ACC: Jaymes Brooks

Virginia Tech spring wrap

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
6:30
AM ET
2011 overall record: 11-3
2011 conference record: 7-1 (1st, Coastal)
Returning starters: Offense: 3; defense: 9; kicker/punter: 1

Top returners
QB Logan Thomas, WR Marcus Davis, C Andrew Miller, DE James Gayle, DE J.R. Collins, DT Derrick Hopkins, DT Antoine Hopkins, ILB Bruce Taylor, ILB Tariq Edwards, OLB Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, CB Kyle Fuller, S Antone Exum

Key losses
WR Danny Coale, WR Jarrett Boykin, TE Chris Drager, LT Andrew Lanier, RT Blake DeChristopher, RG Jaymes Brooks, LG Greg Nosal, RB David Wilson, CB Jayron Hosley, FS Eddie Whitley

2011 statistical leaders (* returners)
Rushing: David Wilson (1,709 yards)
Passing: Logan Thomas* (3,013 yards)
Receiving: Danny Coale (904 yards)
Tackles: Antone Exum* (89)
Sacks: James Gayle* (7)
Interceptions: Jayron Hosley (3)

Spring answers

1. Logan Thomas: The ACC is loaded with talented quarterbacks in 2012, and Thomas is among the top returners. He accounted for 30 total touchdowns last season and threw for more than 3,000 yards. He is the unquestioned leader and centerpiece of the Hokies' offense, and a strong season could result in a handshake from Roger Goodell at Radio City next April.

2. Defensive line: This unit has the potential to be the best in the conference, as it will play eight or nine men on a regular basis and be the foundation for a defense among the best in the ACC. This group led the conference in sacks a year ago and has looked every bit as capable this spring of doing that again in 2012.

3. Security: The Hokies were faced with a similar position last season, only the exact opposite: Loads of offensive talent came back and the defense had some uncertainties. Virginia Tech still reached the ACC title game and a BCS bowl, extending its nation-best streak of 10 or more wins to an eighth straight season. Entering his 26th season and first as the longest-tenured FBS coach, Frank Beamer has an established track record and knows how to get the most out of his pieces. The hard part right now is finding them on offense.

Fall questions

1. Who will replace David Wilson? Wilson is off with the Giants, a first-round draft pick following a campaign in which he ran for more yards than any running back in Virginia Tech history. Michael Holmes figures to be the No. 1 back entering preseason camp, with J.C. Coleman pushing him for time. The Hokies welcome three new backs this fall, along with Tony Gregory, who missed spring while recovering from knee surgery.

2. Who will protect the newcomer? Holmes or any of his fellow backfield mates won't have the chance to accomplish anything replicating Wilson's production if they don't get the chance. The Hokies return just one starting offensive lineman from last season and will have to adjust quickly if the offense wants to resemble last year's.

3. Secondary help. Second-team all-ACC corner Kyle Fuller is back, along with leading tackle Antone Exum. Sophomore Detrick Bonner has moved from cornerback to free safety, sophomore Kyshoen Jarrett is now at safety and Exum is now at corner. Secondary coach Torrian Gray likes to build versatility, but he will have his hands full trying to replace Eddie Whitley (graduation) and cornerback Jayron Hosley (draft).
As mentioned in lunch links, Clemson announced the signings of undrafted lineman Landon Walker (Cincinnati Bengals) and punter Dawson Zimmerman (Atlanta Falcons). And a couple of generous readers have passed along a few more signings from ACC schools.

Virginia Tech guard Blake DeChristopher signed with the Cardinals, and Hokies defensive back Cris Hill signed with the Bills.

Big thanks to Matt from Alexandria, Va., Ben in Blacksburg, Va., and Lynn in Blacksburg, Va., for the head's up.

The updated, working list is below. Feel free to pass along any oversights.

BOSTON COLLEGE
CB Donnie Fletcher: New York Jets

CLEMSON
DE Kourtnei Brown: San Francisco 49ers
FB Chad Diehl: Baltimore Ravens
OL Antoine McClain: Baltimore Ravens
DT Rennie Moore: Houston Texans
OT Landon Walker: Cincinnati Bengals
P Dawson Zimmerman: Atlanta Falcons

DUKE
S Matt Daniels: St. Louis Rams

FSU
WR Bert Reed: Cleveland Browns
S Terrence Parks: Kansas City Chiefs
P Shawn Powell: Buffalo Bills

MARYLAND
CB Cameron Chism: Indianapolis Colts
RB Davin Meggett: Houston Texans

MIAMI
WR LaRon Byrd: Arizona Cardinals
OL Joel Figueroa: Miami Dolphins (rookie camp tryout)
TE Chase Ford: Philadelphia Eagles
DL Marcus Forston: New England Patriots
LB Jordan Futch: Tampa Bay Bucaneers
G Harland Gunn: Dallas Cowboys
QB Jacory Harris: Miami Dolphins (rookie camp tryout)
C Tyler Horn: Atlanta Falcons
S JoJo Nicolas: New York Giants
DL Adewale Ojomo: New York Giants
DT Micanor Regis: Atlanta Falcons

UNC
CB Charles Brown: Baltimore Ravens
C Cam Holland: Kansas City Chiefs
WR Dwight Jones: Houston Texans
S Matt Merletti: Indianapolis Colts
DT Tydreke Powell: Minnesota Vikings

NC STATE
TE George Bryan: Dallas Cowboys
FB Taylor Gentry: Kansas City Chiefs

VIRGINIA
CB Chase Minnifield: Washington Redskins
OG Austin Pasztor: Minnesota Vikings
S Rodney McLeod: St. Louis Rams
DT Matt Conrath: St. Louis Rams

VIRGINIA TECH
WR Jarrett Boykin: Jacksonville Jaguars
OT Jaymes Brooks: Green Bay Packers
G Blake DeChristopher: Arizona Cardinals
CB Cris Hill: Buffalo Bills
S Eddie Whitley: Dallas Cowboys

WAKE FOREST
TE Cameron Ford: Green Bay Packers
S Cyhl Quarles: Baltimore Ravens
Thirty-one players from ACC schools were drafted this past weekend, but many more signed free-agent deals with NFL teams in the aftermath of the draft.

