ACC: Jon Richt

Clemson's Richt to transfer

March, 9, 2009
3/09/09
8:31
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Clemson quarterback Jon Richt will transfer to a smaller school to continue his academic and athletic career, coach Dabo Swinney told reporters after practice today. Richt, son of Georgia coach Mark Richt, redshirted last year as a true freshman.

"Jon has been an outstanding representative of our school in every way and we will help him any way we can," Swinney said.

That means the quarterback competition this spring has been narrowed down to Willy Korn, Kyle Parker and Michael Wade.

Five position battles to watch this spring

February, 24, 2009
2/24/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

As we head into spring football, there will be plenty of starting jobs up for grabs. It's no secret UNC needs to find dependable receivers, and Georgia Tech needs to replace three of four starters on its defensive line. Will FSU quarterback Christian Ponder keep his job, or will E.J. Manuel win it from him? Despite several quarterbacks returning with starting experience, spring could bring change throughout the ACC. Here's a look at five key position battles to keep an eye on:

Clemson quarterback -- Will Kyle Parker assert himself as the Tigers' quarterback of the future this spring, or will Willy Korn lock up the starting job? Korn played in six games last year and started one, but he has been plagued by a nagging shoulder injury. Michael Wade and Jon Richt (Georgia coach Mark Richt's son) will also compete to take over as Cullen Harper's successor.

Boston College quarterback -- Considering how Dominique Davis struggled in losses in the ACC championship game and the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl (he combined to throw three touchdowns, four interceptions and complete 40.5 percent of his passes), nothing is guaranteed. The previous coaching staff had high hopes for Justin Tuggle, and this spring is a chance for him to show Frank Spaziani and Co. why.

Virginia quarterback -- With cornerback Vic Hall working out at quarterback this spring, and two players returning with starting experience in Marc Verica and Jameel Sewell, this spot appears to be wide open. Hall was the Cavaliers' fifth-leading tackler last year (the top four have to be replaced), and made 24 straight starts at cornerback before his surprise appearance at quarterback in the season finale at Virginia Tech. Hall only threw the ball once against the Hokies but scored on 40 and 16-yard runs.

Virginia Tech linebackers -- The Hokies will have to replace Brett Warren and Purnell Sturdivant. Barquell Rivers, who started for the injured Warren in the Orange Bowl, should be a frontrunner, but Cam Martin and Cody Grimm are also experienced returners at outside linebacker. It's also possible some players in the secondary could get a look.

Duke cornerback -- Returning starter Leon Wright missed the last six games due to injury, and while he was out, Chris Rwabukamba played well in the 10-7 win over Vanderbilt, grabbing an interception at the Duke one-yard line. He started two games. Lee Butler saw playing time as a freshman last year, and Zach Greene enrolled in January and will participate in spring practice so he'll get an opportunity, too.

What to watch in the ACC this spring

February, 11, 2009
2/11/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

With Miami kicking off spring practice on Feb. 24, it's never too early to start thinking about spring football in the ACC. There are plenty of story lines heading into the 2009 season -- like backup quarterbacks and new coordinators.

Here are a few things to watch for each team in the ACC this spring:

ATLANTIC DIVISION

BOSTON COLLEGE
Spring practice starts:
March 17
Spring game: April 25

What to watch

  • Replacing 325-pound defensive tackles B.J. Raji and Ron Brace will be a large challenge -- literally. Damik Scafe could be a starter, but beyond him it's anybody's guess.
  • Quarterback Dominique Davis only has three games of experience over everyone else, so it's definitely not a given that it's his job to lose. Davis was thrown into the fire at the end of 2008, but former coach Jeff Jagodzinski and former offensive coordinator Steve Logan liked freshman Justin Tuggle, who redshirted this past season. Whether the new staff is as high on Tuggle remains to be seen.
  • Including former defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani, who was promoted to head coach, the Eagles will have six coaches in new positions this spring. With two new coordinators, a new offensive line coach, tight ends coach and a linebackers coach, this spring will be a chance for a few introductions.

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Clemson's Parker ready for double duty again

January, 29, 2009
1/29/09
11:19
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Sophomore Kyle Parker is on a football scholarship at Clemson, but he might be more easily recognized by fans when he's wearing his No. 25 jersey -- his baseball uniform -- instead of his No. 11 quarterback jersey.

That might change this spring.

 
  AP Photo/Brett Flashnick
  Kyle Parker will spend time playing football and baseball again this spring.

Parker, the son of former NFL wide receiver Carl Parker, enrolled in Clemson last January after graduating high school early, and immediately made a name for himself as a first-team All-ACC baseball player. He started 55 games and hit .303 with 44 runs scored, 12 doubles, 14 home runs and 50 RBIs. On the side, he happened to be going to spring football practice every day.

This year, there will be a bit more emphasis on spring football, as the graduation of quarterback Cullen Harper leaves the position wide open -- and Parker at the heart of the competition.

"To be able to compete for the job, he's gotta be there," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "Obviously football is paying the bills, but he's here to do both. It's in my and [baseball] coach [Jack] Leggett's best interests that we work out a good schedule for him, and I'm real comfortable with what we've got resolved."

Parker isn't the only ACC quarterback who will be pulling double duty with baseball this spring, and it's no easy feat considering how strong the conference is (North Carolina, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Florida State are all ranked among Baseball America's preseason Top 25, and Miami and NC State are both consistent championship contenders).

The three quarterbacks playing both sports are each at different points in their career. NC State's Russell Wilson is a returning starter at quarterback, and also a second baseman for the Pack, Florida State's D'Vontrey Richardson was a backup quarterback last year but moved to safety recently and is an outfielder for the Noles.

This year, because he's competing for a starting role, Parker said he is feeling a bit more pressure from the football staff to be around this spring. After all, he was the No. 4-ranked quarterback in the country, according to Scouts Inc., and he was recruited by Swinney.

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