ACC: Greg Carr

Florida State spring wrap-up

May, 7, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Florida State Seminoles
2008 overall record: 9-4

2008 conference record: 5-3, Atlantic Division co-champions

Returning starters

Offense: 8, defense: 5, punter/kicker 0

Top returners

OG Rodney Hudson, C Ryan McMahon, QB Christian Ponder, DT Budd Thacker, LB Dekoda Watson, TB Jermaine Thomas, WR Bert Reed

Key losses

DE Everette Brown, LB Derek Nicholson, RV Myron Rolle, CB Tony Carter, P/PK Graham Gano, WR Greg Carr, RB Antone Smith, WR Preston Parker

2008 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Antone Smith (792 yards)
Passing: Christian Ponder* (2006 yards)
Receiving: Greg Carr (542 yards)
Tackles: Derek Nicholson (81)
Sacks: Everette Brown (13.5)
Interceptions: Tony Carter (2)

Spring answers

2009 Schedule

Sept. 7 Miami
Sept. 12 Jacksonville State
Sept. 19 at BYU
Sept. 26 South Florida
Oct. 3 at Boston College
Oct. 10 Georgia Tech
Oct. 17 BYE
Oct. 22 at North Carolina
Oct. 31 NC State
Nov. 7 at Clemson
Nov. 14 at Wake Forest
Nov. 21 Maryland
Nov. 28 at Florida

1. Riding solo at quarterback. Ponder finished the spring entrenched as the No. 1 quarterback and leader of the offense, and since his backup, E.J. Manuel missed the whole spring with an injury, it's hard to imagine that's going to change. Manuel has yet to throw a pass in a college game.

2. Run with it. The Noles need to replace their leading rusher, who accounted for almost 55 percent of all the running plays last year that weren't by quarterbacks, and Jermaine Thomas and Ty Jones showed this spring that they can be threats. Both made several long runs this spring.

3. Strength up front. The youngest line in the FBS last year should be one of the best in the ACC this fall. All five starters return. The only question is at right tackle, where three players are competing for one spot: Antwane Greenlee, Zebrie Sanders and Garrett Faircloth.

Fall questions

1. Secondary. There's going to be an infusion of freshmen this summer who could challenge for playing time. Greg Reid from Georgia, is a big-time player rated No. 15 on the ESPNU150. The staff is also expecting more from Terrance Parks, who was banged up this spring and didn't get a chance to compete much at rover/safety.

2. Receivers. It hasn't been determined how long Rod Owens will be suspended, or when Taiwan Easterling will be able to return from a ruptured Achilles. Louis Givens, a walk-on, is becoming a dependable option. It's up to Bert Reed, Jarmon Fortson and Richard Goodman to carry the unit.

3. Interior line play. The staff didn't leave the spring with any better idea of who will be the starters at tackle and nose guard. Budd Thacker missed all of spring. Moses McCray, a true freshman, played well, and Justin Mincey, and Kendrick Stewart, are in the mix. Nobody really distinguished themselves.

You look a little green ...

March, 17, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

They're young. They're inexperienced. They're ... green.

In keeping with our St. Patrick's Day theme, here's a look at the "greenest" units on each team in the ACC:

BOSTON COLLEGE -- If Dominique Davis wins the starting quarterback job, he's got a whopping three full games of starting experience to fall back on, and that's three more games than Justin Tuggle, who is also competing for the job.

CLEMSON -- The Tigers will be youngest at quarterback, where either sophomore Willy Korn or redshirt freshman Kyle Parker will inherit the offense.

DUKE -- The Blue Devils have to replace three starters on their offensive line and returning sophomore Kyle Hill moved from guard to tackle.

FLORIDA STATE -- Without Preston Parker, Greg Carr and Taiwan Easterling (for the spring) and Corey Surrency, the Noles will depend heavily upon a green group of receivers.

