o
n a running play. ... Tight end Beau Reliford shook off the doldrums from several long afternoons with a 30-yard grab. ... With senior defensive tackles Budd Thacker (toe) and Kendrick Stewart (knee) held out of contact work for a second consecutive day, heralded freshman Jacobbi McDaniel continued to receive significant snaps alongside Moses McCray with the first-team defense. Fellow freshman Demonte McAllister is also getting a load of repetitions. "They are getting a lot of work, which is what they need," Bowden said of the youngsters. "They look like they can handle it."... Redshirt freshman Everett Dawkins, who began the preseason at defensive tackle and moved out to defensive end, was moved back inside to bolster position coach Odell Haggins' under-manned unit. ... There are quite a few position battles still being waged as the Seminoles head into Saturday's closed scrimmage, including cornerback, rover, defensive end, offensive guard, tailback, wide receiver and kicker. The competition is a welcome sign, reflecting the team's improved depth. "We let (the players) know those scrimmages are so important because they are game-like," coach Bobby Bowden said. "We've got ACC officials out there, so it's time to show your stuff if you've got it." ... The Seminoles will practice Friday afternoon.
Rise n' shine, it's practice time. The Canes started at 5:45 a.m. in shells under the lights on Mark Light Field. Dyron Dye was held out of practice with a leg injury. Leonard Hankerson and A.J. Trump returned to practice after being limited the last few sessions.
The Miami Herald is reporting that Taylor Cook is heading to Rice. With the transfer of Cook and Cannon Smith, A.J. Highsmith got a lot more work on Thursday. Here's what offensive tackle Jason Fox had to say on the transfers:
"Sometimes it can be a distraction but as a football team you have to limit the distractions, not think about it and remember why we are here. We are here to play football and win football games and anything else besides that, we have to push off to the side. You can't really do anything about it. Those were personal decisions they wanted to do for their careers that is going to help them out personally. As a team, we have to send them on their way and wish them good luck, but we still have to get ready."
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- There were two big plays that stood out to coach Bobby Bowden at Tuesday morning's practice -- a long catch by tight end Beau Reliford, and an interception by safety Jamie Robinson.
For Reliford, though, big plays are something new -- and so is how the Noles might use the tight end position this fall.
Because the fullback position is so thin this year, Bowden said they're looking at using one of two tight ends as more of an h-back this fall, but it's a decision they won't make until they start to scrimmage.
"We've got two walk-ons out there," Bowden said. "Now once we start scrimmaging, if we find out they'll hit, if they really hit, we can utilize them. Now if they don't, we're working our tight ends there. They've responded pretty good to that. They don't look bad back there."
Reliford said it's "kind of weird" lining up as an h-back, but he was also spread out wide today. He said he's much more confident this year because he spent so much time in the offseason studying the playbook.
"I feel much more comfortable than I did last year," Reliford said. "I have my confidence back now. Last year I felt like my confidence went down because I wasn't really playing and getting the job done and improving like I wanted to. Now I feel like I'm ready to play."
The 6-foot-7, 241-pound Reliford came to Florida State as a two-sport athlete (basketball and football), and was the MVP of Florida's 5A state championship game with 21 points and nine rebounds for Dillard High in Ft. Lauderdale. It wasn't until his junior year in high school that Reliford started playing football, which is why is progress was slow last season as a true freshman. He played in four games and caught the only pass of his career -- an eight-yard reception -- in his first collegiate game against Western Carolina.
"He's grown up a lot as a football player," quarterback Christian Ponder said. "He's running great routes. Last year he was basically a basketball player just being an athlete out there. Now he really understands what he's doing. He looks good. He should be making a lot of plays this year."
He already is.
"He makes plays every day," said offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher. "He's learning every day. He makes a few mistakes, but the guy makes plays. He's going to be a good -- I mean a really good football player. He's got a chance to be. He's got to get consistency, but he's got a chance to be a really good football player."