ACC: DeMarcus Van Dyke
1 12 Christian Ponder, Florida State, QB Vikings
1 14 Robert Quinn, North Carolina, DE Rams
1 22 Anthony Castonzo, Boston College, T Colts
2 33 Ras-I Dowling, Virginia, CB Patriots
2 38 Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech, RB Cardinals
2 40 Bruce Carter, North Carolina, LB Cowboys
2 41 Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson, DT Redskins
2 46 Orlando Franklin, Miami, OL Broncos
2 50 Marcus Gilchrist, Clemson, CB Chargers
2 51 Da’ Quan Bowers, Clemson, DE Buccaneers
2 52 Marvin Austin, North Carolina, DT Giants
2 55 Rodney Hudson, Florida State, C-G Chiefs
2 58 Torrey Smith, Maryland, WR Ravens
2 59 Greg Little, North Carolina, WR Browns
2 60 Brandon Harris, Miami, CB Texans
3 67 Nate Irving, NC State, LB Broncos
3 79 Leonard Hankerson, Miami, WR Redskins
3 81 DeMarcus Van Dyke, Miami, CB Raiders
3 86 Allen Bailey, Miami, DE Chiefs
4 100 Da’Norris Searcy, North Carolina, S Bills
4 109 Colin McCarthy, Miami, ILB Titans
4 122 Chris Hairston, Clemson, T Bills
4 127 Rashad Carmichael, Virginia Tech, CB Texans
4 130 Jamie Harper, Clemson, RB Titans
5 133 Johnny White, North Carolina, RB Bills
5 152 T.J. Yates, North Carolina, QB Texans
6 171 Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina, LB Cardinals
6 173 Byron Maxwell, Clemson, DB Seahawks
6 180 Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech, QB Ravens
6 181 Richard Gordon, Miami, TE Raiders
6 192 Matt Bosher, Miami, P-PK Falcons
7 218 Ryan Taylor, North Carolina, TE Cowboys
7 221 Da’Rel Scott, Maryland, RB Giants
7 224 Markus White, Florida State, DE Redskins
7 225 Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech, RB Ravens
ACC Selections by Rounds
ACC Selections by Teams
North Carolina 9
Florida State 3
Virginia Tech 3
Boston College 1
Georgia Tech 1
NC State 1
Spring practice starts: Feb. 16
Spring game: March 26
What to watch:
- Jim Knowles taking over as defensive coordinator. After coaching the safeties last season, Knowles was promoted in late January following the departure of Marion Hobby to coach Clemson’s defensive line. It’s not a complete overhaul on defense, but for the third time in as many seasons, a different person will be calling the plays. Knowles has also assumed the lead role with Duke’s practice scheduling and weekly preparation.
- New faces at linebacker. Duke graduated its leading tackler from 2010, Abraham Kromah, and freshman All-American Kelby Brown is out while recovering from knee surgery. Those two slots will be wide open this spring and the competition will be among Austin Gamble, C.J. France, Tyree Glover and Kevin Rojas.
- Offensive line shuffling. The Blue Devils return four starters up front, but they’ll be missing the glue of the line in Bryan Morgan, who graduated. Brian Moore, who has started the past two seasons at right guard, will make the transition to center. John Coleman and Laken Tomlinson are expected to compete for the right guard spot.
Spring practice starts: March 28 (tentative)
Spring game: April 23
What to watch:
- Starting quarterback competition. Tevin Washington enters the spring at No. 1 on the depth chart, and it's his job to lose, as he has the most experience after taking over for injured starter Joshua Nesbitt in 2010. Synjyn Days will give him legitimate competition this spring, though, and it will increase this summer with the addition of standout recruit Vad Lee to the roster. For now, though, it’s between Washington and Days, as David Sims is expected to move to B-back.
- Offensive line reshuffling. Georgia Tech will have to replace three starters in all-conference center Sean Bedford, right tackle Austin Barrick and left tackle Nick Claytor, who decided to leave early for the NFL draft. Phil Smith, Barrick’s backup last year, is the only one with any experience at tackle. The staff will likely have to move a player or two from guard to tackle, and only it knows who those candidates might be right now.
- Revamped secondary. Jerrard Tarrant's decision to leave school early and enter the NFL draft left the Jackets without any returning starters in the secondary. Junior cornerback Rod Sweeting, sophomore cornerback Louis Young, redshirt freshman cornerback Ryan Ayers and sophomore safety Fred Holton are front-runners, but they all have a lot to prove this spring. Holton and Young played sparingly as true freshmen and combined for 21 tackles. Sweeting played in all 13 games and had one fumble recovery and eight passes defended, including one interception. Senior cornerback Michael Peterson may help, and safety Jemea Thomas played as a true freshman in 2009 but redshirted last year. There’s some talent, but the inexperience makes it a question mark.
