ACC: Eddie Johnson

Miami Hurricanes

2012 record: 7-5

2012 conference record: 5-3, Coastal

Returning starters: Offense: 10; defense: 10; kicker/punter: 0

Top returners

QB Stephen Morris, RB Duke Johnson, DL Anthony Chickillo, LB Denzel Perryman

Key losses

RB Mike James, CB Brandon McGee, LB Gionni Paul, LB Eddie Johnson

2012 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Johnson* (947 yards, 10 TDs)
Passing: Morris* (245-of-421 for 3,345 yards, 21 TDs, 7 INTs)
Receiving: Phillip Dorsett* (842 yards, 4 TDs)
Tackles: Shayon Green* (67)
Sacks: Chickillo* (4)
Interceptions: McGee, Jimmy Gaines* (two each)

Spring answers

1. New coordinator, no problems. From the looks of things, it appears as if Miami has settled in quite nicely with new offensive coordinator James Coley. Stephen Morris had a great spring game, throwing for 256 yards and four touchdowns, and Duke Johnson had 120 yards on 10 carries. Seems as if both players are already in midseason form.

2. Malcolm Lewis is back. The Hurricanes also had one of the best stories of the spring when Lewis caught a 75-yard touchdown pass in the spring game -- his first appearance since a gruesome ankle injury against Georgia Tech cut his season short. His teammates ran out onto the field to mob him and celebrate his return. He should be a factor in the pass game this fall.

3. Henderson matures. Miami has been waiting on offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson to mature. His career in Miami has been rocky at best. But Henderson showed signs of maturation in this spring, drawing praise from teammates and coach Al Golden. He is firmly entrenched as the starting right tackle.

Fall questions

1. Defense. Everybody believes this group should be better this year with 10 starters returning. But these 10 starters also played pretty poorly at times last year. So which is it going to be? There were definite signs of growth this spring, but they have plenty to prove when the season begins.

2. Linebacker depth. Miami lost three linebackers this spring for off-the-field reasons (Gabe Terry, Eddie Johnson, Gionni Paul). Paul and Johnson ranked third and fourth on the team in tackles last season, respectively. Neither participated in spring practice so the Hurricanes had a chance to develop younger players. But losing three linebackers is never good from a depth standpoint.

3. Open competitions remain. Three of the four starting jobs in the secondary remain up for grabs. Safety Deon Bush is the only one who has locked down a starting job. The others feature competition at one cornerback spot between Ladarius Gunter and Tracy Howard; the other cornerback spot between Antonio Crawford and Nate Dortch; and the other safety spot between AJ Highsmith and Rayshawn Jenkins.
Miami coach Al Golden said Thursday that backup linebacker Gabe Terry has been dismissed from the team, following the news last week that Terry was charged with felony marijuana possession.

Terry played as a backup last season, and previously served a suspension at the end of the year for undisclosed reasons.

"He was suspended before the incident,” Golden said on the ACC coaches' call. "We’ve separated and are going in another direction."

Terry is the third linebacker the Hurricanes have lost since the season ended. Eddie Johnson, who also was serving a suspension this spring, has decided to transfer to junior college. Gionni Paul mutually parted ways with the team in January. He had seven starts and 61 tackles last season, finishing third on the team.

Here are a few other newsworthy notes from the coaches' call:
  • Boston College coach Steve Addazio confirmed that defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey has received a sixth year of eligibility. Ramsey missed a majority of the last two seasons with various injuries. Addazio, however, says Ramsey is now healthy and seems thrilled with his potential. "He’s an elite defensive lineman," Addazio said. "He’s the kind of guy I was used to seeing in the SEC. He’s a guy that’s very physical, very powerful, he’s athletic and really was very disruptive in the spring so we have high expectations for him."
  • Syracuse coach Scott Shafer had one of the best lines of the entire call when asked about his quarterback competition between Terrel Hunt, Charley Loeb and John Kinder. "Someone asked me the other day if it's controversial," Shafer recalled. "I said, 'Hell yeah' we have a quarterback controversy. We don't know who we're starting yet."
  • North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said if the season began today, A.J. Blue would be his starting running back, replacing All-ACC performer Giovani Bernard. Fedora praised Blue's emergence as a team leader, but he also said Romar Morris had the best spring among the backs. At this point, it probably doesn't matter who starts. Both guys are going to see a lot of playing time. Watch out for freshman Khris Francis, too.