GEORGIA TECH -- Having lost three of four starters on the defensive line, it's easily one of the greenest groups in the whole conference.

MARYLAND -- Maryland lost five starters from its defensive front seven, but defensive tackles Travis Ivey and Dion Armstrong ended the year as starters and linebacker Adrian Moten had three starts.

MIAMI -- The Canes are still young everywhere, but remember quarterback Jacory Harris has only started two games and his backups have no collegiate experience.

NORTH CAROLINA -- The Tar Heels lost their top three receivers and will be counting heavily on inexperienced players to replace Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Tate and Brooks Foster.

NC STATE -- The Wolfpack needs to replace both offensive guards in John Bedics and Meares Green, who combined for 43 starts.

VIRGINIA -- Outside linebacker Denzel Burrell is the only returning starting linebacker in the Cavaliers' 3-4 defense.

VIRGINIA TECH -- The Hokies have to replace two starting linebackers in Brett Warren and Purnell Sturdivant.

WAKE FOREST -- The Demon Deacons have to replace three starters at linebacker, including Butkus Award winner Aaron Curry.

FSU's Reed taking football -- and class -- more seriously in '09

February, 13, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

FSU receiver Bert Reed is ready for some responsibility.

  Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
  Florida State wide receiver Bert Reed is concentrating harder this year -- on and off the field.
The latest news that receiver Taiwan Easterling will miss spring practices with a ruptured left Achilles leaves Reed with little choice.

It's not just about running precise routes and catching footballs, though. Asked Friday what his goal was during winter conditioning, Reed first answered: "a great GPA. At least a 3.0."

Yes, this is the same Reed who missed class last year and was suspended for it.

Reed is a polite, smart, young man who seems to have finally realized the value of getting a free education. And the repeated lectures from offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher appear to have finally sunk in. The loss of leading receivers Preston Parker and Greg Carr, coupled with the injury to Easterling and unlikely return of Corey Surrency, have forced Reed into a position of leadership, starting now.

"I really feel like school has never been a problem with me," Reed said. "I just got kind of off track with what I'm really here for, education. ... Knowing that somebody is paying for my education, and not taking advantage of that, not going to class, it made me feel personally bad. I know I'm smarter than that."

One thing Reed said he wants to make a point of this offseason is "being accountable" with the coaches and his teammates -- running the right routes, and making the right blocks. It's consistency that Reed has struggled with, both on and off the field.

"That's one of the main things with me," Reed said. "It's been that way since I got here. 'He'll do it right three times and he won't do it right one time.' That's been the thing with me -- going to class but then getting that last absence. It correlates off the field and on the field. That's what they always tell me. That's what I'm trying to work on, discipline and doing what's right every time."

It's not like Reed is the only receiver returning in 2009, but the Seminoles will definitely need more production from of the others if the Florida State is going to have a formidable passing game.

Reed pointed out Rod Owens, Richard Goodman and Jarmon Fortson as other receivers who could now see increased roles. Louis Givens could be another option.

All of them are working hard this month to improve. Reed said each receiver catches at least 100 footballs from the Jugs machine every day, and receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey has them catching a minimum of 100 rapid-fire tennis balls from a machine. ("If you look away," Reed said, "you might get nailed.") On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, they go out voluntarily with the quarterbacks to get back into a rhythm.

Reed said he's not concerned about the fact FSU lost its top two receivers and leading rusher from last year's nine-win season.

"That's one thing about this team," Reed said. "We have the talent to do it, we've just got to pull it together."

So far, it looks like Reed is doing his part.

Pre-spring ACC power rankings

February, 9, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

With the NFL departures announced, and signing day officially over, it's time for a re-ranking heading into spring football. Keep in mind things change during spring practice -- some players get hurt, some win position battles, but here's the first early peek at how the ACC might fare in 2009:

1. Virginia Tech -- The ACC and Orange Bowl champs return 16 starters, and there are high expectations for an offensive backfield that will contain shifty quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and tailbacks Darren Evans and Ryan Williams. If the defense maintains its tradition without Victor "Macho" Harris, the Hokies could be a top 10 team.

