ACC: Luke Arciniega

Syracuse spring wrap

April, 29, 2014
Apr 29
Three things we learned in the spring about the Syracuse Orange:

1. Terrel Hunt kept his job. Coach Scott Shafer wanted Hunt to build off the momentum he generated toward the end of last season and earn the starting quarterback job again this spring. Hunt won 2013 team MVP honors the night before the spring game, then went out and connected on 12 of 15 passes for 95 yards, leaving little doubt that the offense will revolve around him in 2014.

2. John Miller has the inside track at center. The offensive line was hammered by injuries this spring, but Miller, a juco transfer from Los Angeles Harbor College, took a big step, emerging as the likely front-runner to start in the middle. Miller's rise could keep Rob Trudo at guard after he initially switched to center this spring.

3. Marqez Hodge emerged at middle linebacker. Marquis Spruill's graduation made this spot a premium for the Orange to fill this spring, and the sophomore Hodge proved to be a physical presence. He took advantage of extra reps with Luke Arciniega out with a lower body injury. The former Will linebacker should bring more to the table after a promising rookie campaign in 2013.

Three questions for the fall:

1. How will the passing game look? Hunt's improvements are huge, but what good are they if he has no one to throw the ball to? Sophomore Brisly Estime is the best of the bunch, and he and Jeremiah Kobena made some big plays in the spring game, albeit against an injury-depleted secondary. But with plenty of capable running backs, Syracuse needs more playmakers through the air.

2. How good is the D-line without Jay Bromley? The Orange said goodbye to 10 sacks and 14.5 sacks from Bromley in 2013, production that will be tough to replace. Eric Crume is the most experienced man on the inside, but depth is thin there, possibly forcing Syracuse to play several bigger ends inside.

3. Who's the No. 2 QB? This isn't the worst problem to have, but Syracuse needs its youngsters to emerge in fall camp, as Hunt's backups are all first-year or second-year players (Mitch Kimble, A.J. Long, Austin Wilson and the incoming Alin Edouard). Backup quarterback will be among the biggest position battles come August.

One way-too-early prediction:

Shafer said he is aiming for eight wins this season, and he will get there, albeit with a 13th game. There is no shame in that, as consecutive winning seasons in a coach's first two campaigns -- both of which are in a new, tougher conference -- would serve as a tangible sign of progress, especially in the Atlantic Division.

ACC recruiting primer

February, 6, 2013
ESPN RecruitingNation has signing day covered. Follow ESPNU’s coverage, chat with analysts and get breaking news on our Signing Day Live page beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET through 7 p.m. ET. For more on what to expect on signing day, check out the ACC conference breakdown Insider.

Bold prediction: Virginia Tech will climb back toward the top of the conference after signing a strong 2013 class.

Boston College
Biggest need: Playmakers at running back.
Biggest recruit: Three-star athlete Myles Willis will make the transition from high school option quarterback to running back for Steve Addazio’s spread offense.

Biggest need: Playmakers on defense.
Biggest recruit: While the Tigers’ chances at four-star prospect Montravius Adams are slipping, there are some quality recruits on board, including ESPN 150 defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko.

Biggest need: Defensive backs for the 4-2-5 package.
Biggest recruit: Three-star cornerback Evrett Edwards should be able to come in and play early.

Florida State
Biggest need: Offensive linemen and front-seven depth.
Biggest recruit: Florida State lost ESPN 150 offensive lineman Austin Golson a week ago and has been frantically trying to get him to recommit.

Georgia Tech
Biggest need: Team speed.
Biggest recruit: Several options here, but three-star wide receiver Ricky Jeune should find a spot on the field quickly.

Biggest need: Playmakers and depth.
Biggest recruit: Junior college wide receiver Deon Long should be able to line up across from Stefon Diggs and give the Terps another major vertical threat.

Biggest need: Run-stopping defenders.
Biggest recruit: Five-star prospect Matthew Thomas is the most coveted prospect in the eyes of Hurricanes fans, but four-star defensive tackle Jay-nard Bostwick fits an even bigger need.

North Carolina
Biggest need: Playmakers on defense.
Biggest recruit: At the top of the class are two ESPN 150 prospects in cornerback Brian Walker and defensive tackle Greg Webb. Both will get early looks.

North Carolina State
Biggest need: Athletes for spread offense.
Biggest recruit: Three-star wide receiver Johnathan Alston leads a very good class of skill players.

Biggest need: Speed on offense.
Biggest recruit: Four-star offensive lineman Dorian Johnson is one of the best in the nation.

Biggest need: Quality depth on defense.
Biggest recruit: Junior college linebacker Luke Arciniega has the potential to be a big-time contributor in the fall.

Biggest need: Defensive backs.
Biggest recruit: ESPN 150 running back Taquan Mizzell and four-star defensive back Tim Harris are two players to watch early.

Virginia Tech
Biggest need: Team speed on defense.
Biggest recruit: ESPN 150 prospect Kendall Fuller leads one of Frank Beamer’s best classes.

Wake Forest
Biggest need: Playmakers on defense.
Biggest recruit: Four-star linebacker Lance Virgile is the sort of physical presence Wake Forest’s defense will need in the future.