ACC's lunchtime links

April, 18, 2013
Time flies. Spring ball is nearly over!
Miami will open spring practice Saturday without eight players -- including five projected starters -- the school announced Friday.

Starters Thurston Armbrister, Malcolm Lewis, Shane McDermott and Gabe Terry will be held out, along with running back Eduardo Clements, receiver Robert Lockhart Jr. and defensive lineman Dave Perry. Linebacker Eddie Johnson remains suspended indefinitely.

Among the most notable items on the preseason depth chart:
  • Freshman Alex Figueroa is listed as the No. 1 strongside linebacker with Armbrister and Johnson out.
  • Sophomore Raphael Kirby is listed as the No. 1 middle linebacker ahead of Jimmy Gaines.
  • Sophomore Matt Goudis is listed at both kicker and punter as the Canes have to replace punter Dalton Botts and kicker Jake Wieclaw.
  • Tracy Howard is listed No. 1 at cornerback in the spot departed by senior Brandon McGee played last season.

Miami suspends WR Rashawn Scott

November, 10, 2012
Miami starting receiver Rashawn Scott has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules, the school announced Saturday.

Scott ranks second on the team with 512 yards receiving and three touchdowns on 35 catches.

In addition, starting linebackers Eddie Johnson and Denzel Perryman stayed home in Miami, and starting safety Deon Bush is also out with an injury. Perryman has a sprained ankle, and Johnson has not met the requirements for team travel.

Being without four starters is clearly not ideal for Miami, which faces Virginia on Saturday afternoon. Miami has the inside track to win the Coastal Division, but the Hurricanes have to win their final two ACC games to do so. Virginia has won two straight in the series and four of the last six, so breaking through with a win will be made more difficult without some of its top contributors this season.

Midseason report: Miami

October, 16, 2012

Record: 4-3, 3-1 ACC

Even Miami coach Al Golden called his team the “Cardiac Canes” at one point this season.

Miami came up short twice on the road against ranked opponents and was beaten soundly by both No. 21 Kansas State and No. 9 Notre Dame, but the Canes have still found a way to be relevant in the Coastal Division race. With almost an entirely new starting lineup on offense, the young Miami team beat Georgia Tech on the road in overtime, and beat NC State at home, 44-37, with 19 seconds remaining. Even with Saturday’s loss to North Carolina -- the Canes’ first ACC loss of the season -- Miami is still a contender in the division.

The season-opening 41-32 win at Boston College set the tone for the season (for both programs), and gave the Canes the much-needed cushion in ACC play and confidence heading into a September stretch that included three of four games on the road. To be able to win at BC and at Georgia Tech showed that the Canes were playing with heart and emotion, and buying in to Golden’s philosophies. The defense has been the team’s weakest link, as its inability to stop the run has caught up with it.

Offensive MVP: QB Stephen Morris. In his first season as full-time starter, Morris has been a game-changer. In the win over Georgia Tech, he passed for 436 yards and rallied the Hurricanes from a 36-19 deficit. Against NC State, he threw for an ACC-record 566 passing yards and five touchdowns. He ranks second among ACC quarterbacks in passing yards per game (284.4) and is second in total offense (296.6).

Defensive MVP: Eddie Johnson. He made his first career start at Kansas State and had seven tackles. He had seven tackles, two forced fumbles and a sack in the win over NC State. He also had a game-high nine tackles at Georgia Tech. He is second on the team with 39 tackles, including 5.5 for loss and one sack. He is tied for the ACC lead with three forced fumbles.

ACC players of the week

October, 1, 2012
Here are the ACC players of the week, as announced by the league office Monday.

Offensive back: Stephen Morris, QB, Miami. Morris threw for a Miami and ACC record 566 yards to lead the Hurricanes to a 44-37 win over NC State. The junior quarterback completed 26 of 49 passes, and recorded five touchdowns, tying five other Miami quarterbacks for the most in a single game and the first since Kyle Wright at Wake Forest in 2005. His fifth touchdown pass of the day was the game-winner, a 62-yard pass to Phillip Dorsett with 19 seconds remaining. It was his second scoring throw of more than 60 yards on the day. Morris registered 271 passing yards in the first quarter, becoming the fourth FBS player to throw for that many in a quarter since 2004. In his last two games, he has thrown for 1,002 yards.