Spring practice starts: March 5
Spring game: April 9 or 16
What to watch:
- New staff, new schemes. Defensively, first-year coordinator Mark D’Onofrio will work with two other assistants who were with him and first-year coach Al Golden at Temple, so there is familiarity there. Linebackers coach Michael Barrow has to learn D’Onofrio’s system, but the players tend to pick it up faster if the majority of the staff is already acclimated to it. Offensively, everyone will be working together for the first time. Jedd Fisch wants to run a pure pro-style offense based on matchups, and the good news is that several of the assistants, because of their respective backgrounds, are already schooled in at least a version of it.
- Quarterback battle. Golden has said he would like to name a starter by the end of the spring, making these practices critical auditions for both Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris. Harris has both flourished and flopped as a starter for the Canes, and his injury last year gave Morris the opportunity he needed to win the people’s choice award. Has a new era of quarterback begun, or will Harris finally have the breakout season Miami fans have waited for in his final year as a Cane?
- Corner competition. Following the departures of Ryan Hill, DeMarcus Van Dyke and Brandon Harris, Brandon McGee is the only corner remaining on the roster with any significant experience. He played in 11 games, started one, and had 15 tackles. Redshirt freshman Devont’a Davis, sophomore Kacey Rodgers, and redshirt sophomore Jamal Reid will also compete for playing time. There are also several incoming freshmen who could be immediate contributors.
Spring practice starts: March 16
Spring game: April 9
What to watch:
- The rookie quarterbacks. There’s no guarantee that Bryn Renner will be the Tar Heels’ starter in 2011, but he enters the spring slightly ahead of the race, as he was No. 2 on the depth chart last season and was pushing T.J. Yates for the starting job at this time a year ago. The staff would also like to see what true freshman Marquise Williams, who enrolled in January, has to offer. Braden Hanson and A.J. Blue will also compete for playing time. Blue was injured two years ago and redshirted last season.
- Running backs race. The Tar Heels graduated three key players from 2010: Johnny White, Anthony Elzy and Shaun Draughn. Ryan Houston is back for his fifth year after redshirting last year and is the most experienced of the returnees. Giovani Bernard was a true freshman last year and had been expected to get some playing time, but he tore his ACL on the third day of training camp. It’s not clear yet how much he’ll be able to participate this spring. Hunter Furr played sparingly last year and true freshman Travis Riley, who enrolled in January, are also in the mix.
- Another strong defensive line. If Quinton Coples was an all-conference selection as a defensive tackle, he could be scary good at his natural position, defensive end. Coples played there as a freshman and sophomore, but switched to tackle out of necessity last season. The defensive line should once again be the strength of the team, but it will be reconfigured again, as Coples’ move will leave a defensive tackle spot up for grabs. Junior college transfer Sylvester Williams, who enrolled in January, could fill that role.
Spring practice starts: March 16
Spring game: April 2
What to watch:
- The search for a new starting quarterback. With Marc Verica graduated, the lead contenders to replace him are the ones who saw the field last year -- Michael Rocco and Ross Metheny. Neither of them started, but Rocco played in six games and Metheny five. Nobody has thrown the ball more than Rocco’s 25 times. The staff will also look at Michael Strauss, who redshirted last year, Miles Gooch, and David Watford, who enrolled in January.
- Competition at running back. With leading rusher Keith Payne graduated, the question becomes what can Kevin Parks do after redshirting last year? There’s a lot of depth at the running back position, but Parks, the No. 56 running back in his class by ESPN.com and national prep record-setter out of the state of North Carolina, came to Charlottesville facing high expectations. With Payne gone, this could open the door for him to meet them, but returning starter Perry Jones will also be competing for carries.
- Development of the receivers. In January, Jared Green Tweeted that he had decided to transfer after finishing his degree in Charlottesville this spring, according to a school spokesman. His departure, coupled with the graduation of Dontrelle Inman, leaves the Cavaliers without two of their top wideouts from 2010. With Tim Smith coming off an injury, the development of other receivers will be critical -- especially with a new starting quarterback.
Spring practice starts: March 30
Spring game: April 23
What to watch:
- Quarterback Logan Thomas. The Tyrod Taylor era is over, and Thomas is the front-runner to succeed the winningest quarterback in school history. Ju-Ju Clayton is the only other quarterback on the roster who’s ever taken a snap, and he’ll push Thomas this spring. It’s Thomas’ job to lose, but the staff is looking for him to improve his accuracy. He played quarterback in only his final two high school seasons and was projected as a tight end. He’s still raw and learning the position, but physically, he’s a clone of Cam Newton. If he develops some poise in the pocket, look out.