2. Florida State -- The defense took some hits -- the most notable being the loss of defensive end Everette Brown -- but should have enough experience to compensate for it. The offensive line should be one of the best in the conference and give returning quarterback Christian Ponder and tailback Jermaine Thomas plenty of help. The question is the depth at receiver after the loss of Preston Parker, Greg Carr, and probably Corey Surrency. FSU also loses Lou Groza award winner Graham Gano.

3. Georgia Tech -- Overall, this team will be experienced and deeper -- it will return every starter at the skill positions -- but the Yellow Jackets must reload on the defensive front and improve on the offensive line. There will be three new starters on the defensive line, and Tech lost two senior starters on the offensive line. There are 25 players on the roster, though, who have at least one career start.

4. Miami -- Coach Randy Shannon brought in yet another outstanding recruiting class, and playing so many true freshmen in 2008 should help this season. There shouldn't be any quarterback drama this season, and Jacory Harris should only improve under first-year coordinator Mark Whipple. Defensive coordinator is still a question mark, though.

5. North Carolina -- Never count out a Butch Davis-coached team, but the Tar Heels will be a question mark until a new batch of receivers proves otherwise. Brooks Foster, Brandon Tate and Hakeem Nicks accounted for 114 receptions in 2008, and all three have left for the NFL. Safety Trimane Goddard is arguably the biggest loss on defense.

6. NC State -- If the Pack stay healthy -- something they haven't been able to do for the past two seasons -- NC State could be the sleeper in the Atlantic Division. It has to replace tight end Anthony Hill and running back Andre Brown, though, and 2007 leading receiver Donald Bowens will miss spring practice because of knee surgery.

7. Clemson -- Speedy playmakers C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford are back, but they'll be under the direction of a new quarterback and a new offensive coordinator. Let's see how the Tigers do without any expectations for a change.

8. Maryland -- The Terps graduated 30 seniors and junior receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey left for the NFL. One of the biggest question marks is how they'll fare up front after the graduation of three starting offensive linemen, including All-ACC center Edwin Williams. The defense, which loses four starters from its front seven, will be led by first-year coordinator Don Brown.

9. Wake Forest -- The good news for the Deacs is the offensive line should better, and they return veteran quarterback Riley Skinner. The bad news is they'll sorely miss some of the best defensive players the program has had in recent years, along with kicker Sam Swank.

10. Virginia -- If quarterback Jameel Sewell makes a smooth transition back into the lineup and quickly learns the new offense, the Cavs could surprise some people this season. They'll have to replace all three starters at linebacker, though, and will miss starting receivers Kevin Ogletree and Maurice Covington, as well as leading rusher Cedric Peerman.

11. Boston College -- Consider this a rebuilding year for the Eagles. The loss of defensive tackles B.J. Raji and Ron Brace will have an effect up front. With a new staff, a small recruiting class and a young starting quarterback, the only direction for BC to head is up.

12. Duke -- The Blue Devils have arguably one of the league's top quarterbacks in Thaddeus Lewis, but he won't have Eron Riley to throw it to this season. Duke also loses ACC-leading tackler Michael Tauiliili at linebacker. Still, the Blue Devils should take another step forward in their second season under David Cutcliffe.

FSU's Parker dismissed

February, 2, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Florida State wide receiver Preston Parker has been dismissed from the team, and while it's unfortunate Parker's career ended this way, it was the right move by coach Bobby Bowden. Even Bowden, who has earned a reputation for giving players second chances, has a limit, and Parker finally pushed it.

In 2008, Parker led all wide receivers with 40 catches, and was second on the team with 372 receiving yards and had two touchdowns. He's a versatile athlete who helped the Noles out at running back, and returned kicks, but as far as Florida State athletes go, Parker had an average season. He seemed to play his best in the last five games of the regular season.