Offensive lineman: Bryan Stork, OL, Florida State. Stork, the most experienced player on the Seminoles’ offensive front, posted his second consecutive outstanding performance of the season in the 30-17 win at South Florida. Stork graded out at 77 percent and had just one missed assignment while triggering all 67 snaps for the Florida State offense. He was not penalized and did not yield a sack in a performance that came on the heels of a career-best 95 percent grade against Clemson. The Seminoles rolled up 424 yards of total offense (242 pass, 182 rush) against the Bulls.

Reciever: Alex Amidon, WR, Boston College. Amidon caught eight passes for a career-high 193 yards and two touchdowns in Boston College’s 45-31 loss to Clemson, accounting for 52 percent of the team’s receiving yardage and 39 percent of its points. Additionally, the total marked the most receiving yards in a game for a Boston College player since Gerard Phelan had 226 receiving yards against Miami on Nov. 23, 1984. Saturday’s Boston College-Clemson game featured the top two single-game ACC receiving performances so far this fall; Amidon’s total was just 4 yards behind Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins’ 197-yard effort. Amidon has eclipsed 100 receiving yards in three games this fall, and ranks fourth among all FBS players in receiving yards per game (139.8).

Defensive Lineman: Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State. Carradine registered a team-high nine tackles, including 1.5 quarterback sacks and a forced fumble, as the Seminoles defeated South Florida. The Seminoles limited USF to 124 total yards after the first quarter en route to moving to 5-0 on the season. Carradine’s late third-quarter sack of USF backup quarterback Matt Floyd resulted in a fumble, which teammate Christian Jones scooped up and raced 12 yards into the end zone for the Seminoles’ final score of the game. Through five games, Carradine leads the Seminoles with 28 tackles and seven sacks, while his eight tackles for loss trails teammate Bjoern Werner by one. It is the second weekly honor of the season for Carradine.

Linebacker: Gionni Paul, Miami. Paul, making his first start at middle linebacker, tallied a forced fumble and career- and team-high 11 tackles, including eight solo stops, in Miami’s 44-37 win over NC State. Paul’s 11 tackles match his total in his first 11 career games.

Defensive back: Jordon Byas, S, Duke. Byas led Duke to a 34-27 road win over Wake Forest by recording a team-best and career-high 11 tackles. He also added one interception and half a sack -- both firsts of his career. Byas has helped Duke to a 4-1 start to the season, marking the best five-game opening to a season since the 1994 squad started 5-0 while matching the third-best five-game opening to a season since 1966 (5-0 in both 1988 and 1994; 4-1 in 1971, 1974 and 2012).

Specialist: Dustin Hopkins, K, Florida State. Hopkins missed an early field goal from 48 yards but made his final three attempts in a 30-17 win at South Florida. By converting from 26, 43 and 23 yards, Hopkins pushed his career field goal total to 69, which ranks second in Florida State and fourth in ACC history. With 12 points on the day, Hopkins also moved into sole possession of second place on the Florida State and ACC career scoring charts, with 377 points. He trails Florida State record holder Derek Schmidt and ACC record holder Nick Novak of Maryland by 16 points -- they both finished with 393 -- to become the all-time leader. Hopkins is also just eight points shy of moving into 10th place on the NCAA all-time scoring list.

Rookie: Eddie Johnson, LB, Miami. Johnson had seven tackles (six solo stops), one sack, two forced fumbles and one pass breakup in Miami’s 44-37 win over NC State. His six solo stops were second among Miami players and the seven tackles were third on the team.

ACC announces Players of the Week

September, 24, 2012
Here are the ACC's Players of the Week for Week 4 as announced by the leauge offices in Greensboro, N.C.:

OFFENSIVE BACK – EJ Manuel, Florida State, Senior, QB, 6-5, 240, Virginia Beach, Va.

