ACC: fresh faces

Fresh faces: Boston College

August, 5, 2010
8/05/10
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We've reached the end of the "fresh faces" series, as we take a look at three players who could make a name for themselves this fall at Boston College:

WLB Kevin Pierre-Louis: The true freshman was one of three early enrollees (along with QBs Chase Rettig and Josh Bordner) and is on the preseason two-deep. His family lives in Haiti and he narrowly missed being there during the earthquake due to his early enrollment at BC.

DT Dillon Quinn: The redshirt freshman will need to step up as BC needs all the help it can get on the defensive line. Quinn, from Elmsford, N.Y., earned the 2008 Coaches Award at Trinity Pawling, where he helped the Pride win the 2007 New England Class A title. He was selected to play in the 2009 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl.

DT Kasim Edebali: The native of Hamburg, Germany, redshirted last year, and came to Chestnut Hill after two years at Kimball Union Academy as part of the USA Football International Student Program. He played club football in Germany, and was a tight end for the German U-19 National Team at the 2006 European Championship.

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Fresh faces: Clemson

August, 4, 2010
8/04/10
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The Tigers are up next in a series that looks at three players for each school who could make a name for themselves this fall:

Quandon Christian, LB: He's the only freshman in the preseason starting lineup, though he is a redshirt freshman. He was the second-leading tackler in the spring game and earned a promotion from third string. He's from Lake View, S.C., where he rushed for 1,368 yards and 23 touchdowns during his senior season.

Jonathan Willard, LB: He redshirted in 2008 and spent last year as a backup who saw most of his snaps on special teams. He made 10 tackles in just 32 plays, including three tackles for loss. He came to Clemson touted by ESPN.com as the No. 22 linebacker in his class.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR: The true freshman didn't get a lot of hype coming out of high school, but he's a great athlete who has a chance to step in and catch a lot of passes. The hometown player had 57 career receptions for 1,266 yards and 18 touchdowns.

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Fresh faces: Duke

August, 3, 2010
8/03/10
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The Blue Devils are up next in the series that looks at previously unknown players who could make a name for themselves this fall:

Cooper Helfet, TE: He enrolled at Duke in January and participated in spring practices. He's listed as a reserve tight end entering summer camp, but could emerge as a downfield threat after playing primarily as a wide receiver at Santa Rosa Junior College. He led the Blue Devil tight ends in bench press (345 pounds), 40-yard dash (4.73) and vertical jump (30.0). He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Josh Snead, RB: The true freshman enrolled in January and impressed the staff with his explosiveness during the spring. He ran for a team-best 99 yards on just nine carries in the spring game, including a 60-yard run. In the post-spring evaluations, Snead led all running backs with a 4.44 40-yard dash, a 35.0 vertical jump and a 10-foot-4 broad jump.

Kevin Rojas, LB: The redshirt freshman from Raleigh, N.C., enters summer camp as the starter at middle linebacker. He was named the program's Most Improved Defensive Player following spring drills.

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Fresh faces: Florida State

August, 2, 2010
8/02/10
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Here's a look at three players who could make a name for themselves this fall at Florida State:

CB Xavier Rhodes RS-Fr. -- He's 6-foot-1 with a solid frame, outstanding feet and receiver skills. He split time at boundary corner this past spring with starter Ochuko Jenije and is likely to push the veteran for the starting job this summer.

DT Anthony McCloud RS-So. -- The junior college transfer brings size (300 pounds) to a unit in need. He was very productive as a true freshman at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College after starring at Thomasville (Ga.) Thomas County Central. He originally signed with Florida State as a member of the 2008 class and has three years of eligibility remaining.

CB Lamarcus Joyner Fr. -- The USA Today National Defensive Player of the Year is a bigger version of Greg Reid and may contribute as a kickoff returner as well. ESPN Recruiting services ranked him the No. 1 cornerback in his class and the No. 6 prospect overall.

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Fresh faces: Georgia Tech

July, 30, 2010
7/30/10
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We'll head into the weekend looking at a few players from Georgia Tech who could make names for themselves this fall:

Isaiah Johnson, Fr., S: He enrolled in January and is skilled enough to see immediate playing time. He broke school records for career and single-season interceptions at Sandy Creek High in Tyrone, Ga. He had 53 tackles and seven sacks as a junior and helped lead his team to the state championship as a senior.

Jason Peters, Jr., DE: Most Georgia Tech fans already know who Peters is, but he's never been a consistent starter until this season and his role will increase dramatically. He's played both end and tackle and should be an anchor in the 3-4 defense. He was the most improved player of the spring and started four of 13 games last year.

Will Jackson, r-Fr., OL: He took a slight lead ahead of three or four other redshirt freshmen offensive linemen, but he gained a lot of strength in the spring and summer and could start at guard. He played on both the offensive and defensive lines at Farragut High School in Tennessee, where he was rated the No. 8 guard in the nation by ESPN.com.

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Fresh faces: Maryland

July, 29, 2010
7/29/10
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Here are a few Terps you'll likely get to know this fall:

DL Joe Vellano, Soph.: He played sparingly in just five games as a redshirt freshman last season after breaking his foot in the preseason. He had an impressive spring and emerged as one of the top interior defensive linemen. “Vellano had an exceptional spring,” coach Ralph Friedgen said. “If we had a most valuable player award, he probably would have gotten it.”

DL Drew Gloster, Sr.: Gloster has been moved around a lot since coming to College Park, but he played well this spring in his first time at defensive end. He has played mostly on special teams in his career, but the former tight end and linebacker may have finally found a home as defensive coordinator Don Brown would like some speed off the edge.