- Competition on the defensive line. The Hokies have to replace starters John Graves (defensive tackle) and Steven Friday (defensive end), who both graduated. They’ve got Antoine Hopkins and Chris Drager back, but it’s possible Drager could move back to tight end after starting 10 games at defensive end last year. Tackle Kwamaine Battle, who started the first two games before he tore his ACL and Hopkins took over, is another front-runner. Hopkins’ younger brother, Derrick, will also be in the mix, along with James Gayle and J.R. Collins. Redshirt freshman defensive end Zack McCray, the cousin of Logan Thomas, has also impressed the staff so far.
- Tight end auditions. The graduation of Andre Smith leaves the Hokies with only one returning tight end who’s caught a pass in a game, Randall Dunn (one). Redshirt freshman Eric Martin was the second tight end when the Hokies used two-tight end sets, but he missed three games mid-season with an injury.
Here are the players who will represent the ACC:
BOSTON COLLEGE (3)
- Anthony Castonzo
- Rich Lapham
- Mark Herzlich
- Da'Quan Bowers
- Marcus Gilchrist
- Chris Hairston
- Jamie Harper
- Jarvis Jenkins
- Byron Maxwell
- DeAndre McDaniel
- Rodney Hudson
- Christian Ponder
- Markus White
- Anthony Allen
- Mario Butler
- Jerrard Tarrant
- Allen Bailey
- Damien Berry
- Matt Bosher
- Orlando Franklin
- Graig Cooper
- Leonard Hankerson
- Brandon Harris
- Colin McCarthy
- DeMarcus Van Dyke
- Marvin Austin
- Kendric Burney
- Bruce Carter
- Greg Little
- Shaun Draughn
- Robert Quinn
- Da'Norris Searcy
- Quan Sturdivant
- Johnny White
- Deunta Williams
- T.J. Yates
- Nate Irving
- Owen Spencer
- Danny Aiken
- Ras-I Dowling
Hairston joins Miami's Graig Cooper and DeMarcus Van Dyke, along with Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor as ACC players who have been invited to this game.
Cooper and Van Dyke are two of 32 players that have been selected. Former NFL coaches Wade Phillips and Dan Reeves will serves as the game’s head coaches.
Cooper wrapped up his collegiate career ranking third in program history in career all-purpose yardage (3,864), trailing only Santana Moss (4,394) and Ottis Anderson (4,265). He also ranks fifth in UM history in career rushing yards (2,387). Limited by injuries in 2010, Cooper, who played in 46 games in his career, finished this senior year with 427 all-purpose yards, including 165 yards rushing on 35 carries.
Van Dyke played in 50 games in his career, tying him for third all-time at UM in career games played. He started 23 games in his career at cornerback, including five this past season. He closed out his career with 80 tackles, 10 pass break-ups, three interceptions and 3.0 tackles for loss. As a senior, Van Dyke tallied 20 tackles and two interceptions, one of which he returned for 74 yards at Pittsburgh on Sept. 23.
“People don’t realize it took Russell Maryland three years to be Russell Maryland,” Shannon said. “Cortez didn’t play ‘til his senior year. Jerome Brown played a little bit as a freshman. The third year he blossomed. It always takes a defensive lineman until his third or his fourth year really to come out. Sapp was the same way. Whenever you get somebody in his third or fourth year, they should be ready to take that next step.”
Consider Miami’s defensive line ready.
“I really wouldn’t want to be on another team that plays against us,” Miami quarterback Jacory Harris said. “Our defensive line is pretty good this year and I’m sure they’re going to open a lot of guys’ eyes.”
“They’re all fast guys, and they also have size on them,” Harris said. “That’s what makes it worse.”
Expectations are highest for Bailey, who at 6-foot-4, 288 pounds led all Miami defensive linemen last year with 34 tackles. He led the team with seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss and should be one of the best players in the conference this fall. Still, he’ll draw a lot of attention from opponents, forcing those around him to raise their level of play.
Bailey said that won’t be a problem.
“We have the talent, we have the athleticism, we have the numbers,” Bailey said. “It’s a real good D-line this year. We could be real good. It’s not only me. We have 16 or 17 d-linemen. There’s like four at each position. It’s improved a lot. It raises the competition for playing time. You’ve got to compete every day, every practice.”
Bailey is roommates with defensive backs DeMarcus Van Dyke and JoJo Nicolas, and lineman Adewale Ojomo. To them, he’s known as the “house chef.”
“He knows how to cook everything -- shrimp pasta, chicken pasta, everything,” Van Dyke said. “Man, he can cook.”
He can also hit.
“I tell him I feed off him,” Van Dyke said. “If he gets three sacks, I get three interceptions. If I get three picks, he’ll get three sacks. That’s how it goes. It’s me and Allen’s last year, so we’re trying to go out with a bang and make it special.”