The following is a list of ACC players, by school, who have signed undrafted free agent deals with NFL teams. It was compiled largely from NFL.com, along with official releases from NFL teams and ACC schools. Georgia Tech is the only ACC school currently without an undrafted free-agent signing.

By all means, feel free to let me know if I have overlooked anyone.

BOSTON COLLEGE
CB Donnie Fletcher - New York Jets

CLEMSON
DE Kourtnel Brown - San Francisco 49ers
FB Chad Diehl - Baltimore Ravens
OL Antoine McClain - Baltimore Ravens
DT Rennie Moore - Houston Texans

DUKE
S Matt Daniels - St. Louis Rams

FSU
WR Bert Reed - Cleveland Browns
S Terrence Parks - Kansas City Chiefs
P Shawn Powell - Buffalo Bills

MARYLAND
CB Cameron Chism - Indianapolis Colts
RB Davin Meggett - Houston Texans

MIAMI
WR LaRon Byrd - Arizona Cardinals
TE Chase Ford - Philadelphia Eagles
DL Marcus Forston - New England Patriots
LB Jordan Futch - Tampa Bay Bucaneers
G Harland Gunn - Dallas Cowboys
C Tyler Horn - Atlanta Falcons
S JoJo Nicolas - New York Giants
DL Adewale Ojomo - New York Giants
DT Micanor Regis - Atlanta Falcons

UNC
CB Charles Brown - Baltimore Ravens
C Cam Holland - Kansas City Chiefs
WR Dwight Jones - Houston Texans
S Matt Merletti - Indianapolis Colts
DT Tydreke Powell - Minnesota Vikings

NC STATE
TE George Bryan - Dallas Cowboys
FB Taylor Gentry - Kansas City Chiefs

VIRGINIA
CB Chase MinnifieldWashington Redskins
OG Austin Pasztor - Minnesota Vikings
S Rodney McLeod – St. Louis Rams
DT Matt Conrath – St. Louis Rams

VIRGINIA TECH
WR Jarrett Boykin - Jacksonville Jaguars
OT Jaymes Brooks - Green Bay Packers
S Eddie Whitley - Dallas Cowboys

WAKE FOREST
TE Cameron Ford - Green Bay Packers
S Chyl Quarles - Baltimore Ravens

The Hurricanes also announced that quarterback Jacory Harris and offensive lineman Joel Figueroa have both been invited to rookie camp tryouts with the Miami Dolphins.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Hokies were favored to win this game, but Clemson has done a good job of getting the ball to Sammy Watkins in space, and DeAndre Hopkins was wide open on another big gain, as was tight end Dwayne Allen. Short passes have turned into some long gains for Clemson, and the Hokies have missed tackles and gotten beat on a few plays.

Meanwhile, the ACC's Player of the Year, David Wilson, hasn't been enough of a factor. His 11-yard gain late in the second quarter was the Hokies' longest run of the half. One thing that's similar to the first meeting between the two teams earlier this season, is that Logan Thomas has struggled to find guys open downfield, and there was also a turnover on the Hokies' first offensive play of the game. Both teams have made costly mistakes, in particular penalties. Here's a look back at the first half:

Turning point: Clemson defensive end Andre Branch was flagged for roughing the passer late in the first half, which gave Virginia Tech an automatic first down on Clemson's 48-yard line. It was a foolish, unnecessary hit and gave the Hokies new life. The penalty was followed by gains of 19 and 13 yards. The Hokies got as close as the 14-yard line, but Clemson got a break when Jaymes Brooks was called for holding, and the Hokies lost about 14 seconds off the clock because they seemed to be aware of it and were forced to kick a field goal. The penalty on Branch, though, gave them that opportunity.

Stat of the half: Wilson's 21 yards on six carries tied a season-low for rushing yards in a first half. He also was held to that many against Boston College, but finished with 134 yards.

Best player in the half: Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd. He's already had a much better game than what he did in last week's loss to South Carolina. Boyd has completed 14 of 21 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown. Chad Morris is putting him in positions to be successful, and he's only been sacked once after 11 sacks in the previous two games.

ACSMA announces all-conference team

November, 28, 2011
11/28/11
3:20
PM ET
The 2011 All-ACC football team, as voted on by 45 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, was released on Monday. A first-team vote was worth two points and second-team vote one. Unanimous selections are marked with an asterisk. Disclaimer: I did not vote for this team. The only all-conference team I participate in is the one I compile for ESPN.com, which hasn't been released yet. Here is the team as voted on by the members of ACSMA:

FIRST TEAM

Offense

QB-Tajh Boyd, Clemson (71)

RB-David Wilson, Virginia Tech (90)*

RB-Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (66)

WR-Sammy Watkins, Clemson (86)

WR-Chris Givens, Wake Forest (69)

OT-Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech (86)

OT-Zebrie Sanders, Florida State (46)

OG-Austin Pasztor, Virginia (49)

OG-Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech (45)

