ACC: Daryl Cato-Bishop

Making a name in the ACC

May, 11, 2010
There were some impressive performances throughout the ACC this spring by younger players who didn't get much pub, but could eventually make an impact in their program. Some names will be more familiar than others, and some players came out of nowhere this spring or had a fleeting moment to shine in the absence of veterans:

Boston college sophomore defensive end Max Holloway: He made six tackles, which included four sacks for a net loss of 24 yards in the Eagles' spring game.

Clemson freshman linebacker Quandon Christian: He was third on the depth chart entering the spring and first coming out. He had seven tackles in the Tigers' spring game.

Duke redshirt sophomore Kenny Anunike: With Duke in need of depth along the defensive line, Anunike moved from tight end to defensive end this spring and made nine tackles including two for loss in the spring game.

Florida State redshirt freshman defensive back Xavier Rhodes: He was named the top newcomer on defense this spring and had six tackles in the spring game.

Georgia Tech backup quarterback Tevin Washington: He ran for three touchdowns and threw for one touchdown in a game that ended at halftime because of severe weather.

Maryland redshirt freshman running back D.J. Adams: He rushed for a game-high 70 yards on 14 carries with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to help the White team earn a 21-13 come-from-behind victory in the Terps' spring game. Adams also caught a pair of passes for 29 yards.

Miami backup quarterback Stephen Morris: A.J. Highsmith is the front-runner to be the No. 2 behind Jacory Harris, but in the spring game, Morris completed 12 of 21 passes for 209 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo: He had four sacks and one interception in the White team’s 17-0 spring game win. The junior was in the rotation as a pass-rush specialist last year.

NC State freshman defensive end Daryl Cato-Bishop: He had 10 tackles for loss and five sacks in three scrimmages, helping a line that lost all four starters.

Virginia quarterback Ross Metheny: He connected on 6 of 10 passes, compiling 140 yards and completing a game-long 57-yard pass to wide receiver Ray Keys.

Virginia Tech offensive tackle Nick Becton: He filled in well this spring at left tackle for former three-year starter Ed Wang, despite just playing 46 snaps last year.

Wake Forest freshman linebacker Justin Jackson: He led the team with six tackles and added a tackle for loss in the spring game.

NC State spring wrap

May, 7, 2010

2009 overall record: 5-7

2009 conference record: 2-6

Returning starters

Offense: 7; Defense 5; Punter/Kicker 1

Top returners

QB Russell Wilson, WR Owen Spencer, OT Jake Vermiglio, LB Nate Irving, PK Josh Czajkowski, TE George Bryan, WR Jarvis Williams, LB Dwayne Maddox, LB Audie Cole

Key losses

C Ted Larsen, HB Toney Baker, DE Willie Young, DT Alan Michael Cash, CB DeAndre Morgan, LB Ray Michel

2009 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Baker (773 yards)

Passing: Wilson* (3,027 yds)

Receiving: Ja. Williams* (547 yds)

Tackles: Cole* (73)

Sacks: Young (8)

Interceptions: C. Johnson (2)

Spring answers

1. Wilson will be back, but Mike Glennon is a capable starter. Starter Russell Wilson missed all of spring football to play baseball, but his season didn’t quite take the turn he had probably hoped, as Wilson wasn’t a starter. In his absence, Glennon impressed coach Tom O’Brien and completed 21 of 38 passes for 423 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the Pack’s spring game. As long as Wilson picks up where he left off in 2009, it should be his job to lose.

2. Irving is back and can play. After missing last season with injuries he sustained in a serious 2009 summer car accident, it was unclear how much Irving would be able to contribute this spring. He moved to middle linebacker and eased his way back into full participation and played in half of the spring game.

3. Defensive linemen emerging. Even though all four starters from last year’s defensive line graduated, there was enough talent there this spring for optimism. Darryl Cato-Bishop, David Akinniyi, and Brian Slay impressed the staff. Their success is critical, as both J.R. Sweezy and Markus Kuhn are facing disciplinary action.

Fall questions

1. Who will run the ball? For the first time since 2005, NC State doesn’t have a running back with any starting experience. Brandon Barnes broke his ankle, and the competition is now between Curtis Underwood, who redshirted last year, and James Washington, who played in six games as a true freshman last year.

2. Punter, please. Nobody on the team has ever punted in a game situation. Chris Ward was the likely top option , but he was suspended for the spring and possibly the fall.

3. How much can the defense improve? With Irving back and former Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta coaching the linebackers, it would seem as if the defense would get a boost. It’s going to have to if the Pack is going to make it to the postseason. NC State was No. 99 in the country last year in scoring defense, and No. 106 in pass efficiency defense. The secondary is lead by freshmen and sophomores.