The loss of Parker and senior receiver Greg Carr will hurt the position's depth and experience, but the team has young talent at the receiver position, and much like how Virginia Tech survived without Branden Ore in 2008, the Noles will survive without Parker in 2009. Taiwan Easterling and Bert Reed have good foundations to build on.

Florida State officials and Bowden won't have any further comment on this incident, and really there isn't any need to say much more. Bowden already made the statement he had to, and Parker didn't leave him much of a choice in the matter.

Weekend rewind: Senior Bowl

January, 26, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

For those of you who missed the Under Armour Senior Bowl this past weekend, here's a quick look at how some of the ACC players fared:

Virginia tailback Cedric Peerman: Led the North team with five carries for 34 yards, and had a fumble

NC State running back Andre Brown: 10 carries, 31 yards and a 1-yard touchdown run; caught two passes for 41 yards. Led South team with 72 all-purpose yards.

Clemson running back James Davis: Nine carries, 32 yards

Florida State running back Antone Smith: Two carries, 7 yards

Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper: Completed 2 of 5 passes for 44 yards (one was 32 yards long) and made one tackle

FSU receiver Greg Carr: Caught one pass for 9 yards

Virginia linebacker Clint Sintim: Five unassisted, one assisted tackle (fourth on the North team). Had one tackle for a loss of 2 yards.

Boston College defensive tackle Ron Brace: Two assisted tackles

Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji: One unassisted tackle

Clemson safety Michael Hamlin: Four unassisted, one assisted tackle

Wake Forest safety Chip Vaughn: Two tackles

Virginia Tech corner back Victor "Macho" Harris: One punt return for 10 yards

Peerman, Brown, Raji, Harris, Vaughn and Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith were all starters.

Best of luck to these guys and the other ACC seniors in this year's class, whether their next step is on the field or off.

FSU recruiting needs

January, 14, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

The FSU coaching staff is in a bit of a tricky situation, as it's still waiting to hear from the NCAA about possible scholarship reductions resulting from the academic cheating scandal, which could affect this year's recruiting class. The announcement could come by the end of the week. So far, Florida State has 18 commitments.

The Seminoles' recruiting philosophy has always been to sign the best players available, regardless of position. That said, FSU will take some hits on defense, especially with the loss of both starting defensive ends, linebackers Derek Nicholson and Toddrick Verdell, corner Tony Carter, and safety Myron Rolle. The staff put an emphasis on defensive linemen and defensive backs.

Offensively, the Noles are in good shape, as they had several young playmakers contribute this season who will be back, including their quarterback and all of their offensive linemen. FSU will have to replace leading rusher Antone Smith, starting receiver Greg Carr, and most likely Corey Surrency, who is petitioning the NCAA for another year of eligibility. The Noles are expected to add at least four wide receivers and two running backs.

Possibly the biggest shoes FSU will have to fill are those of Lou Groza Award winner Graham Gano. The Noles are hoping Dustin Hopkins, a kicker from Houston, will be able to help.

FSU romps over Wisconsin

December, 27, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

North Carolina, even in its losing effort, set the entertainment bar high with an instant classic in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, and the ACC's second game of the day paled in comparison.

Even the officials got caught sleeping in this one.

Florida State's speed beat Wisconsin's power repeatedly, and the Seminoles earned their first nine-win season since 2004. Considering how poorly the Badgers played, though, it wasn't exactly the kind of win that will have everyone proclaiming the program is back. It was a convincing postseason win nonetheless, and Bobby Bowden will take it -- especially considering it didn't happen last year.

The two major factors in this game were Florida State's defense and kicker/punter/Lou Groza award winner Graham Gano. Gano pinned Wisconsin deep in its own territory, as three of his punts dropped inside the 3-yard line in the first half, and once inside the 10. It gave the defense momentum and energy early.