Miami linebacker Sean Spence said Bailey is “worth every penny” of the preseason hype, but Bailey isn’t the only one capable of making plays.
“We’ve got a lot of depth down there,” Spence said. “You could interchange them easily. All of them could play. I’m expecting good things from those guys this year.”
So is Shannon.
“Over the years these guys should be ready to take that step now,” he said. “ … Those guys are mature now. It should be the time for them to take the next step.”
The Tigers had their first scrimmage on Tuesday and got in about 100 snaps in a little over two hours.
Offensive highlights: Kyle Parker completed 9 of 18 passes for 114 yards. He did not throw and interception and ran for a score on a 14-yard run. Tajh Boyd completed 7 of 18 passes for 71 yards. He had a 13-yard run for a score that culminated a 75-yard drive early in the scrimmage.
Rod McDowell was the top rusher with 76 yards on 12 carries. He had a 22-yard run and a 34-yard run on the same drive. Andre Ellington gained 45 yards in 11 carries, while Jamie Harper had seven carries for 35 yards. Ellington had the only rushing touchdown among the running backs with a 15-yard score.
Five different receivers had two catches apiece. Dwayne Allen had 2-49, including a 36-yard completion from Parker. Drew Traylor had 2-29, Terrance Ashe had 2-28 and Marquan Jones had 2-11. Jaron Brown had 2-14 and also had an 18-yard run.
Defensive highlights: Andre Branch intercepted a tipped pass and raced 25 yards for a score. Tig Willard was the top tackler with seven, while Brandon Maye, Coty Sensabaugh and Scotty Cooper all had five apiece. Jonathan Meeks had two tackles for loss. Freshman Tra Thomas had the only fumble recovery.
Special teams: Richard Jackson was 4-4 on field goals attempts, including a pair from 42 yards. Spencer Benton was 3-4 and Chandler Catanzaro made 2-3 with his only miss from 56 yards.
Dabo Swinney said: “It was a better scrimmage than I expected for the first scrimmage. We had a lot of new guys in action in Death Valley for the first time and we did a lot of mix and matching during the scrimmage. We need to perform better in the red-zone on both sides of the ball.
“Defensively, Andre Branch had the big play of the day with an interception return for a touchdown I thought he was a consistent player last year. But, he has become a physical player who is a team leader. Opposing teams will talk about 93 [Da’Quan Bowers], but they better pay attention to number 40 [Branch].
Injured: All-American safety DeAndre McDaniel, who suffered an injury near his tailbone. He was able to walk off the field on his own. I'll try and get an update for you on this today. Freshman running backs D.J. Howard and Demont Buice both missed the scrimmage as they recover from a concussion suffered this past Saturday. Da’Quan Bowers missed the scrimmage as he is home with his family after the sudden death of his father last Sunday.
The Blue Devils held their second practice on Tuesday night.
Defensive highlights: Johnny Williams, who moved from receiver this past spring, showed that he is grasping the cornerback position well as he intercepted a deep pass down the sideline during 7-on-7 drills and also made two nice plays to force incompletions during the 1-on-1 period against the receivers.
The defense has emphasized forcing turnovers early in the preseason and came up with three on Tuesday. Along with Williams' interception, junior safety Lee Butler returned an interception for a score off a tipped ball and redshirt junior Charlie Hatcher recovered a fumble. The defense had several other pass breakups on the day, including a couple by sophomore safety Walt Canty.
Offensive highlights: Redshirt freshman wide receiver Tyree Watkins made several big plays, and senior wide receiver Austin Kelly ran two good routes during team drills to provide redshirt sophomore quarterback Sean Renfree with some wide open looks. The offensive line did a good job in both pass and run blocking during the first session of team drills.
The Terps opened camp on Tuesday in temperatures in the upper-90s, and spent much of the practice working on individual drills to help acclimate 21 newcomers and refresh veterans. Maryland has 24 preseason workouts scheduled.
Ralph Friedgen says: “The kids showed they worked hard over the summer. We’re a little further along in some areas than I thought. I think it got hot out there at the end and they got a little tired, but overall I thought it was a good first day.”
Jamarr Robinson, who proved to be a dangerous dual-threat quarterback while filling in for an injured Chris Turner last year, enters camp atop the depth chart. The Terps also have a pair of talented redshirt freshmen in Danny O’Brien and C.J. Brown, who spent a year learning offensive coordinator James Franklin’s system and look ready to contribute.
“I saw more of a leadership role by Jamarr [today],” said Friedgen. “I thought his fundamentals were better. I thought his reads were better. The guy that kind of showed some improvement was C.J. Brown. I thought he did some things better than he did in the spring. I sat in a meeting with him and to me he was a lot sharper than he has been, so maybe he’s starting to mature a little bit.”