OL Justin Gilbert, Soph.: He played in 11 games in 2009 as a reserve, but has big shoes to fill as he is expected to start the left tackle spot vacated by Bruce Campbell. “Gilbert showed vast improvement in the spring,” Friedgen said.

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Fresh faces: Miami

July, 28, 2010
7/28/10
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Seantrel Henderson's face isn't fresh. It's been splashed all over the news. Let's give some other guys some pub:

RB Lamar Miller: He's stuck in a crowded backfield, but after a redshirt season, Miller is capable of earning some carries. He was rated the No. 12 running back in his class by ESPN.com and ranked 119 among the ESPNU 150. He led Dade County in rushing as a senior at Killian High School with 1,749 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Juco TE transfer Chase Ford:The Hurricanes are thin at tight end, so Ford could help immediately. He led the Southwest Junior College Football Conference with 32 receptions and 545 receiving yards. He was the league's MVP at Kilgore Junior College.

DB Jamal Reid:He redshirted last year but came to Miami ranked No. 80 in the ESPNU 150 class. He was ESPN.com's No.6 athlete in his class. He caught 49 passes for 1,224 yards and 17 touchdowns, and he made 68 tackles and six interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown) as a senior.

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Fresh faces: North Carolina

July, 27, 2010
7/27/10
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Now that media days are over, we return to the Fresh Faces series, with three players from UNC who have a chance to make names for themselves this fall:

RB Giovani Bernard: ESPN.com rated him the No. 16 running back in the country, and he rushed for 1,528 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior at St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida, where he was regarded as one of the top backs in the state. His older brother, Yvenson, was an all-conference tailback at Oregon State and is currently in the CFL.

OT James Hurst: He enrolled early and is regarded by many as one of the top offensive linemen in his class. He was a member of the ESPNU 150 and was the MVP of the U.S. Army Junior National Combine. He had a great spring and will compete for the left tackle spot this summer. His brother is sophomore tight end Nelson Hurst.

LB Darius Lipford: He had a sack and a forced fumble in North Carolina's Shrine Bowl, and ESPN.com rated him the No. 39 outside linebacker in his class. It won't be easy for young linebackers to see playing time this fall, but Lipford comes in as one of the top players in the state.

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Fresh faces: Virginia

July, 22, 2010
7/22/10
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Here's a look at three players at Virginia with a chance to make a name for themselves this fall: (Yes, Marc Verica is expected to be the starting quarterback, but these two guys are one play or one injury away from taking over, and with so many roles being unknown at Virginia right now, these were the safest picks.)

OG Morgan Moses: He signed his letter of intent in 2009, but spent last year playing at Fork Union Military Academy. He was rated the No. 6 offensive tackle in his class by ESPN.com and has a reputation as a strong run blocker. He's expected to see immediate playing time.

QB Ross Metheny: He redshirted last year and was named the coaches' scout team player of the week against Clemson and Duke. The lefty from Stephens City, Va., was rated the No. 95 quarterback in his class by ESPN.com. He passed for a school-record 7,237 yards and 69 career touchdown passes.

QB Michael Strauss: He was first-year coach Mike London's first commitment and came to Charlottesville from the Miami area where he was the Class 2AAll-State first-team selection in 2009 and 2008. He was rated the No. 74 quarterback in his class by ESPN.com and shares the distinction with Miami quarterback Jacory Harris as the only two players in Dade County to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a single season. He got a head start this spring as an early enrollee.

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Fresh faces: Virginia Tech

July, 21, 2010
7/21/10
4:00
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We continue the series looking at newcomers who could make an immediate impact this fall:

OT Nick Becton: He earned the starting left tackle job during spring practice after backing up Ed Wang last fall. The former prep basketball player can move his feet, and his 31 1/2 inch vertical jump was No. 2 among the Hokies' offensive linemen during offseason workouts. He got some significant experience last year, including a knockdown block against BC, and 15 snaps against NC State.

DT Kwamaine Battle: He enters summer camp with a slight edge on the competition for the spot vacated by Cordarrow Thompson. Injuries to both shoulders have slowed his progress, but he was healthy the entire spring and is strong and quick. He has yet to see extensive playing time, and the coaches will want to see how he holds up this summer now that he's healthy.

FS Eddie Whitley: He had a great spring and showed excellent command of the defense, making him a leader for the starting job. He can play cornerback or rover, and gained significant experience last year. He made his first collegiate start against Nebraska when stepping in for Stephan Virgil. He also started on the punt return and kickoff teams.

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Fresh faces: Wake Forest

July, 20, 2010
7/20/10
10:45
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Raise your hand if you knew who Luke Kuechly was at this time last year? Exactly. Today we begin a series looking at potential impact players from each school that you've likely never heard of before, or newcomers with the potential to make an immediate contribution. We'll look at three players from each school -- they can be true freshmen, redshirt freshmen, transfers or just an otherwise unheralded player or newcomer who will be making an impact for the first time. Maybe, by the end of the 2010 season, one of them will develop into a nationally recognized talent like Kuechly.

We'll star with Wake Forest, where whomever starts at quarterback will also be a fresh face.

WR Terence Davis -- He redshirted in 2008 then tore his ACL in camp in 2009 and missed spring practices. He should be back for the start of August camp and could be in the rotation this fall. Davis, from Lilburn, Ga., by way of Brooklyn, N.Y., was a quarterback and defensive back for Brookwood High.

NT Nikita Whitlock -- The redshirt freshman from Wylie, Texas was a linebacker last year and moved to nose tackle this past spring where he impressed the coaches. He's a strong rusher who could help out the line.

LB Justin Jackson -- The redshirt freshman led the defense during the spring game with a team-high six tackles. He graduated from Richmond (N.C.) High school, where he made 123 tackles as a junior and added 191 as a senior with eight sacks and 18 tackles for loss.

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