The Seminoles' defense was the difference in the game, as they snagged three turnovers and kept Wisconsin's bruising, powerful backs off the field. Two of those fumbles were returned for touchdowns, and Florida State actually wound up controlling the clock by about 10 minutes. If defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews wanted to retire, he couldn't have asked for a better sendoff from his players, but all indications from within the program are that he'll be back for another season.

FSU quarterback Christian Ponder spent much of the first half on his bad back, but had enough playmakers around him -- namely receiver Greg Carr -- to take advantage of Wisconsin's mistakes on defense.

Ponder struggled with his accuracy in the first half because there was so much pressure on him, but improved in the second half when the offensive line gave him some time to throw. Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher has played it safe most of the season with his play calling, keeping Ponder to shorter throws. Ponder's at his best with the play action, when he uses his feet and rolls out of the pocket. Overall, he managed the offense without turning it over and will only get better.

Florida State does have a balanced offense, but the running game has been the backbone, and Wisconsin took that away and forced Ponder to beat them. Antone Smith ran it when it counted, though, and was more effective later in the game. He also got some help from Ty Jones, who will be part of the future of FSU's running game along with Jermaine Thomas.

Even without injured playmaker Preston Parker, one of the team's top receivers, FSU's depth, height and athleticism at the position were too much for Wisconsin to handle.

ACC mailblog

December, 23, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Michael, writes: Is there any word on Spiller's return to Clemson? He said he'd stay if Swinney was hired as headcoach. Is this true?

Heather Dinich: Yes, that's true. Spiller has said repeatedly that if Swinney got the job, he would stay, and Swinney's recent hires have had a positive influence on him. Never say never, though. Spiller submitted his papers to the NFL draft advisory, and at this time last year, James Davis was holding a news conference to say he was staying, then changed his mind and said he was leaving, and then on the last day to withdraw, took his name out.

Jason, in Tallahassee, writes: FSU is not losing a lot of players but the ones we "may" lose are the playmakers and no matter what we will be losing the best players on each team (Special-Gano/Defense-Brown/Offense-Smith/Parker).With the uncertainty of the returning playmakers for FSU, how do you think it will effect the production of our team as a whole. Any thoughts?

Heather Dinich: Don't forget about Greg Carr. Actually, though, FSU has a strong nucleus returning on offense, so I think they'll be OK there, and Jermaine Thomas has gotten enough experience this season that he should make a smooth transition into Antone Smith's shoes. Plenty of young receivers -- Bert Reed and Taiwan Easterling -- got valuable time. I haven't seen anything about Everette Brown making his decision yet. If he has and I missed it, I apologize. Collectively, though, I don't see there being much of a drop-off.

Jack, in Mechanicsburg, Pa., writes: First things first, I know any athlete must fulfill academic requirements in order to play a sport, no matter if they've graduated or not, and Marshman didn't do that. His suspension is his own doing, but I do feel a little bit of sympathy for him considering he'll miss his last game in a Hokie uniform and he had already graduated. Seriously though, I hope his classes were the most difficult Virginia Tech has to offer, because this is embarassing for himself, the team, and the school.

Heather Dinich: I couldn't have put it better myself.

Eric, writes: You say that Stewart Mandel is probably right on by predicting the ACC to go 5-5? Well, Jesse Palmer picked the ACC to go 9-1 on ESPN the other night. I think he also does this for a living. So please don't act like everyone thinks the ACC is going to be "average" in the bowl games. So people are actually going out on a limb and predicting the ACC to represent itself well.

Heather Dinich: Hey, if the ACC goes 9-1, I'll be the first to give the conference credit for it. Promise.

FSU suspends five receivers

November, 14, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Florida State has suspended five of its receivers, but the Seminoles will still win their game against Boston College with their defense, running game and home field advantage. Greg Carr and Preston Parker will make enough plays to compensate for the loss of Taiwan Easterling, Bert Reed and Corey Surrency.

