ACC: Kenny Ingram
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Summer camp is supposed to be a time when players get excited about the fall, but for Maryland running back Morgan Green, it's usually "a jinx."
Former FSU linebacker/defensive back Kenny Ingram is hoping the NFL draft experts are wrong, or at least to prove them that way.
Sports Illustrated has since retracted its story on B.J. Raji testing positive for drugs, but the Boston Herald still wonders if Raji is a burden.
When it comes to his status with the NFL, former UNC receiver Hakeem Nicks is "clueless."
And a leftover for you ...
Georgia Tech found some answers this spring -- a few leaders were among them.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
With the NFL draft scheduled for 4 p.m. ET Saturday, much attention will be paid to the ACC's highest round picks like linebacker Aaron Curry. Over the past three years, the ACC has seen more of its players taken in the first round (25) than any other league, as well as more of its players drafted (115) than any other conference.
Just because a player isn't drafted in the first three rounds, though, doesn't mean he isn't destined for a successful NFL career, and this year the ACC has plenty of such players. There are several who are borderline third- and fourth-round picks, but even more who are relative unknowns capable of making names for themselves at the next level.
Don't forget about Miami's little used linebacker, Spencer Adkins, who has been getting a fair share of attention from scouts lately. He was used in a lot of third down situations as a pass-rusher. Aside from Bruce Johnson, he is the Canes' top prospect. North Carolina tight end Richard Quinn is ascending the draft boards quickly. He could conceivably be a third-rounder.
Here are three players who aren't expected to be drafted in the first three rounds, but will still be quality players in the NFL:
1. Victor "Macho" Harris, CB, Virginia Tech -- A potential late third-round, early fourth-round pick, Harris is a hard-hitter with exceptional ball skills. He reads blocks well and is a scoring threat, especially in the open field.
2. Anthony Hill, TE, NC State -- He doesn't drop many balls, he stays tough in traffic, and is efficient getting into his routes. He's a strong blocker who would have been much more productive had his career not been marred by injuries.
3. Aaron Kelly, WR, Clemson -- He uses his height to his advantage for jump balls, can create separation and be a threat for yards after catch. He is an average blocker, but was underutilized in Clemson's offense last year.
Other potentially late ACC picks worth keeping an eye on:
- Antonio Appleby, LB, Virginia
- Stanley Arnoux, LB, Wake Forest
- Kevin Barnes, DB, Maryland
- Tony Carter, DB, FSU
- Jon Copper, LB, Virginia
- Moise Fokou, LB, Maryland
- Trimane Goddard, S, UNC
- Cameron Goldberg, OT, Duke
- Dan Gronkowski, TE, Maryland
- Kenny Ingram, LB/DB, Florida State
- Orion Martin, DE, Virginia Tech
- Kevin Ogletree, WR, Virginia
- Cedric Peerman, TB, Virginia
- John Phillips, TE, Virginia
- Ryan Purvis, TE, Boston College
- Eron Riley, WR, Duke
- Darryl Richard, DT, Georgia Tech
- Garrett Reynolds, OT, UNC
- Sam Swank, PK, Wake Forest
- Michael Tauiliili, LB, Duke
- Jaimie Thomas, OL, Maryland
- Chip Vaughn, S, Wake Forest
- Edwin Williams, C, Maryland
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Florida State defensive end Everette Brown held up his index finger, indicating No. 1 as he ran towards the Seminoles' fans in the stands who had lingered in the bitter cold Saturday at Byrd Stadium.
He should have held up three fingers -- one for each sack he made.
Technically, Brown had 3.5 sacks. It was the third time this season he has had at least three sacks in a game, and in the 37-3 win over Maryland, Brown led an aggressive pass rush that frustrated quarterback Chris Turner all night. It was a turnaround performance on defense that was lacking in last week's 27-17 loss to Boston College, and a major reason why Florida State still has a sliver of a chance at playing in the ACC championship game.
|James Lang/US Presswire|
|Seminoles defensive end Everette Brown brought down Terrapins running back Da'Rel Scott and forced a fumble. Brown also recorded 3.5 sacks.|
"That's the way it used to be," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said of his defense. "That's the way we used to play. I thought we'd forgotten how."
Against Boston College, they did, and it cost them dearly.