Notable: Avery Murray, who was the listed as the backup at Mike linebacker behind Alex Wujciak, has left the team for personal reasons. Sophomore Ryan Donohue moves up a spot on the depth chart. Redshirt freshman De’Onte Arnett, a reserve defensive tackle, will also miss preseason camp. He was diagnosed with a cyst on his ankle and will be out of action about six weeks. Taylor Watson is the only other member of the two-deep who will not be a part of the 105-man preseason roster. Watson had knee surgery in the spring and is not expected back until next month.
The Canes had a walk-through practice Tuesday morning on the Greentree Practice Fields. They spent just under an hour on the practice fields sharpening up for the first fall scrimmage Wednesday night. After working through positional drills, the team came together and spent the rest of the session in 11-on-11, two-minute drill work.
Defensive highlights: In the two-minute drill, the first-team defense forced a quick three-and-out, and only allowed one score the rest of the session. Among the highlights were a DeMarcus Van Dyke pass breakup, a Marcus Forston quarterback hurry and a Luther Robinson sack.
Offensive highlights: Tight end Chase Ford may have turned in his best showing of camp on Tuesday. Ford caught a first down pass over the middle on a third a long before later scoring the session’s only touchdown on a 40-yard catch-and-run down the right sideline.
Up next: Wednesday’s scrimmage is closed to the public. Following the scrimmage, the team will take its first day off from camp on Thursday before returning to the practice fields for its first two-a-day on Friday.
The Deacs practiced in pads for the first time.
Jim Grobe says: “We didn’t have the greatest practice mentally but it was a good night effort wise. The guys are working real hard, flying around and bumping into each other. We have a lot in right now offensively and defensively and the young guys are a little flustered but at least when they're making mistakes, they’re making them in a hurry.”
On the competition: “We have nine seniors and quite a bit of juniors but some of our most talented guys at spots are freshmen and sophomores. So there is quite a bit of competition right now and there are number of spots were you can feel comfortable at the top of the depth chart one day and be at the bottom of the chart the next. It’s a good position for us because we don’t just have guys that are talented at the top and there’s no one pushing them. We have talent at every position and guys know they have to come out to practice each day and get after it.”
On the quarterbacks: “We have a great group of guys right now at quarterback. I think you get a little concerned if you don’t have any talent back there but we have three or four guys that have enough talent to win. What we’re looking for right now is a guy who makes very few mental mistakes and does not turn the football over. That’s going to be the key. The flashiest guys, the fastest guy, the guy with the best arm may not end up being our quarterback. It’s going to be the guy that doesn’t get us beat. The guy that takes care of the ball the best and makes the fewest mental mistakes is probably going to be the guy.”
Up next: The Deacons continue to practice this week as they prepare for their first intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday at 2 p.m. at BB&T Field. The team will practice again Wednesday evening from 8-10 p.m. at the Doc Martin Practice Complex on campus.
Carter was ranked No. 1 on Feldman's list and Miami defensive end Allen Bailey came in at No. 3.
Here's what Feldman wrote on Carter:
This defense is overflowing with freaks (Mel Kiper thinks so too), but it's Carter -- a three-year starter at OLB who has led the nation with five blocked kicks -- who merits top freak status this year. He's part of the country's fastest linebacking corps. Carter's workout numbers are every bit as impressive as his football stats. He has set UNC linebacker records in the power clear (374) and the vertical jump (40.5 inches). The 238-pounder has also been clocked at 4.39 in the 40 and bench-presses 440. Asked which of the testing numbers he's most proud of, Carter says it's his power clean, which is tied for tops on the team with DE Robert Quinn and Zach Pianalto. "It measures the explosiveness the most," said the former high school quarterback. Perhaps the biggest freak quality of all about Carter goes back to this: We got to talking about his eating habits when I interviewed him.
"How strict are you about diet?" I asked.
"Well, not very. I eat a lot of McDonald's and fast foods, but I do work out real hard."
"Like how much McDonald's?"
"Almost every day. I usually get three double cheeseburgers, medium fries, large tea and a six-piece McNuggets. I don't think eating healthy as far as eating salads and that stuff really works for me."
Apparently that McFeast does, though.
As for Bailey? Well, just ask his buddy DeMarcus VanDyke. Here's what VanDyke told Feldman:
"I've been his roommate for three years. Our freshman year, he picked me up by my feet with one hand and hung me upside down," said VanDyke, who added that he's also witnessed Bailey power-clean 400 pounds, vertical 39 inches and run a 4.65 40.
- A statistical analysis by the Post and Courier revealed that Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker could be on a path similar to that of Colt McCoy and Jimmy Clausen -- if, of course, he sticks with football.
- Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson wins the Mr. Popularity Award on campus. (He is a very funny guy.)
- Maryland recruit Nigel King was ready to head to LSU until a coaching change made him think twice about it.
- Michael Vick's visit to Virginia Tech last weekend paid off -- $1,000 was donated to The Humane Society of Montgomery County, thanks to a Vick autograph session.
- Andrew Carter of the Orlando Sentinel gives a scouting report on FSU's offensive line.
- Miami's DeMarcus Van Dyke says he has bulked up enough to be an impact corner in the ACC.
The defense led the way as safety Jordon Byas and defensive end Justin Foxx scored defensive touchdowns and the defense forced five turnovers in a 75-play scrimmage at the Brooks Practice Field. Byas intercepted Brandon Connette for a 41-yard touchdown return. Foxx later scooped up a fumble and ran 35 yards for a score. Duke will take a spring break before resuming practice on March 17.
- Defensive end Kenny Anunike had one fumble recovery while defensive tackle Sydney Sarmiento and cornerback Ross Cockrell carded one interception each.
- Linebacker Abraham Kromah had four tackles for loss, including one quarterback sack. Anunike, Foxx, linebacker Austin Gamble and linebacker Tyree Glover also made sacks while noseguard Curtis Hazelton was credited with two tackles for loss.
- Running back Patrick Kurunwune rushed 13 times for a game-high 82 yards with one touchdown while Josh Snead added 56 yards and two touchdowns on 10 attempts.
- Quarterback Sean Schroeder completed 10 of 20 passes for 116 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown pass to wideout Conner Vernon. He was intercepted once and added a 7-yard touchdown run.
- Austin Kelly caught a scrimmage-best four passes for 36 yards while Tyree Watkins had three grabs for 33 yards.
“We had good work today; a lot of things happened. We made it very game-like; played field position; played the game. The best thing that happened was our defense taking the ball away. Jordon Byas intercepted a pass early, took it back for a score, and kind of set the tempo of the game.” -- Coach David Cutcliffe
The Canes went two hours in full pads and will practice again on Friday before having a closed scrimmage on Saturday. Miami finished practice working in 9-on-9 situations with some special teams work sprinkled in between the two periods. UM also worked on field goal protection before ending practice working in 11-on-11, blitz and third-down team situations.
- Senior defensive back DeMarcus Van Dyke had an interception during the blitz period.
- Junior quarterback Spencer Whipple found Kendal Thompkins for a nice gain of more than 20 yards over the middle.
- Junior wide receiver LaRon Byrd ended the blitz period with a grab as he snatched a ball thrown by Stephen Morris out of the air over three defenders.
"We have more depth. I’m not worried about five offensive linemen making practice or seven offensive linemen or five defensive linemen. We have depth now. You feel good about your team. You feel good about the progress you’ve made. You also just feel good, because you have numbers to work with. You see guys that have grown and gotten bigger. You look at LaRon Byrd and how big he is. You look at offensive line with big physical guys. The defensive line is big and physical. When I first took over, we were very small. Right now, we can do the things we need to get done." -- Coach Randy Shannon
OUT FOR SEASON
LB Mark Herzlich (illness)
FOR VIRGINIA GAME
RB Rolandan Finch (illness) - OUT
DE Alex Albright (ankle) – DOUBTFUL
LS Jack Geiser (foot) – DOUBTFUL