C-Dalton Freeman, Clemson (44)

TE-Dwayne Allen, Clemson (78)

K-Dustin Hopkins, Florida State (75)

Spec.- T.J. Graham, NC State (45)

Defense

DE-Andre Branch, Clemson (79)

DE-Quinton Coples, North Carolina (64)

DT-Joe Vellano, Maryland (68)

DT-Matt Conrath, Virginia (55)

LB-Luke Kuechly, Boston College (90)*

LB-Sean Spence, Miami (82)

LB-Zach Brown, North Carolina (48)

CB-David Amerson, NC State (86)

CB-Chase Minnifield, Virginia (47)

S-Matt Daniels, Duke (80)

S-Josh Bush, Wake Forest (41)

P-Shawn Powell, Florida State (85)

SECOND TEAM

Offense

QB-Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech (49)

WR-Dwight Jones, North Carolina (58)

WR-Conner Vernon, Duke (34)

RB-Lamar Miller, Miami (62)

RB-Andre Ellington, Clemson (26)

OT-Oday Aboushi, Virginia (43)

OT-James Hurst, North Carolina (30)

OG-Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech (35)

OG-Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (31)

OG-Joe Looney, Wake Forest (31)

C-Tyler Horn, Miami (32)

TE-George Bryan, NC State (29)

K-Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson (37)

Spec.-Sammy Watkins, Clemson (33)

Defense

DE-Brandon Jenkins, Florida State (51)

DE-James Gayle, Virginia Tech (25)

DT-Brandon Thompson, Clemson (43)

DT-Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest (30)

LB-Terrell Manning, NC State (44)

LB-Julian Burnett, Georgia Tech (34)

LB-Steve Greer, Virginia (23)

CB-Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech (36)

CB-Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (34)

S-Eddie Whitley, Virginia Tech (33)

S-Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (23)

P-Alex King, Duke (22)

Week 7 injury reports

October, 14, 2011
10/14/11
10:30
AM ET
All 10 teams that are playing this weekend have released their injury reports for Week 7:

CLEMSON

OUT
DE Joe Gore (knee)
PK Spencer Benton (shoulder)

WILL PLAY
QB Tajh Boyd (hip)
LB Stephone Anthony (ankle)

DUKE

PROBABLE
DE Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo (leg)
DE Justin Foxx (leg)
C Dave Harding (leg)
RB Desmond Scott (leg)
RB Josh Snead (foot)
K Will Snyderwine (foot)

QUESTIONABLE
S Matt Daniels (leg)
CB Johnny Williams (leg)

DOUBTFUL
S August Campbell (leg)

OUT
S Lee Butler (leg)
QB Brandon Connette (upper body)
C Brian Moore (arm)

OUT FOR SEASON
TE Jack Farrell (leg)
DE Kenny Anunike (leg)

FLORIDA STATE

OUT
Willie Haulstead (head)
Henry Orelus (head)
Josh Gehres (knee)
Darious Cummings (hand)
Andrew Datko (shoulder)
David Spurlock (knee)

QUESTIONABLE

Rashad Greene (ankle)

GEORGIA TECH

DOUBTFUL
LB Jeremiah Attaochu

OUT
K-P Chandler Anderson
OL Morgan Bailey
WR Tyler Morgan

OUT FOR SEASON
S Fred Holton
DL Jimmie Kitchen
S Lance Richardson

MARYLAND

OUT FOR SEASON
OL Andrew Gonnella
DB Matt Robinson
DL Isaiah Ross
TE Dave Stinebaugh

OUT FOR GAME
DL Justin Anderson
OL Justin Gilbert
LB Demetrius Hartsfield
LB Garrett Lederman
DL Andre Monroe
LB Shaquan Virgil

DOUBTFUL
LB Kenny Tate

QUESTIONABLE
LB Darin Drakeford

PROBABLE
WR Marcus Leak

MIAMI

PROBABLE
Jalen Grimble (lower extremity)
Kacy Rodgers (lower extremity)
Adewale Ojomo (upper extremity)
Thurston Armbrister (upper extremity)
Davon Johnson (lower extremity)

OUT
Luther Robinson (lower extremity)
Shayon Green (lower extremity)
Curtis Porter (upper extremity)

SURGERY/OUT FOR SEASON
Marcus Forston (lower extremity)
Ramon Buchanan (lower extremity)
Cory White (lower extremity)
Erik Lichter (upper extremity)
Blake Ayles (upper extremity)

NORTH CAROLINA

OUT

OT Kiaro Holts (wrist)
FB Devon Ramsay (knee)

DOUBTFUL

PK Casey Barth (thigh)
C Cam Holland (back)

QUESTIONABLE

TB AJ Blue (ankle)
OT TJ Leifheit (ankle)
LB Kevin Reddick (ankle)
SS Jonathan Smith (ankle)

PROBABLE

WR Josh Adams (illness)

VIRGINIA

OUT
Pablo Alvarez (upper extremity)
Vince Croce (medical)
Tim Cwalina (lower extremity)
Darius Lee (upper extremity)
Charlie Richards (upper extremity)
E.J. Scott (medical)
Bobby Smith (lower extremity)
Tyler Smith (lower extremity)

QUESTIONABLE
Henry Coley (lower extremity)

VIRGINIA TECH

OUT FOR SEASON
Kwamaine Battle (knee)
Jeron Gouveia-Winslow (foot)
Antoine Hopkins (knee)
Dyrell Roberts (arm)

OUT FOR GAME
James Gayle (ankle)
Eric Martin (shoulder)
David Wang (foot)

FULL
Jaymes Brooks (ankle)