That's not the issue, though.

The issue is discipline, and Florida State's receivers, who can't seem to stay out of trouble. It's the third suspension in a month for Reed, and the second for Surrency. Aside from Reed missing classes and violating the university's attendance policy, the reasons for his and Surrency's prior suspensions have not been released.

Regardless of whether they were minor infractions like missing study hall or a team meeting, they clearly didn't get the message. And regardless of the extent of their involvement in this fight, the fact that they put themselves in this position in itself isn't smart.

Who's responsible for the discipline? Is it Jimbo Fisher? Is it Bobby Bowden? The players obviously have to take some of the responsibility, but so does the head coach. Both of them.

ACC's lunchtime links: VT hit hard by attrition

November, 6, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer has never entered a game with such inexperience at his skill positions, as attrition has hit the Hokies the hard. And recruiting coordinator Jim Cavanaugh didn't want to talk about it. The numbers speak for him:

Of the 61 players who signed with Tech from 2004-06, 30 either never came to Tech, left with eligibility remaining or currently are suspended.

Unlike the Hokies, Maryland is sure who will be lining up at quarterback tonight, and Chris Turner plays his best against the best.

Nobody ever questioned Florida State receiver Greg Carr's ability to out-jump his opponents. At 6-foot-6, he's got a bit of an edge. It was the rest of his game that needed a little work, and he's done it. 

Georgia Tech's players have something with Paul Johnson they apparently didn't with his predecessor, Chan Gailey -- lofty goals and direction.

Clemson is one of many FBS schools out of touch with reality when it comes to spending money, writes Ken Burger. Will Dabo Swinney be the recipient of the next big contract? He thought he could do the job. Now he says he knows he can.

ACC Helmet Stickers: Week 9

October, 26, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks -- His four touchdowns sparked an offense that had been missing Brandon Tate and led the Tar Heels to a 45-24 win over Boston College. He finished with eight catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns, and he also ran for another score.

Virginia tailback Cedric Peerman -- He rushed for 118 yards, including the game-winning touchdown over a ranked Georgia Tech team that was playing its homecoming game. He also caught five passes for 55 yards in the 24-17 upset.

Duke's defense -- The Blue Devils had four sacks and three turnovers, including Chris Rwabukamba's interception at the Duke 1-yard line that sealed the win over Vanderbilt with 38 seconds remaining. They beat Vanderbilt on the road despite 250 yards of total offense.

Florida State receiver Greg Carr -- His height and his hands were the difference in the Seminoles' 30-20 win over Virginia Tech. The 6-foot-6 receiver had three catches for 100 yards, including two impressive grabs on long pass plays that led to a pair of third-quarter touchdowns.

Maryland running back Da'Rel Scott -- He had his best game since the season opener, and when he was injured in the fourth, his leadership and words to backup Davin Meggett kept the momentum going in the rainy win over NC State. Scott finished with 23 carries for 163 yards and a touchdown.

FSU's mix of receivers could be 'money'

September, 12, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

The Florida State wide receivers call them "money catches," the tough passes that seem impossible to grab. The kind receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey earned a reputation and an NFL salary for making.

"Coach Dawsey sets high standards for us," said redshirt freshman Bert Reed. "Sometimes balls that we think are not catchable he expects us to make. We call them money catches because they'll get you a lot of money."

Not to mention win you some games.

Reed was one of seven receivers who made a catch last weekend against Western Carolina and one of four who caught his first touchdown pass. It's a sign that this year's receiving corps is deeper and more competitive with each other than it was a year ago. And that's without star playmaker Preston Parker, who was suspended for the first two games.

"It's really crazy," said Reed, who caught three passes for a team-high 77 yards in last week's romp of Western Carolina. "We have so many playmakers on the field at one time. Anybody can get the ball at anytime. We preach downfield blocking because one block could spring us for a touchdown, no matter where we are on the field with our speed and our size. It's just crazy the potential we have out there at one time on the field."