Maryland has a similar-sized offensive line as the Eagles, but the Terps paved the way for Brown and Co. They got beat on spin moves, didn't make their blocks and were sloppy on fundamentals. As a result, Turner was sacked six times and FSU had 10 tackles for a loss of 53 yards.
"We did a better job tonight of just attacking, playing Florida State football," Brown said. "We knew they were similar to Boston College coming into the game and if we let them get going, give them momentum, they're a tough offensive line, but tonight we wanted to make sure we attacked and controlled the line of scrimmage up front."
Defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews challenged his defense after the loss to the Eagles, told them they got "pushed around out there" and said they needed to be more physical. He pointed out that they had only scored one touchdown all season, and even that changed against Maryland when Derek Nicholson ran a fumble recovery back 22 yards for a touchdown.
"The kids responded real well," Andrews said. "We felt like they had a blocking scheme that would free our ends up and then maybe a tackle and we got to them several times. Guys doing their jobs."
The Florida State defense has a motto they revert to following a poor performance: "Somebody's gotta pay."
"When we go out there and have a horrible game like we did last week," linebacker Kenny Ingram said, "somebody's gotta pay. We came out there and we played a great defensive game."
Turner was the one who wound up paying most of the night, as he was sacked six times. This has become a trend for FSU, as the Noles did the same thing to Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper.
Turner, who entered the game having thrown just six interceptions all season and not one in his past 123 attempts, had two against FSU.
"He's a player," Turner said of Brown. "He has a pretty good future ahead of him. We game planned for him. We were trying to double team him most of the night. There were a few times where we put our left tackle on an island. Every now and then he's going to get you and he got us a few times."
Six to be exact.
"They definitely got into us a lot tonight," said center Edwin Williams. "I guess we weren't ready. We didn't expect that."
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
VIRGINIA -- It will be a family affair this weekend for tight end John Phillips, who will celebrate his senior day at the same time his older brother, Jake, does at William & Mary. Jake is the Tribe's starting quarterback and a team captain. Phillips' mom, Susan, is going to Williamsburg and his dad, Gene, will be in Charlottesville. Phillips is one of 24 seniors who will be recognized before Saturday's game against Clemson. He has been an integral part of the Cavaliers' offense, as he has had at least two catches in every game. He ranks first among ACC tight ends in receptions per game with 4.6.
GEORGIA TECH -- The health of both quarterbacks is a concern. A real one. Tech is hoping both Josh Nesbitt and his backup, Jaybo Shaw, will be ready, but they've both been practicing in a limited capacity this week. Shaw has a leg injury and Nesbitt a sprained ankle. The good news is that neither one has worn the red jersey injured players typically wear during practice and neither are listed as "out" on this week's injury report. Coach Paul Johnson isn't putting a lot of stock into the Yellow Jackets' past success against Miami, considering how different the teams are this season.
FLORIDA STATE -- With safety Darius McClure on crutches this week, the odds of him actually playing on Saturday are slim, but nothing is official until Thursday's injury report comes out. McClure tore cartilage in his left knee last Saturday while celebrating his first career interception, which came against Boston College. Meanwhile, junior Jamie Robinson expects to start in place of Myron Rolle, who will miss part of the game to interview for a Rhodes Scholarship. And Kenny Ingram, who has played significantly at linebacker this season, has reportedly been moved to safety to help with the depth there.
CLEMSON -- The question this week has been whether defensive tackle Dorell Scott will return after suffering a knee injury in the second quarter against Florida State. He missed the Duke game and is listed as questionable for Saturday's game at Virginia, but has been upgraded from a yellow jersey to a green jersey at practice. Scott and defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson are the Tigers' two best interior linemen, but they have played together for only 10 plays this season. Jackson hurt a tendon in his knee in preseason practice and missed the first eight games. The only game they played in together was against Florida State.
NORTH CAROLINA -- Butch Davis has opened up his starting quarterback job and probably won't reveal it until later in the week, if he does at all before kickoff. Cam Sexton wowed and surprised just about everyone with his win at Miami -- his first game in taking over for the injured T.J. Yates -- but his production has slowly decreased since then. He wasn't the only one who could have played better at Maryland last week, but his mistakes were costly. He and Yates have been splitting the reps with the first team this week at practice.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Listening to Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson praise backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw this week, and in talking to NC State coach Tom O'Brien about the success of his third string tight end, it got me thinking.