WAKE FOREST

DOUBTFUL
RB Josh Harris (leg)

OUT
TE Neil Basford (knee)
DT John Gallagher (back)

OUT FOR THE YEAR
OT Dylan Heartsil (back)
CB Dominique Tate (knee)
LB Kyle Jarrett (hip)
Tags:

Duke Blue Devils, Virginia Tech Hokies, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, North Carolina Tar Heels, Clemson Tigers, Florida State Seminoles, Maryland Terrapins, Virginia Cavaliers, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Miami Hurricanes, ACC, Casey Barth, Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, Jaymes Brooks, Kevin Reddick, Matt Daniels, Matt Robinson, Justin Gilbert, Justin Anderson, Will Snyderwine, Adewale Ojomo, Ramon Buchanan, Kwamaine Battle, Dyrell ROberts, Tajh Boyd, Demetrius Hartsfield, Marcus Forston, Andrew Gonnella, Antoine Hopkins, Andrew Datko, Darin Drakeford, Spencer Benton, Johnny Williams, Devon Ramsay, Davon Johnson, Dave Harding, Josh Gehres, David Wang, Chandler Anderson, Josh Adams, Kenny Tate, Cam Holland, Luther Robinson, Desmond Scott, Kenny Anunike, Willie Haulstead, James Gayle, Lee Butler, David Spurlock, Cory White, Shayon Green, Bobby Smith, Isaiah Ross, AJ Blue, Curtis Porter, Tyler Smith, Jeremiah Attaochu, Josh Snead, Justin Foxx, Brandon Connette, John Gallagher, Dominique Tate, Josh Harris, Marcus Leak, August Campbell, Jonathan Smith, Henry Orelus, Eric Martin, TJ Leifheit, Stephone Anthony, Brian Moore, Fred Holton, Blake Ayles, Joe Gore, Dave Stinebaugh, Henry Coley, Morgan Bailey, Pablo Alvarez, Kacy Rodgers, Rashad Greene, Tim Cwalina, Darius Lee, Jack Farrell, Jimmie Kitchen, Kiaro Holts, Jalen Grimble, Thurston Armbrister, Andre Monroe, Darious Cummings, Garrett Lederman, Shaquan Virgil, Jordan DeWalt, Tyler Morgan, LOance Richardson, Erik LIchter, Vince Croce, Charlie Richards, E.J. SCott, Neil Basford, Dylan Heartsil, Kyle Jarrett

Preseason watch lists complete

July, 18, 2011
7/18/11
5:00
PM ET
The members of the National College Football Awards Association unveiled their preseason watch lists over a 13-day period concluding with the Walter Camp Award's list today. Fifteen of the association's 21 awards selected a preseason watch list, and I've compiled your ACC candidates here:

WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
  • Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
  • Jayron Hosley, DB, Virginia Tech
  • Brandon Jenkins, DT, Florida State
  • Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
JIM THORPE AWARD
  • Ray-Ray Armstrong, Miami
  • Donnie Fletcher, Boston College
  • Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech
  • Chase Minnifield, Virginia
  • Greg Reid, Florida State
  • Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
  • Kenny Tate, Maryland
ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD
  • Nigel Bradham, LB, Florida State
  • Jaymes Brooks, G, Virginia Tech
  • Audie Cole, LB, NC State
  • Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
  • Quinton Coples, OT, Florida State
  • Blake DeChristopher, OT, Virginia Tech
  • Marcus Forston, DT, Miami
  • Dalton Freeman, C, Clemson
  • Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State
  • Cam Johnson, DT, Virginia
  • Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
  • Donte Paige-Moss, DE, North Carolina
  • Tydreke Powell, DT, North Carolina
  • Sean Spence, LB, Miami
  • Bruce Taylor, LB, Virginia Tech
  • Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland
  • Brandon Washington, G, Miami
RIMINGTON TROPHY
  • Dalton Freeman, Clemson
  • Cam Holland, North Carolina
  • Tyler Horn, Miami
  • Brian Moore, Duke
BUTKUS AWARD
  • Nigel Bradham, Florida State
  • Zach Brown, North Carolina
  • Ramon Buchanan, Miami
  • Audie Cole, NC State
  • Luke Kuechly, Boston College
  • Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
  • Sean Spence, Miami
  • Kenny Tate, Maryland
  • Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech
DOAK WALKER AWARD
BEDNARIK AWARD
  • Ray-Ray Armstrong, S, Miami
  • Nigel Bradham, LB, Florida State
  • Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
  • Donnie Fletcher, CB, Boston College
  • Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
  • Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State
  • Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
  • Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
  • Donte Paige-Moss, DE, North Carolina
  • Kevin Reddick, LB, North Carolina
  • Greg Reid, CB, Florida State
  • Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
  • Sean Spence, LB, Miami
  • Kenny Tate, LB, Maryland
  • Bruce Taylor, LB, Virginia Tech
BILETNIKOFF AWARD
LOU GROZA AWARD
  • Casey Barth, North Carolina
  • Nate Freese, Boston College
  • Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
  • Will Snyderwine, Duke
RAY GUY AWARD
  • Dawson Zimmerman, Clemson
MACKEY AWARD
MAXWELL AWARD
BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY
  • Ray-Ray Armstrong, S, Miami
  • Nigel Bradham, LB, Florida State
  • Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina
  • Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
  • Marcus Forston, DT, Miami
  • Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
  • Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State
  • Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
  • Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
  • Donte Paige-Moss, DE, North Carolina
  • Tydreke Powell, DT, North Carolina
  • Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
  • Sean Spence, OLB, Miami
  • Kenny Tate, LB, Maryland
  • Bruce Taylor, LB, Virginia Tech
OUTLAND TROPHY
  • Andrew Datko, OT, Florida State
  • Blake DeChristopher, OT, Virginia Tech
  • Marcus Forston, DT, Miami
  • Dalton Freeman, C, Clemson
  • Tydreke Powell, DT, North Carolina
  • Omoregie Uzzi, OG, Georgia Tech
  • Brandon Washington, OG, Miami
DAVEY O'BRIEN
  • EJ Manuel, Florida State
  • Danny O'Brien, Maryland
  • Sean Renfree, Duke