WR Billy Flutie (head) - PROBABLE
OT Rich Lapham (shoulder) - PROBABLE
LB Mike McLaughlin (leg) - PROBABLE
DaQuan Bowers, DE, knee
Coty Sensabaugh, CB, toe
Cleared to play
Kantrell Brown, DB, concussion
QB Thaddeus Lewis (leg) -- Probable
LB Damian Thornton (neck) -- Probable
WR Donovan Varner (knee) -- Probable
WR Conner Vernon (head) -- Probable
WR Johnny Williams (knee) -- Probable
LB Abraham Kromah (leg) -- Questionable
OG Mitchell Lederman (foot) -- Questionable
LB Vincent Rey (leg) -- Questionable
K Will Snyderwine (leg) -- Questionable
DT Vince Oghobaase (leg) -- Doubtful
RB Kyle Griswould (leg) -- OUT FOR SEASON
WR Tyree Watkins (leg) -- OUT FOR SEASON
S Anthony Young-Wiseman (knee) -- OUT FOR SEASON
76 OT Garrett Faircloth (hip)
70 OT Antwane Greenlee (knee)
51 LB Aaron Gresham (knee)
44 LB Maurice Harris (neck)*
97 DT Demonte McAllister (knee)
94 DT Justin Mincey (knee)
81 TE Caz Piurowski (knee)*
7 QB Christian Ponder (shoulder)*
74 OT John Prior (knee)
27 CB Xavier Rhodes (thumb)
11 LB Vince Williams (back)
28 CB Dionte Allen (thumb)
9 WR Richard Goodman (groin)
89 WR Louis Givens (hand)
72 DT Budd Thacker (knee)
* - out for the season
Austin Barrick, r-Jr., OT (heel)
Kevin Cone, r-Jr., WR (ankle)
Robert Hall, r-Jr., DE (knee)
Out For Season
Kyle Jackson, r-So., LB (foot)
Cooper Taylor, So., S (undisclosed)
Out for season:
Tyler Bowen (foot)
Nolan Carroll (leg)
Bennett Fulper (shoulder)
Isaiah Ross (knee)
Da’Rel Scott (wrist)
Chris Turner (knee)
Ronnie Tyler (upper body)
Austin Walker (lower body)
Demetrius Hartsfield (hand)
DL Eric Moncur – Lower Extremity
DB DeMarcus Van Dyke – Lower Extremity
DB Ray-Ray Armstrong – Lower Extremity
FB Patrick Hill – Lower Extremity
DB JoJo Nicolas – Upper Extremity
LB Sean Spence – Lower Extremity
Surgery and Out for the Season
DL Dyron Dye – Lower Extremity
DL Marcus Forston – Lower Extremity
LB Jordan Futch – Lower Extremity
TE Richard Gordon – Upper Extremity
LB Shayon Green – Lower Extremity
DE Gavin Hardin – Upper Extremity
DB Ryan Hill – Upper Extremity
DE Adewale Ojomo – Jaw
Joshua Adams WR Shoulder
AJ Blue RB/QB Knee
David Collins OT Foot
Shaun Draughn TB Shoulder
Carl Gaskins OT Knee
Matt Merletti S Knee
Trevor Stuart DS Knee
Ryan Taylor TE Knee
Jamal Womble TB Wrist
Brennan Williams OT Wrist
Cam Holland C Shoulder
OUT FOR SEASON
Mario Carter, TE - knee
Ryan Cheek, LB - hip
Denzelle Good, OL – shoulder
T.J. Graham, WR – stress fracture/leg
Nate Irving, LB - leg
Colby Jackson, FB - knee
R.J. Mattes, OG - knee
Everett Proctor, QB – shoulder
Jeff Rieskamp, DE – sports hernia
Rashard Smith, CB - knee
Javon Walker, S – knee
James Washington, HB - knee
Ray Michel, LB - ankle
Raynard Horne (back)
Quintin Hunter (ankle)
Darren Childs (neck)
Jameel Sewell (shoulder)
Marc Verica (head)
Javaris Brown (ankle)
Aaron Clark (knee)
Matt Conrath (ankle)
Colte Phillips (leg)
Out for Season
Darren Evans (ACL)
Beau Warren (knee)
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- There seem to be more towels on the field right now as the players warm up as there are footballs. It's pouring here. There aren't many people in the stands at all right now, and those who are are blobs of ponchos. Everyone is soaked.
Demetrius Taylor is getting his first career start today for the Hokies at defensive tackle, and Stephan Virgil is back, but we won't know until they line up if he'll be at boundary or field corner.
For Miami, Aldarius Johnson, Andrew Smith and Marcus Forston didn't make the trip, and they were all on the injury report. Here's how the Canes' starting defensive line will look: LE Steven Wesley, LT Allen Bailey, RT Joe Joseph, RE Olivier Vernon.