Reed had two catches for 55 yards on the Seminoles' second scoring drive last Saturday, including a 41-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Christian Ponder. He wasn't the only one who had a good day. Junior wide receiver Rod Owens caught a career-high tying four passes for a career-high 61 yards. Owens and Greg Carr are the veterans. Reed, redshirt freshmen Taiwan Easterling and Cameron Wade, junior college transfer Corey Surrency, and true freshman Jarmon Fortson are newcomers.

Reed and Easterling, a tough player who is one of the better blockers, have been filling in for Parker, the Seminoles' most versatile athlete. Parker led FSU with 1,513 all-purpose yards last season, and also had the most catches (62), was second on the team in receiving yards (791), second on the team in rushing attempts (52) and rushing yards (270), and was the top punt returner.

"It's been a blessing in disguise, but I can tell you it's been real hard on Preston," said Reed, Parker's roommate. "It's showing what our other receivers have and what we can do. I know he loves it because it's going to make his job easier when he comes back."

Which will be just in time for a critical Atlantic Division game against Wake Forest.

"Right now he's giving our defense the best look it can get," Reed said. "He's playing every play like it's for real over there on the scout team, which is making them better."

Dawsey said the fact that they're in their second season of Jimbo Fisher's offense has helped, and the depth and friendly competition between the players has been a "pleasant surprise."

"When I played back in the 80s here that's how it was when I was here," Dawsey said. "We've been trying to instill 'as one does we all do.' We try to do everything together and keep it as a family. It's paying off because you're definitely seeing on the field how they're pushing each other. They're taking charge. They want to be the best unit in the country this year."

Virginia Tech, Florida State scrimmage reports in

August, 16, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich


Seven sacks, an interception, and only one touchdown.

It sounds like it was a good day for the Seminoles' defense, but not if you're talking to defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews.

The biggest play of the afternoon -- and the lone offensive score -- was when Drew Weatherford connected with Greg Carr on a 61 yard touchdown. Carr led the receivers with 101 yards on two catches, Antone Smith was the leader among the backs with 47 rushing yards and FSU's three returning QB's all had over 80 yards passing.

The quarterbacks fumbled three times.

Here are the guys on defense who stood out:

  • Benjamin Lampkin -- 2 sacks.
  • Ochuko Jenije -- 1 pass breakup.
  • Vince Williams -- 1 fumble recovery, TFL, 4 tackles.


Despite the numbers on defense, Andrews didn't sound pleased.

"We can't achieve our goals with a performance we had on defense today," Andrews said. "We talked about being disciplined and we weren't very disciplined. We talked about doing your job and we didn't do it. We had too many busts out there where a guy simply did not do his job. We weren't tough enough, we didn't cause many fumbles. I don't recall seeing a hard lick. The important thing is we didn't play hard enough. It felt like it didn't matter to us. I realize that was our first full scrimmage; we hadn't tackled at full speed a whole lot. Our finishing was horrendous at times. We were very good at times and we were horrendous at times. You can't be very effective on defense if you can't do those things. I don't know how many touchdowns the offense scored, but we didn't do a good job on the defensive end. We'll be better the next time we come out here."


Tight end Greg Boone scored three touchdowns and stole the spotlight in the Hokies' 96-play scrimmage in Lane Stadium.


  • During a goal-line sequence, tailback Kenny Lewis, Jr., scored from two yards out. Lewis finished with 19 yards on seven carries, while he and five other backs competed for playing time.
  • Freshman Ryan Williams led with 23 yards on seven carries, and Dustin Pickle added 22 yards on four carries. Jahre Cheeseman and Darren Evans rushed seven times each for 17 and 13 yards, respectively, and Josh Oglesby had 21 yard on eight carries.
  • The passing game was split evenly between Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor, as Glennon completed 11 of 16 attempts for 63 yards and Taylor went 10-of-14 for 101 yards.
  • Ike Whitaker led the receivers with four catches for 39 yards, and true freshman Dyrell Roberts caught three passes.