Catching up on watch lists

July, 13, 2011
7/13/11
5:00
PM ET
The Rimington Trophy watch list was released today, but I wanted to catch you up on two more that were released this week, the Jim Thorpe Award and the Rotary Lombardi Award.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, and linebackers who set up no father than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The Thorpe Award is given to the nation's top defensive back.

Here are your ACC reps for both:

JIM THORPE AWARD
  • Ray-Ray Armstrong, Miami
  • Donnie Fletcher, Boston College
  • Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech
  • Chase Minnifield, Virginia
  • Greg Reid, Florida State
  • Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
  • Kenny Tate, Maryland
ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD
  • Nigel Bradham, LB, Florida State
  • Jaymes Brooks, G, Virginia Tech
  • Audie Cole, LB, NC State
  • Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
  • Quinton Coples, OT, Florida State
  • Blake DeChristopher, OT, Virginia Tech
  • Marcus Forston, DT, Miami
  • Dalton Freeman, C, Clemson
  • Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State
  • Cam Johnson, DT, Virginia
  • Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
  • Donte Paige-Moss, DE, North Carolina
  • Tydreke Powell, DT, North Carolina
  • Sean Spence, LB, Miami
  • Bruce Taylor, LB, Virginia Tech
  • Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland
  • Brandon Washington, G, Miami
I know there are many ACC enthusiasts out there who will be saddened to hear that I am not going to rank the offensive linemen by position (centers, guards and tackles). Instead, I’m going to put them all together and just rank the top 10 offensive linemen in the ACC this year.

[+] EnlargeBrandon Washington
Jamie Sabau/Getty ImagesBrandon Washington started every game last season and was credited with 56 pancake blocks.
1. Brandon Washington, Miami: He was one of three offensive linemen to start all 13 games last year and finished second on the team with 56 pancake blocks. He graded out at 99 percent against Pittsburgh, the highest grade of any starter all season, and 95 percent against Virginia Tech.

2. Andrew Datko, Florida State: He has played his entire career at left tackle, where he has protected the quarterbacks' blind side extremely well. He allowed just one sack in 11 games (all starts) last year, stifling heralded pass-rushers from Oklahoma, Miami, Clemson, Florida and Virginia Tech. He was penalized just three times and had only five missed assignments in 691 snaps. Datko's season average grade of 87 was second on the team only to Rodney Hudson.

3. Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech: He’s the veteran on the offensive line, with 37 career starts. He was a second-team All-ACC selection at tackle last fall when he graded out at 83 percent with a team-leading 59 knockdown blocks.

4. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina: He is the veteran on the line with 22 career starts. He started all 13 games last year and played a team-high 875 snaps. He led the Tar Heels in knockdown blocks for the second straight year with 55. He graded out at 83 percent, tied with James Hurst for the best on the team.

5. Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech: He’s entering his third season as starting right guard, and is powerful and explosive. He had a season-high nine knockdowns against Florida State in the ACC championship game, and eight in the opener against Boise State.

6. Dalton Freeman, Clemson: He has started each of the past 22 games at center and finished second on the team with 58 knockdown blocks. He allowed just two sacks and was third on the team with a grade of 80.6 percent. He led the team in knockdown blocks in six games and four of the last seven.

7. James Hurst, North Carolina: He was one of the top freshmen in the country last year, and made an immediate impact with 12 starts at left tackle. He was third on the team with 33 knockdown blocks and tied with Cooper for a team-high grade of 83 percent.

8. Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech: He was a second-team all-conference guard last year and started all 12 games he played in. He’s strong, has good lateral quickness, and has become more fundamentally sound. He should be the leader of the line this year.

9. Zebrie Sanders, Florida State: He started all 14 games last year and was the only Seminole lineman credited with at least one knockdown block in 13 of 14 games. He finished second on the team with 37 knockdown blocks, and had a season average grade of 81 percent, which was the best of his career. He ranks third among all FSU linemen with 37 career starts, including 23 consecutive.

10. Landon Walker, Clemson: He has played in 39 games (35 starts). Last year he had 30 knockdowns, at least one in every game, and had five and a team-high 87 percent grade against Auburn.
Ranking offensive linemen is not easy. But hey, either is being an offensive lineman. Here are your best "big uglies."

1. North Carolina: Three starters and one part-time starter return from last year’s team, and this line could be the biggest and best since Butch Davis was hired. Guard Jonathan Cooper (22 starts), center Cam Holland (20) and tackle James Hurst (12) have combined for 54 career starts. Travis Bond has four starts and is the leading candidate to take over at the other guard position.

2. Miami: The Canes return nine of their top 10 offensive linemen including four starters from last year, and Joel Figueroa was granted a sixth season of eligibility. Even with the coaching change, the Canes should be strong up front. Center Tyler Horn is a veteran, Brandon Washington is a difference-maker, and there’s enough competition that Seantrel Henderson spent most of the spring as a backup.

