ACC: Darion Hall

This is a punch in the gut to Miami's offense.

Running back Lamar Miller, the second-leading rusher in the ACC, has decided to forgo his final two seasons of eligibility and enter the NFL draft. Miller is ranked No. 30 in Todd McShay's latest top 32 draft-eligible players, and McShay writes that Miller appears "ready for the NFL."

Apparently he agrees. Miller's decision shouldn't come as a huge surprise, considering how highly he is regarded by many draft experts, but that doesn't lessen the blow to Miami's offense.

It's not like the Canes won't have any depth at the position -- they've still got Mike James and Eduardo Clements, redshirt sophomore Darion Hall, and any incoming recruits who could contribute immediately. The opportunity for immediate playing time could also be a selling point on the recruiting trail. There's no question the Canes will be missing their primary ball carrier, though, next year, and the ACC will be missing a potential Heisman candidate.
Last week we looked at how the quarterbacks stacked up in the ACC. This week, we’ll take a closer look at the running backs. Again, the position rankings by team put heavy weight on the depth of the position -– hence the team ranking, not individual. Just because Virginia Tech has one of the best running backs in the ACC doesn’t mean that collectively, as a group, Virginia Tech is the best team in the league at the position. Florida State? Loaded. Wake Forest? Not. These are based on the best combination of talent, experience and depth.

Here’s a look at how each team ranks in the position:

[+] EnlargeChris Thompson
Lee Coleman/Icon SMIChris Thompson averaged 6.4 yards per carry for the Seminoles last season.
1. Florida State: Chris Thompson, Ty Jones and Jermaine Thomas combined for 1,862 yards, 6.1 yards per carry, and 17 touchdowns last year. Thompson had 1,000 yards combined from both rushing and receiving last year, and Thomas enters his senior season with 1,084 career yards -- the second most of any active ACC runner, behind only Montel Harris (3,600).

2. Boston College: Montel Harris could break a 33-year-old ACC rushing record this fall, and his backup, Andre Williams, is a bigger back who has proven more than capable of shouldering the load himself. Together they’re one of the best one-two combos in the league.

3. Miami: The transfer of Storm Johnson hurt, but Lamar Miller should be one of the best in the ACC, and Mike James was ahead of Johnson on the depth chart. The Canes also have Darion Hall, Maurice Hagens and incoming freshman Kevin Grooms.

4. Clemson: Andre Ellington will be the leader of the pack, but true freshman Mike Bellamy could also make an immediate impact, and the group runs deep with Roderick McDowell, D.J. Howard and Demont Buice.

5. Virginia Tech: Had Ryan Williams and Darren Evans returned, this would have been one of the premier groups of running backs in the country. Instead, it will be the David Wilson show (and Josh Oglesby). Not that the Hokies will have any problem with that.

6. Maryland: Davin Meggett and D.J. Adams are a talented duo, but depth should be a concern. Meggett posted a team-high 720 rushing yards in 2010, while Adams had a freshman school-record 11 rushing touchdowns.

7. NC State: The Wolfpack are in a much better position at running back than they were a year ago, when nobody with starting experience returned. Mustafa Greene, James Washington and Brandon Barnes should make NC State’s running game a bigger factor this fall.

8. Georgia Tech: Coach Paul Johnson isn’t concerned about his B-back position because it’s one of the deepest on the team. There isn’t one superstar like in recent years, but Richard Watson, Charles Perkins and Preston Lyons will work together to keep the Jackets one of the top rushing teams in the country.

9. North Carolina: The Tar Heels have to replace three tailbacks who accounted for 96 percent of their rushing last year. Ryan Houston is back for his sixth season of eligibility, but he is the only one who has seen significant playing time. Giovani Bernard, Hunter Furr and Travis Riley help the depth.

10. Wake Forest: Josh Harris could crack the 1,000-yard mark if he stays healthy, and Brandon Pendergrass is a capable backup. There are three true freshmen at the position, and it’s one area coach Jim Grobe can’t afford any injuries.

11. Virginia: Perry Jones and Kevin Parks are talented, but the Cavaliers will miss the production of Keith Payne, who accounted for 14 of the team’s 17 rushing touchdowns. Jones started all but one game last year, but only scored one touchdown.