There have been a lot of backups making differences in the ACC this season. Some, like Virginia Tech's Darren Evans, have simply stolen the spotlight from the starter. Others, like the Hokies' Tyrod Taylor, have stolen the starting job. And many have gotten their opportunity at the unfortunate expense of an injured -- or suspended -- teammate.
Here's a look at the ACC's best backups through the first four weeks:
Boston College: True freshman running back Montel Harris wasn't even on the two-deep when the season started, but after filling in for injured starter Josh Haden (ankle), Harris is the Eagles' leading rusher with 133 yards in two games.
Clemson: Freshman defensive tackle Brandon Thompson was supposed to redshirt, but couldn't after the news Rashaad Jackson would be out for 10 weeks and Jamie Cumbie was lost for the season after the first game. Thompson leads Clemson in tackles for loss with four, and his playing time will only increase.
Duke: Running back Clifford Harris assumed the starting role after a preseason knee injury to Re'quan Boyette. He has rushed 49 times for 203 yards (4.1 YPC) and three touchdowns. He leads Duke and is sixth in the ACC with 67.7 yards per game.
FSU: Linebacker Kenny Ingram filled in for Dekoda Watson while he was suspended and recorded seven tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, three pass break-ups and had a forced fumble and recovered one. He also batted down a Riley Skinner pass on fourth and one from the FSU 10 which was one of two Skinner passes he batted down in last week's game.
Georgia Tech: In the absence of starting quarterback Josh Nesbitt, Jaybo Shaw has completed 6 of 10 passes for no interceptions, 91 yards and a touchdown in the two games he played in. He also rushed 18 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
- Tyler Melton, a true freshman wide receiver, stepped in for injured Correy Earls (hamstring) before the season opener and is the Yellow Jackets' second-leading receiver (five catches, 53 yards), and primary punt returner.
- Sedric Griffin, a junior linebacker, made his first career start at Boston College after two starting linebackers (Brad Jefferson, Anthony Barnes) went down in the season opener. Paul Johnson recently called Griffin their "most consistent linebacker" and he is the third leading tackler with 25 tackles and one tackle for loss.
Maryland: Running back Morgan Green took over for the ACC's injured leading rusher, Da'Rel Scott, and scored two touchdowns last weekend against Eastern Michigan.
- Quarterback Chris Turner started the season as second string behind Jordan Steffy, but inherited the offense after Steffy injured his thumb. Since throwing three interceptions in a loss to Middle Tennessee, Turner has completed 71.4 percent of his passes for 368 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Miami: Senior running back Derron Thomas. He's filled in the role that Graig Cooper had when Cooper was 1b to Javarris James. Thomas has 19 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown, and a 34-yard run against Texas A&M. He's got 121 all-purpose yards in three games.
UNC -- Robert Quinn, a true freshman, started the past two weeks after defensive end Darrius Massenburg went down with a knee injury. Quinn has six tackles, three tackles for losses, one sack and two pressures.
NCSU -- Tight end George Bryan. He was the only option after injuries to Anthony Hill and Matt Kushner. Now he leads the team in catches (13), is third in yards (127) and tied for first with two touchdowns.
Virginia Tech: Darren Evans, the Hokies' No. 2 tailback, leads the team with 264 yards and four touchdowns.
- Tyrod Taylor -- He's a work in progress, as he hasn't thrown a touchdown yet, but there's no question his playmaking abilities have helped the offense. He's second on the team in rushing with 221 yards and leads with 73.7 yards per game.
Wake Forest: Ryan McManus, a fourth-year walk-on and the holder for PATs and field goals gets the unsung hero award so far. He saw the play clock running down as the Demon Deacons were lining up for the game-winning field goal against Ole Miss and very alertly called time out. The third-string quarterback does whatever he can to get on the field, including helping out on the punt and punt-return teams. His father was a starting quarterback at Wake Forest in the 1970s and is now an assistant coach at Kent State.
NEXT MAN UP
Here are the three most notable opportunities for players to join the list:
UVA: Quarterback Marc Verica. He was a respectable 22 for 30 (1 INT) for 158 yards in the loss to UConn, but now it's officially his offense. Let's see what he can do now that he's had time to prepare as the starter.
NCSU: Freshman Dwayne Maddox is taking over at weakside linebacker for Nate Irving, the Wolfpack's top playma
ker on defense.