Manuel turned in one of the most complete performances by a Seminole quarterback in ACC play, passing for a career-high 380 yards (27-35-0) and two touchdowns, while adding 102 rushing yards on 11 carries in the 49-37 victory over No. 10 Clemson. He is the first Seminole quarterback since Charlie Ward in 1992 against Maryland to pass for more than 300 yards and rush for more than 100 yards. Manuel calmly led the Seminoles back from a 14-point, second half deficit, completing 12 of 17 second half attempts for 199 yards and a pair of scores. The Seminoles erased a 28-14 deficit by outscoring Clemson 28-3, a streak that included TD passes of nine yards to Rashad Green and 29 yards to Rodney Smith. Manuel was named National Offensive Player of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards. His performance was also notable because he moved to the No. 1 spot in ACC career history in completion percentage (67.2) and passing efficiency (151.41).

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Menelik Watson, Florida State, Junior, OL, 6-6, 320, Manchester, Great Britain

Making just his second career start at the Division I level, Watson was a force from his right tackle position for the Seminoles. Florida State amassed 667 yards of total offense – 287 rushing and 380 passing – against the Tigers. Watson was often at the point of attack on a day when the Seminoles pounded out five rushing touchdowns, pushing their ACC-leading total to 20 on the year. It was Florida State’s most productive effort in an ACC game since compiling more than 700 yards against Clemson in 2000. Watson graded out at 82 percent with just one missed assignment in 78 snaps. He was flawless in pass protection as the Tigers managed just one sack, which came on a blitz from the opposite side.

RECEIVER – Phillip Dorsett, Miami, Sophomore, WR, 5-9, 187, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Dorsett tallied career highs with nine receptions for 184 yards and a touchdown in Miami’s thrilling 42-36 come-from-behind overtime win at Georgia Tech. His first catch of the game came on a career-long 65-yard TD reception in the first quarter, and his 184 receiving yards are the seventh-most in a single game in school history. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., native also added a 41-yard reception in the second quarter. Dorsett entered the game with 12 catches for 89 yards through first three games of season and only 236 receiving yards in 15 career games.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Zach Thompson, Wake Forest, Junior, DE, 6-5, 255, Ashburn, Va.

Thompson, a 6-5, 255-pound redshirt junior defensive end from Ashburn, Va., recorded a career-high 12 tackles and tied for the team high as Wake Forest downed Army, 49-37. Thompson had seven solo stops and five assists versus the Black Knights.

LINEBACKER – Eddie Johnson, Miami, Freshman, LB, 6-1, 238, Atlanta, Ga.

The Atlanta native had a career-high nine tackles (six solo) and assisted on a tackle-for-loss in front of his hometown crowd during Miami’s 42-36 overtime road win at Georgia Tech. The biggest tackle came on 4th-and-1 on Miami’s 2-yard line in overtime as Johnson stopped Yellow Jacket quarterback Tevin Washington for no gain, giving the ball to Miami that led to the eventual game-winning overtime drive.

DEFENSIVE BACK – Jabari Price, North Carolina, Junior, CB, 6-0, 195, Pompano Beach, Fla.

Price posted eight tackles (five solo, three assists), had a 13-yard sack, and broke up a pass in Carolina's 27-6 victory over East Carolina. Price's sack was the first of his career and it forced ECU to punt. The Tar Heels accumulated seven sacks on the day, the most since 2000 vs. Wake Forest. Price was part of a defensive effort that limited the Pirates to 233 total yards.

SPECIALIST – Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State, Junior, DB, 5-8, 195, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Joyner was responsible for perhaps the biggest momentum changing play of the 49-37 victory over No. 10 Clemson when he raced 90 yards with a third quarter kickoff return in response to the Tigers taking a 31-21 lead with 7:32 remaining in the quarter. Joyner, who finished with 185 kickoff return yards on five attempts, was brought down at the Clemson 10-yard line. Two plays later, EJ Manuel completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene as the Seminoles reeled off 28 unanswered points. In addition to his return work, Joyner was also instrumental on defense, contributing three tackles.

ROOKIE – Stefon Diggs, Maryland, Freshman, WR, 6-1, 185, Gaithersburg, Md.

Diggs made the most of his three touches on offense, turning three receptions into 113 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Maryland’s 31-21 loss to No. 8 West Virginia. The freshman had a 42-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter on a highlight-reel play in which he raced down the sideline and dove into the end zone from four yards out. In the fourth quarter, he had a 56-yard touchdown catch. Diggs also added 63 kickoff return yards and 25 punt return yards to total 201 all-purpose yards, his second straight game with 200-plus.