Obviously it doesn't help to have two injured starters missing on the defensive line, but I still think the Canes will hold their own. The only other lineup change is DeMarcus Van Dyke will start at corner over Sam Shields.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Anytime you see more than two players listed with an "illness" you have to wonder these days if its the Swine Flu. I'm checking on it. As the headline indicates, here are the injury reports for Thursday night's game between Georgia Tech and Miami:
Jaybo Shaw, So., QB (broken collarbone)
Kyle Jackson, r-So., LB (foot)
Tyler Melton, So., WR (knee)
Preston Lyons, r-Jr., BB (shoulder)
Richard Watson, r-Fr., BB (hamstring)
DE Eric Moncur -- lower extremity
WR Aldarius Johnson -- lower extremity
OL Ben Jones -- illness
RB Damien Berry -- illness
DE Adewale Ojomo -- jaw
OL Cory White -- lower extremity
LB Levi Paalua -- upper extremity
DB DeMarcus Van Dyke -- head
DB JoJo Nicolas -- illness
Surgery/Out for Season
DE Gavin Hardin -- upper extremity
LB Shayon Green -- lower extremity
n said. "He kind of looked like he had solidified the job and then he opens it up again." Defensive back Eric Franklin, a true freshman, made a scrimmage-best eight tackles and picked off Turner on the sixth possession. MIAMI The Canes wrapped up their final two-a-day of fall camp on Sunday, and coach Randy Shannon said everything -- that's right, everything -- is still up for grabs. Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post had a couple of notes for you off Sunday's practice. Morning Practice Highlights -- (pads) Joe Joseph and Marcus Robinson each had a sack in 11-on-11 drills. Randy Phillips (INT, pass break-up) and DeMarcus Van Dyke (two pass break-ups) stood out in the secondary. Lee Chambers and Damien Berry each broke off a couple runs of 15+ yards. Javarris James caught several passes in both 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 sessions Afternoon Practice Highlights -- (shells) Sam Shields (red zone), Chavez Grant (7-on-7) and C.J. Holton (11-on-11) all recorded interceptions. Grant returned his for a touchdown while Holton caught his off a tipped pass. A.J. Highsmith connected with Tommy Streeter (11-on-11) and LaRon Byrd (7-on-7) for significant yardage. Damien Berry took a short pass in the flat from Taylor Cook for a long gain. Other highlights include a near interception by Randy Phillips, a pass break-up by Ramon Buchanan and a sack by Micanor Regis. Red zone touchdowns included Jacory Harris to Richard Gordon and Taylor Cook to Jimmy Graham. VIRGINIA TECH So ... add Ryan Williams to the list of VT running backs who are banged up. Williams sprained his ankle, and Josh Oglesby has "the worst infection" coach Billy Hite has ever seen on a foot. Also, the coaches want to redshirt Logan Thomas, and Kenny Lewis Jr.'s recovery has been delayed. Not a lot of happy news coming out of Blacksburg these days. To read Virginia Tech's entire scrimmage report, click here. Tyrod Taylor completed 8 of 11 passes for 78 yards. Xavier Boyce led all receivers with two catches for 47 yards. Freshman running back Tony Gregory rushed 18 times for 48 yards and two touchdowns. Williams rushed just five times for 22 yards before spraining his ankle and sitting out the rest of the scrimmage. He did score on a 4-yard run and he returned several punts. Matt Waldron was 4-for-4 on his field goal attempts. (31, 32, 43, 30) Defensive tackle Cordarrow Thompson led the defense with seven tackles, four for a loss, and one sack.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Miami cornerback Sam Shields always writes down his goals, and this year, they're quite specific: Get five picks and return three of them for touchdowns.
Having been a receiver at Miami for the past three years, there's no question he can catch the ball and score. Shields, a junior, played in all 13 games last year either as a receiver or a gunner on special teams. He has started 15 career games and enters his first season as a cornerback with 971 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. His receptions decreased last year as there were several talented freshmen to share the ball with. Shields said coach Randy Shannon approached him about the move, and he was willing to do whatever it took to help the team.
|Doug Benc/Getty Images|
|Sam Shields will go from receiving catches to defending them.|
"When I started spring it was tough trying to catch on, but as the spring kept going I was getting better and better," Shields said. "Now we're doing seven-on-sevens and it seems like I've been at corner forever now."
Shields said the toughest receiver he's gone against in his new position has been LaRon Byrd, and there's been no shortage of trash-talking, from the field to the weight room.
"There's a lot of animosity," Byrd said. "A guy like Sam Shields is an athlete, so there's not too much you can fool him by. He played receiver, so he knows the routes you're going to run, and plus he's fast. He's got make-up speed. So it's kind of hard to get past him. You have to do a lot of double moves on Sam."
The secondary was definitely a place that could use some help. DeMarcus Van Dyke, Chavez Grant and Brandon Harris are the most experienced starters at cornerback, but were inconsistent last year. Van Dyke, entering his third season, made two starts last year. Harris started six games as a true freshman and Grant started seven. Ryan Hill could also slide from safety to corner this season, but Shields will definitely be in the rotation.
"I've got a real good chance of starting," Shields said. "We weren't that deep on the corner position. I've got a real good chance of starting."
To get there, though, he's got to beat the same receivers he was once practicing with. Byrd said he thinks the move will benefit the team because Shields is such a great athlete he can play anywhere. It's the backpeddling as a cornerback that's been tripping him up.
"It was tough at first," he said. "I was getting sore, just the transition from running at the receiver to having the receiver come to you. That was tough. You've just got to keep working on it, day by day."
The coaching staff hasn't made any secrets about its desire to narrow the deep group of receivers to a few go-to playmakers, and Byrd said that's upped the intensity a notch this summer.
"If you tell any group of athletes that it's going to drive them harder and make them work harder," Byrd said. "I'm kind of glad (the coaches) did that because a lot of people get complacent. I don't want to get complacent or say, 'Well, I know I'm going to start.' Everyone wants to play, so it's going to bring the level of competition up between everybody."