"We can expect anything if we put our mind to it," Boone said. "Overall as an offense, we've just got to get the ball in the end zone more often. Carrying the ball brought back memories of me having the ball in my hands [in high school] and rushing like I wanted to. It felt great."

ACC position rankings: Wide receivers, tight ends

July, 15, 2008
Posted by's Heather Dinich
 Aaron Kelly is the leading returning receiver in the conference.

Welcome to Day 3 of ACC position rankings. Once again, Clemson is on top. That speaks just as much to the Tigers' talent level this year as it does to the lack of superstars throughout the rest of the league. On Wednesday, I'll check out the unheralded offensive linemen. Here's a look at the ACC's top pass catchers, with depth AND experience being the top two factors considered.

1. Clemson -- Aaron Kelly is the leading returning receiver in the ACC, but he's not the only one with capable hands in this offense. Tyler Grisham had 60 receptions for 653 yards last year, and is also a top blocker. Jacoby Ford was in the midst of a breakout season last year, leading the team with 18.2 yards per catch, but his season was derailed by a broken ankle.

2. Boston College -- The sheer depth here puts these guys up high. Ryan Purvis could be one of the best tight ends in the ACC (54 catches for 553 yards and four touchdowns), and the Eagles also have experience in Rich Gunnell, Justin Jarvis and Clarence Megwa.

3. Florida State -- For the first time in school history, the Seminoles had three receivers over 700 yards each last season and two of them -- Preston Parker and Greg Carr -- will be back. Expectations are soaring for junior college transfer Corey Surrency, the top receiver in the Seminoles' 2008 recruiting class.

4. North Carolina -- The combo of Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate justify this spot. Nicks set a single-season school record with 74 catches for 958 yards and five touchdowns last season, while Tate averaged 19.2 yards per catch and scored five touchdowns on 25 receptions.

5. Maryland -- This is the Terps' deepest position as they return Darrius Heyward-Bey, Isaiah Williams, Danny Oquendo and LaQuan Williams. They'll be under the direction of Lee Hull, who joined the staff in March.

6. Duke -- Eron Riley led the league with 20.8 yards per catch and was fourth in the ACC last season with 69.2 receiving yards per game. Sheldon Bell had a strong spring, and if Raphael Chestnut makes a full recovery from last year's torn ACL, it could help take some attention off Riley.

7. NC State -- The Wolfpack welcome back tight end Anthony Hill, the team's leading receiver in 2006, and have depth and experience in Donald Bowens, who led the team with 15 yards per catch last year. Jarvis Williams and Owen Spencer both played in every game last year as reserves.

8. Virginia -- The return of Kevin Ogletree, the team's leading receiver in 2006 who missed last season with a torn ACL, will help tremendously. There is plenty of depth behind him.

9. Miami -- Miami was last in the league in pass offense, 11th in scoring offense and 11th in total offense. The return of Jermaine McKenzie, who missed last season because of a neck injury he suffered in a car accident, along with the addition of true freshman Aldarius Johnson, could help that.

10. Wake Forest -- The departure of ACC receptions leader Kenneth Moore leaves the Deacs looking for a go-to guy. Tight end Ben Wooster was the playmaker this spring, but veteran Chip Brinkman and D.J. Boldin must also be dependable options.

11. Georgia Tech -- Depth is an issue here, especially after James Johnson quit during the spring and Greg Smith, who led the team with 37 receptions last year, was moved to running back.

12. Virginia Tech -- The Hokies fell to the bottom here because they have to replace their top four receivers from a year ago, and Brandon Dillard is now out for the season with an injury. That's not to say there isn't talent here, but it's unproven. The top two coming out of the spring were Zach Luckett and Danny Coa