3. Clemson: First-year offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell has four returning starters to work with in Landon Walker, Antoine McClain, Dalton Freeman and David Smith. They also have top reserve Mason Cloy, who has 19 career starts and has played in 38 games. There is plenty of depth for a dependable rotation.

4. Virginia Tech: All four returnees started every game last year, and there is enough depth that the Hokies should be able to rotate the most players up front they ever have. It’s a veteran group led by Blake DeChristopher, Andrew Lanier, Jaymes Brooks and Greg Nosal.

5. Florida State: Despite the losses of Rodney Hudson and Ryan McMahon, there’s experience up front. This fall, the starting lineup will consist of tackle Andrew Datko, left guard Bryan Stork or David Spurlock, center Jacob Fahrenkrug, right guard Spurlock or Stork, right tackle Zebrie Sanders. Just how good they’ll be remains to be seen as the majority of them were out with injuries this past spring.

6. NC State: The Pack lost Jake Vermiglio and will be without injured left guard Andrew Wallace for about half of the season, but Zach Allen, Camden Wentz and R.J. Mattes are returning starters. There’s also a lot of talent waiting to emerge with young players like Duran Christophe, Rob Crisp, Tyson Chandler, Torian Box and Andy Jomantas.

7. Virginia: Four players return with a combined 64 career starts in Anthony Mihota, Austin Pasztor, Oday Aboushi and Morgan Moses, who started the final seven games of the season as a true freshman. Pasztor is in his fourth season as a starter and has 32 career starts.

8. Boston College: Despite the losses of Anthony Castonzo, Thomas Claiborne and Rich Lapham, the Eagles are almost settled up front, it’s the experience behind the starters that’s reason for concern. The No. 2 offensive line is comprised entirely of redshirt freshmen. Mark Spinney returns at center, the projected starting guards are Nathan Richman and Ian White, who started three games as a freshman, and the tackles are Emmett Cleary and John Wetzel.

9. Maryland: It’s been an injury-prone group the past two seasons and that didn’t change this past spring. Left tackle Justin Gilbert, one of the top linemen on the team, reinjured the same knee he had ACL surgery on and will be out until October. R.J. Dill was also injured this spring, though he played in the spring game, and Justin Lewis was rehabbing from offseason surgery. Pete White also missed practices, so the group needs to solidify the two-deep roster.

10. Georgia Tech: The Jackets return three starters in guard Omoregie Uzzi, guard Will Jackson and tackle Phil Smith. Sophomore Jay Finch played extensively last season and Ray Beno and Nick McRae were key reserves. Redshirt freshmen Catlin Alford and Morgan Bailey could also work their way into the rotation. Uzzi will be the leader of the line, but they were outplayed by the defense this spring.

11. Wake Forest: Four starters are back, but the Deacs will sorely miss the experience and leadership of former center Russell Nenon. Garrick Williams started the final three games of 2010 -- two at guard and one at center, but he struggled with the snaps towards the end of spring and isn’t where the staff needs him to be yet.

12. Duke: The Blue Devils should take another step forward this season under offensive line coach Matt Luke, and they need to -- Duke’s running game was last in the ACC last year and 104th in the country. Brian Moore replaces a three-year starter at center, but given his experience at right guard the past two seasons, it should be a smooth transition. That will leave a hole, though, at the right guard position, where Laken Tomlinson and John Coleman are the top candidates.

ACSMA All-conference team announced

November, 29, 2010
11/29/10
4:32
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The 2010 All-Atlantic Coast Conference football team as voted on by 61 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association was announced today. A first-team vote was worth two points and second team vote one.

FIRST TEAM

Offense

QB Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech (77)
RB Montel Harris, Boston College (122)
RB Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech (108)
WR Leonard Hankerson, Miami (118)
WR Torrey Smith, Maryland (96)
TE George Bryan, NC State (92)
OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College (79)
OT Chris Hairston, Clemson (69)
OG Rodney Hudson, Florida State (116)
OG Brandon Washington, Miami (50)
C Sean Bedford, Georgia Tech (91)
K Chris Hazley, Virginia Tech (100)
Spc. Tony Logan, Maryland (69)

Defense
DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson (120)
DE Brandon Jenkins, Florida State (101)
DT Quinton Coples, North Carolina (101)
DT Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson (63)
LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College (112)
LB Nate Irving, N.C. State (105)
LB Alex Wujciak, Maryland (78)
CB Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech (112)
CB Chase Minnifield, Virginia (57)
S DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson (99)
S Kenny Tate, Maryland (78)
P Matt Bosher, Miami

SECOND TEAM

Offense
QB Russell Wilson, NC State (75)
RB Damien Berry, Miami (37)
RB Keith Payne, Virginia (30)
WR Conner Vernon, Duke (70)
WR Owen Spencer, NC State (41)
TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson (31)
OT Orlando Franklin, Miami (65)
OT Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech (39)
OG Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech (41)
OG Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech (35)
OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (35)
C Ryan McMahon, Florida State (47)
K Will Snyderwine, Duke (38)
Spc. David Wilson, Virginia Tech (61)

Defense
DE Allen Bailey, Miami (51)
DE Steven Friday, Virginia Tech (42)
DT John Graves, Virginia Tech (46)
DT Joe Vellano, Maryland (33)
LB Bruce Carter, North Carolina (43)
LB Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech (41)
LB Sean Spence, Miami (37)
CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (49)
CB Brandon Harris, Miami (45)
S Davon Morgan, Virginia Tech (48)
S Ray-Ray Armstrong, Miami (25)
P Brian Saunders, Virginia Tech (48)

Hokies' offensive line key in 2010

May, 25, 2010
5/25/10
9:00
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It's almost impossible not to mention running backs Darren Evans and Ryan Williams when talking about the 2010 Hokies, as the two 1,000-yard rushers are two of the main reasons Virginia Tech will enter this fall as one of the top teams in the country.

