ACC: Maurice Hampton

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Around the ACC: FSU's Pressley returns ... for a little

August, 20, 2009
8/20/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here's a quick catch-you-up on practices from around the league, as reported by each school's sports information office:

FSU

With tailbacks Tavares Pressley and Ty Jones getting their first extended work since returning from hamstring strains, the Seminoles moved the ball effectively on the ground throughout the second half of Wednesday's afternoon practice.

"We ran 'ol Pressley a lot today just to see what kind of shape he was in," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "He ran good, but he gave out."

Pressley was the primary ball carrier for the first-team offense during 11-on-11 work, when the Seminoles started at the 50-yard line. He repeatedly ripped off runs between 6-and-12 yards, displaying power and speed, though he did lose a fumble downfield. That fumble proved costly when Pressley landed on the football, knocking the wind out of him, and ultimately ending his day prematurely.

Still, it was the first significant contact work Pressley has had in more than two years, since transferring from El Camino (Calif.) Community College last fall. He missed all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, suffered early in preseason camp.

"[Pressley] did some good things and some bad things," offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said. "When you hit it up in there now, this ain't junior college. There are men on the other side."

Jones also received significant work with the second-team offense and was largely effective running between the tackles.

While Jermaine Thomas earned a break throughout a large chunk of scrimmage work, 212-pound freshman tailback Lonnie Pryor continued to rip off yardage after initial contact and earn the coaching staff's praise.

"The guy that keeps looking good is Pryor," Bowden said. "Sometimes he looks like he's the best back we've got. He just does better than he's supposed to do. He's supposed to faint every now and then, but he ain't fainted yet."

MARYLAND

After Tuesday afternoon's practice turned into an evening session due to a couple of rain delays, the Maryland Terrapins were back on the football field Wednesday morning for the first of two workouts scheduled for the day.

"We had a good, tough practice today," said coach Ralph Friedgen. "It was tough because we went late last night, then we got up this morning. It was hot and humid. We forced them to push themselves out of their comfort zone. Some did it and some didn't."

Despite the short rest, heat and humidity, several players that have stood out in practice so far continued to impress.

"A couple guys really stand out right now," Friedgen said. "Chris Turner -- he's really doing a great job of seeing things, setting the defense, using his cadence, making decisions. I'm very pleased with how he's playing. Kenny Tate is having a sensational camp. He's all over the place. He's intercepting passes, he's sacking guys. [Defensive coordinator Don] Brown's got him blitzing, covering. Every time you look up, he's making a play. You saw that in the scrimmage the other day."

Friedgen like the development the team has made through 11 preseason workouts.

"I think we're getting better," Friedgen said. "We're a long way from where we need to be, but I'm seeing progress."

Now a week and a half in to fall camp, Friedgen is starting to see separation at some positions, while others remain a wait-and-see situation. Parts of the offensive line remain a question, Friedgen said, but the coaching staff is remaining patient with a group that is talented but very young.

"We have [three] redshirt freshmen [Justin Lewis, R.J. Dill and Justin Gilbert] and two regular freshmen [Pete White and Bennett Fulper] and then Maurice Hampton, he's a redshirt sophomore," Friedgen said. "They're very, very young. We knew going in, it is what it is. You just have to be patient and keep working them and keep encouraging them."

MIAMI

Miami held its third two-a-day of fall camp Wednesday, with the team working out in shells in the early morning and late afternoon sessions.

In the morning session, the defense played well in red zone drills and Javarris James led a strong showing by the running backs in 11-on-11 work. In the afternoon, James continued his strong play with a couple big runs to go along with interceptions by Sam Shields and Vaughn Telemaque.

Thearon Collier had a big afternoon offensively, catching several balls from Jacory Harris in 11-on-11 action.

The team continues to focus on kickoff coverage, in addition to the usual work in 11-on-11, 7-on-7 and positional drills.

After five practices in three days, the Canes will take the day off on Thursday before holding a closed scrimmage on Friday.

Morning Practice Highlights -- (shells)
• Randy Phillips stood out defensively, recording a sack and pass deflection in 11-on-11 play.
• In a series of 15-to-20 red zone plays, the defense held the offense to just one touchdown (Taylor Cook to LaRon Byrd for a 20-yard score).
• James had a rush and a reception of over 20 yards in 11-on-11 play.
Lee Chambers had a few runs of 10-to-15 yards in run drills and in 11-on-11 action.

Afternoon Practice Highlights -- (shells)
• James had runs of approximately 65 and 30 yards in 11-on-11 drills.
• Harris hooked up with Collier (twice) Jimmy Graham and Travis Benjamin for substantial gains in 11-on-11 action.
• Shields recorded an interception in 7-on-7 play.
• Telemaque picked off a pass in the end zone during two-minute drills.

Keys for Maryland and Wake Forest's Atlantic Division runs

March, 24, 2009
3/24/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Maryland and Wake Forest both start practice today, and they both happen to be in the Atlantic Division, which will be wide open. (Florida State should have a bit of an edge, but hey, everyone's got issues). Here are three keys to Wake and Maryland surprising some people and making a run for the division title this fall:

If Maryland is going to have a chance ...

1. The Terps need to find a dependable replacement for center Edwin Williams. He might have been the most consistent player on offense last year. Maurice Hampton and Danny Edwards will compete for the job, though moving right guard Phil Costa there might be the most likely scenario. The running game should be a strength, but only if the offensive line comes together quickly. The Terps need to replace three starters there.

2. Chris Turner is going to have to play like a senior. No more inconsistent play. Beating ranked teams is great, but it won't get you far if you can't beat Middle Tennessee, too. He's clearly capable of it. Turner is 6-1 against ranked opponents over the past two seasons and completed 63.5 percent of his passes in those games for nine touchdowns and only two interceptions. He'll have several young, talented receivers to throw it to. His experience alone should give the Terps an edge, as there are only three other senior quarterbacks in the league (Riley Skinner, Jameel Sewell and Thaddeus Lewis).

3. Improve significantly on defense. The Terps ranked 10th in the ACC in total defense, ninth in scoring defense, 10th in passing defense, and ninth in rushing defense. First-year coordinator Don Brown has his hands full, but as a previous head coach he knows what needs to be done. First, he'll have to replace seven starters.

If Wake Forest is going to have a chance ...

1. The Deacs need to find somebody to catch the ball. Wake has to replace starters D.J. Boldin and Chip Brinkman, who combined for 40 career starts. Sure, the Deacs have to develop a better running game, but there were hints of that at the end of the season, especially in the EagleBank Bowl, and there is depth at the position, and the offensive line will be better. Receiver is a bigger question mark.

2. Playmakers need to emerge on defense. Seven starters are gone, the most notable being linebacker Aaron Curry and cornerback Alphonso Smith. The defensive line, led by tackles John Russell and Boo Robinson, will have to be the leaders, along with cornerback Brandon Ghee.

3. They must find a replacement for punter/placekicker Sam Swank. The good news is that they have already been tested without Swank, as he was injured last year and missed six games. That gave Shane Popham valuable experience. He made 7 of 12 field goal attempts and averaged 39.2 yards on 54 punts.

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