12. Duke: The Blue Devils’ running game is starting to show progress, but last year it still ranked 104th in the country. Depth isn’t a problem, as Desmond Scott, Josh Snead and Juwan Thompson should help make it a more productive group this year.

Stay tuned for the top 10 ACC running backs for 2011 ...

Clemson-Miami injury reports

September, 30, 2010
9/30/10
6:43
PM ET
CLEMSON

Spencer Shuey, LB, shoulder, probable

David Smith, OG, high ankle sprain, Out

MIAMI

Doubtful

RB Graig Cooper - Lower Extremity

Out

OL Malcolm Bunche - Lower Extremity

DL Curtis Porter - Lower Extremity

Surgery and Out for the Season

FB John Calhoun - Lower Extremity

LB Shayon Green - Upper Extremity

RB Darion Hall - Upper Extremity

DL Jeremy Lewis - Lower Extremity

LB Travis Williams - Lower Extremity

Miami injury report

September, 21, 2010
9/21/10
6:37
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Here is Miami's injury report for Thursday night's game against Pitt:

Questionable

OL Joel Figueroa – Upper Extremity

DL Luther Robinson – Lower Extremity

DL Marcus Robinson – Lower Extremity

Doubtful

RB Graig Cooper – Lower Extremity

Out

OL Malcolm Bunche – Lower Extremity

LB Kelvin Cain - Dental

DB Lee Chambers – Upper Extremity

DL Curtis Porter – Lower Extremity

Surgery and Out for the Season

FB John Calhoun – Lower Extremity

LB Shayon Green – Upper Extremity

RB Darion Hall – Upper Extremity

DL Jeremy Lewis – Lower Extremity

LB Travis Williams – Lower Extremity

Week 2: Injury reports

September, 10, 2010
9/10/10
8:00
AM ET
Here are the injury reports for this week, based on e-mails from the sports information directors that reported:

Notes: Duke had no injuries to report, and because UCF did not release an injury report, NC State didn't. Also, the Duke-Wake Forest game is sold out.

CLEMSON

Brandon Maye, LB, knee, out

Kalon Davis, OT, back, out

Jarvis Jenkins, DT, knee, questionable

Miguel Chavis, DT, ankle, probable

MIAMI

Probable

LB Jordan Futch – Lower Extremity

OL Jermaine Johnson – Upper Extremity

DL Micanor Regis – Upper Extremity

DB Jamal Reid – Lower Extremity

DL Curtis Porter – Upper Extremity

DL Andrew Smith - Upper Extremity

Doubtful

RB Graig Cooper – Lower Extremity

Out

LB Kevin Nelson – Upper Extremity

DL Luther Robinson – Lower Extremity

Surgery and Out for the Season

FB John Calhoun – Lower Extremity

RB Darion Hall – Lower Extremity

DL Jeremy Lewis – Lower Extremity

LB Travis Williams – Lower Extremity

VIRGINIA TECH

Out
Xavier Boyce (knee)
Chris Drager (knee)
Barquell Rivers (quad)
Lorenzo Williams (foot - season)

ACC's future looks bright at running back

August, 19, 2010
8/19/10
5:00
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For the first time in ACC history, the conference is returning five 1,000-yard rushers, but some of the best talent at running back might be yet to come. This summer, it's been impossible not to notice two young players giving it everything they've got to get on the field this fall: Virginia Tech sophomore David Wilson and Miami true freshman Storm Johnson.

Their performances are forcing their coaches to think twice about redshirting them.

The problem is they're stuck behind more experienced players in already crowded backfields.

Johnson enrolled at Miami this past January in time for spring practices, and just had a remarkable scrimmage that included a 92-yard touchdown run. But he's got competition coming from senior Damien Berry, sophomore Mike James, redshirt freshman Lamar Miller, senior Graig Cooper and other true freshmen in Eduardo Clements and Darion Hall.

Wilson, a sophomore, is in a similar situation. He's behind two 1,000-yard rushers in Darren Evans and Ryan Williams, but he's also been the most productive back this offseason. Wilson has carried 37 times for 172 yards (4.6 ypc) in scrimmages dating back to the spring – including 16 for 74 yards so far this summer.

Whether or not they actually see the field this fall remains to be seen, but both have proven they're ready to play. It's definitely one position neither program has to worry about for a while.

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