Unless the offensive line comes together, though, the duo will be about as productive as former Clemson running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller were in 2008.

That season, Clemson ranked 99th nationally in rushing offense, and the offensive line was one of the major contributors to the meltdown that was Tommy Bowden's final season. The Tigers ranked 103rd in the nation that year in sacks allowed.

Last year, Virginia Tech was able to run the ball well with Williams, but the pass protection has to continue to improve. The Hokies ranked No. 83 in the country in sacks allowed, and that was with Sergio Render and Ed Wang. This year, the group has to replace those veterans and the three established players returning -- Blake DeChristopher, Jaymes Brooks and Beau Warren -- combined for 35 starts last year. Nick Becton impressed the staff this spring at left tackle and should be a capable starter there. At guard, Greg Nosal played in all 12 games last year and got some much-needed experience rotating in at right and left guard.

How quickly this group can become a cohesive unit will help determine how long the Hokies hang onto their high preseason expectations. For Clemson in 2008, those hopes were all but dashed in Week 1 against Alabama. The Tigers had zero yards rushing in that game -- a painful reminder that even Thunder and Lightning won't get far without help from a solid front.

ACC's lunchtime links

November, 20, 2009
11/20/09
12:30
PM ET
Travel day, games to play, I'm on my way.
  • It's an individual preference, but Maryland offensive coordinator Jame Franklin has decided he likes coaching from the sideline better than the box.
  • Virginia Tech's Mark Muncey might not be known to many outside the program, but to those in it, he's one of the biggest pranksters on the team. And Jaymes Brooks? Well, he's more like the "Jolly Green Giant."
  • Miami quarterback Jacory Harris is expected to be ready to play on Saturday against Duke, but if he's not, backup A.J. Highsmith says he's gotten a lot more comfortable.
  • Ann Bowden has been sounding a little arrogant lately, writes Mike Bianchi. Can't say I disagree there. Might be time for a long cruise to think things over ...
  • Great news for NC State tailback Toney Baker -- he's been granted a sixth year of eligibility. It hasn't been all bad for the Pack this year. Just look at what Jarvis Williams has done.
  • It took a while, but BC is back to being O-Line U.
  • Clemson fans, don't pop that champagne yet.
  • Virginia's players will get a treat at Memorial Stadium -- a full crowd.

Ranking the ACC units: Offensive lines

July, 20, 2009
7/20/09
11:07
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Position rankings today will include who has what up front. While it's not exactly glamorous, it wins games.

Let's start with the offensive lines.

1. Florida State -- Ah, it's amazing what a year can do, no? At this point last season, I had the Noles ranked No. 12. That's right, and I'd do it again. There wasn't a senior in the group, and they were the youngest O-line in the FBS with a lot to prove. It was a work in progress, and the tight ends had to help out, but Rick Trickett did a heck of a job, and I take partial credit for the motivation. You're welcome, coach. Now this group, led by Rodney Hudson, Ryan McMahon and Andrew Datko could be one of the best in the country.

2. Boston College -- Four starters return who started all 14 games last year, including potential All-ACC candidates Anthony Castonzo and Matt Tennant. It took some time for this group to come together after Castonzo moved from right tackle to left, Thomas Claiborne was a defensive lineman who moved to the right guard spot and Rich Lapham came off the bench in nine games in 2007. Once they got comfortable, they were a major factor in the success of true freshmen running backs Montel Harris and Josh Haden. It should only be better this year.

3. Wake Forest -- This should be a much-improved group, and deeper, especially with the return of Chris DeGeare, who missed last fall for academic reasons, at left tackle. Seven players with starting experience return to the offensive line and they have combined for 95 career starts. Russell Nenon, who moved to center after Trey Bailey broke his ankle last year, has solidified the position, and Jeff Griffin, who had been a starting tackle, is now comfortable at right guard. Barrett McMillin returns at guard.

4. Clemson -- This is where the problems began last year, and it should be part of the solution in 2009. In 2008, Clemson had to replace four starters. This year, all five starters return. Since 1963, Clemson has had a winning percentage of 76 percent when it returns five starters on the offensive line. Thomas Austin has starting experience at center and guard and should be one of the top offensive linemen in the 2010 NFL draft.

5. Virginia Tech -- The Hokies should be more athletic up front, and this unit goes eight deep, which might be the best depth they've had in the past two seasons. Ed Wang, who is entering his third season as a starter and Sergio Render, who is entering his fourth, are the veterans of a group that includes seven redshirt freshmen and sophomores on the two-deep. Beau Warren is expected to replace Ryan Shuman at center and Jaymes Brooks took over the right guard position and played well in the Orange Bowl in place of an ineligible Nick Marshman.

6. Miami -- Depth remains a concern, but veteran tackle Jason Fox is as dependable as they come, with 36 career starts. There were some tweaks to the line this past spring, as Matt Pipho will be the new starter at right tackle, and the staff is eager to see how he handles that role. A.J. Trump moved from right guard to center, and Joel Figueroa took over at right guard. The health of the starters will be key through the tough stretch to start the season.

7. Georgia Tech -- There is definitely potential here, but first the Jackets have to replace Andrew Gardner and David Brown, which they started to do last season when that duo got hurt. Then they have to keep everyone healthy, which didn't happen this spring. With Dan Voss, Nick Claytor and Cord Howard back for summer camp, and Joseph Gilbert having started 12 games last year, this group should improve and be more consistent this fall, but it will get even better as Paul Johnson's staff begins to recruit more athletic linemen.

8. Virginia -- There are no athletic freaks on the line like coach Al Groh usually finds, but it should still be a solid group. Four starters return, including senior right tackle Will Barker, who has 37 starts. Junior B.J. Cabbell at right guard was a solid blocker last year in his first season as starter, as was Jack Shields, who improved as the season progressed. Sophomore Austin Pasztor moved into the starting lineup against Maryland and sophomore Landon Bradley was Eugene Monroe's backup.

9. NC State -- The good news is that the Pack have plenty of upperclassmen to depend on, and four of the five starters have combined to start 60 games. The only player listed as a current starter who has never started is redshirt senior Andy Barbee, who has spent the previous three years as a reserve center but has now moved to guard. Behind those veterans are several players who redshirted last year and will be given an equal opportunity for playing time.

10. North Carolina -- The Tar Heels took a hit early last month when starter Aaron Stahl decided to forgo his final year of eligibility to "move forward with the next phase of [his] life." His experience will be tough to replace, but there are a handful of players who had a good spring and will compete for his spot. Kyle Jolly, who is entering his third year as a starter, Alan Pelc, who earned a starting job at guard last year, and Lowell Dyer, who has started at center each of the past two seasons, will be the leaders of the line.

11. Maryland -- The Terps lost five of their top seven offensive linemen, including three starters, and the development of their replacements will go a long way in determining how their season unfolds. Despite the graduation of longtime center Edwin Williams, it's the position of least concern as the staff is confident in the leadership and playing abilities of Phil Costa. There are also high expectations for left tackle Bruce Campbell, a physically gifted athlete.

12. Duke -- This has been a trouble spot for the Blue Devils for years, and it's a work-in-progress for coach David Cutcliffe. This year should be another challenge as Duke has to replace three starters after making some progress last year. Center Bryan Morgan is the anchor of the group and enters his second season as a starter and is the only player back in his original position. Kyle Hill moved from left guard to left tackle, so this group will have a whole new look.

Virginia Tech spring wrap-up

May, 7, 2009
5/07/09
9:05
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Virginia Tech Hokies
2008 overall record: 10-4

2008 conference record: 5-3

Returning starters: Offense: 8, defense: 7, kicker/punter: 1

Top returners: QB Tyrod Taylor, TB Darren Evans, TE Greg Boone, OG Sergio Render, OT Ed Wang, WR Danny Coale, WR Jarrett Boykin, P Brent Bowden, FS Kam Chancellor, OLB Cam Martin, DE Jason Worilds, CB Stephan Virgil, ROV Dorian Porch, OLB Cody Grimm

Key losses: DE Orion Martin, ILB Brett Warren, ILB Purnell Sturdivant, CB Victor Harris, PK Dustin Keys, C Ryan Shuman, OG Nick Marshman

2007 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Darren Evans* (1,265 yards)
Passing: Tyrod Taylor* (1,036 yards)
Receiving:
Jarrett Boykin* (441 yards)
Tackles:
Purnell Sturdivant (99)
Sacks:
Cody Grimm* and Orion Martin (7.5)
Interceptions:
Victor Harris (6)

Spring answers

2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Alabama (Georgia Dome, Atlanta)
Sept. 12 Marshall
Sept. 19 Nebraska
Sept. 26 Miami
Oct. 3 at Duke
Oct. 10 Boston College
Oct. 17 at Georgia Tech
Oct. 29 North Carolina
Nov. 5 at East Carolina
Nov. 14 at Maryland
Nov. 21 NC State
Nov. 28 at Virginia

1. It's Ju-Ju, not Joseph. And it's a name you'll learn, as Frank Beamer named Joseph "Ju-Ju" Clayton his No. 2 quarterback this spring. Marcus Davis moved to split end and had a good spring game, despite being at his original position for one week, but the door won't be closed on him at quarterback. He needs to work on his arm strength, and until that improves, the staff wanted to find a spot for him on the field.

2. Liking the linebackers. Barquell Rivers and Jake Johnson both had good springs. They've got a few players behind them who still need some grooming in Bruce Taylor and Quillie Odom, but overall confidence grew in the group this spring.

3. Overall improvement on the offensive line. The coaches have eight players they're confident can play. They'd still like to find one or two more, but it's better depth and athleticism than in the past. Ed Wang, Sergio Render, Beau Warren and Jaymes Brooks are the starters, and at right tackle, Andrew Lanier is listed as the co-starter with Blake DeChristopher. That's a good sign for how well Lanier played this spring.

Fall questions

1. Searching for a kicker. Matt Waldron, who was in a battle for the job last year and is probably the most consistent candidate, is the leader going into fall, but he doesn't have the job locked up. Cody Journell, a highly touted incoming freshman, will be given a chance to win the job. Justin Myer, who handled kickoffs last year as a true freshman, is still in the mix.

2. Disguised defensive ends. There just aren't a lot of bodies to choose from here, as evidenced by the fact the staff moved tight end Chris Drager there to help the depth. Jason Worilds, who missed the spring after shoulder surgery, and Nekos Brown are the only two natural ends. John Graves was moved to tackle to help while Worilds was out.

3. Musical chairs in the secondary. Stephan Virgil is moving from boundary corner to field corner to replace Macho Harris, and Rashad Carmichael is now taking over Virgil's spot with Cris Hill behind him. It's a rotation that's become a tradition for the Hokies, and while the staff is confident in Virgil, Carmichael still has a few things to prove in his new position.

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