ACC: Ramon Buchanon

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[+] EnlargeLuke Kuechly
Michael Tureski/Icon SMILuke Kuechly leads a deep group of Boston College linebackers.
1. Boston College: Luke Kuechly is one of the best in the country, but he’s not alone. The Eagles also have Kevin Pierre-Louis, who ranked second nationally among all freshmen in tackles per game last season with 7.15 -- ninth in the ACC. It won’t be easy to replace Mark Herzlich, on or off the field, but Steele Divitto played in 11 games last season, and Nick Clancy and Will Thompson both saw time on the second team.

2. Florida State: The Noles had to replace two starters, including Kendall Smith, the team’s second-leading tackler, last season, and Mister Alexander, but the upcoming talent could be even better. Nigel Bradham led the team with 98 tackles and five pass breakups last season, and Christian Jones, Jeff Luc, Telvin Smith and Vince Williams will also be competing for playing time.

3. Miami: Sean Spence, who has 30 career starts, should be one of the best in the country, and Ramon Buchanon, another senior, also returns. The Canes have five other linebackers with experience in Kelvin Cain, who started seven games, Jordan Futch, who had a great spring and will see the field, Tyrone Cornelius, Shayon Green and C.J. Holton.

4. North Carolina: Kevin Reddick, who led the Tar Heels with 74 tackles last season, returns for his third season as starter. Zach Brown is also a returning starter with game-changing capabilities, and there is plenty of depth with Dion Guy, Darius Lipford, Ebele Okakpu and Herman Davidson. Junior college transfer Fabby Desir could also have an impact.

5. NC State: Audie Cole and Terrell Manning have combined for 39 career starts, and Cole fared well this spring moving to the middle to replace Nate Irving. With the return of Sterling Lucas, Dwayne Maddox and Colby Jackson, there is plenty of experience, but not quite as much depth as some other programs.

6. Georgia Tech: The Jackets return both starters in Steven Sylvester and Julian Burnett. There is no shortage of depth with Jeremy Attaochu, Quayshawn Nealey, Brandon Watts, Albert Rocker, Malcolm Munroe and Daniel Drummond.

7. Clemson: This group has a lot of potential, especially if true freshmen Tony Steward and Stephone Anthony make an immediate impact. There’s no question they’ll be given a chance, but the Tigers already have a good group with Corico Hawkins, Quandon Christian and Jonathan Willard.

8. Virginia Tech: It seems like this rotation has been in flux for a while now. The Hokies’ leading tackler returns in Bruce Taylor, Barquell Rivers had 96 tackles as a starter in 2009 but was injured last season, and there are several young players adding to the competition. Chase Williams, Tariq Edwards, Telvion Clark and Jack Tyler are only a few. Whip linebacker Jeron Gouveia-Winslow will have to earn his spot back over Alonzo Tweedy, Dominique Patterson and Nick Dew.

9. Maryland: The Terps were hit hard here with the losses of Alex Wujciak (381 career tackles) and Adrian Moten (14.5 career sacks). Demetrius Hartsfield returns with 20 career starts, and there are four lettermen returning including Darin Drakeford, Isaiah Ross, David Mackall and Bradley Johnson.

10. Wake Forest: Kyle Wilber’s move to outside linebacker will give this position a boost, as he led the Deacs with 14.5 tackles for loss and six sacks last season. His backup is Gelo Orange (22 tackles). The Deacs also have Tristan Dorty, Joey Ehrmann, Mike Olsen, Scott Betros, Riley Haynes and Justin Jackson.

11. Virginia: Starters LaRoy Reynolds and Ausar Walcott both return, but neither has started more than 11 career games. Junior Steve Greer has prior starting experience but played mainly as a reserve last season. Adam Taliaferro, Conner McCartin, Tucker Windle and LoVante Battle are also in the mix for playing time.

12. Duke: Kelby Brown is the lone returning starter, but he’s a promising young player who led the nation last season as a freshman in fumbles recovered. He missed spring ball while recovering from a knee injury, but is expected to start with Tyree Glover or Kevin Rojas.
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Boston College Eagles, Duke Blue Devils, Virginia Tech Hokies, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, North Carolina Tar Heels, Clemson Tigers, Florida State Seminoles, North Carolina State Wolfpack, Maryland Terrapins, Virginia Cavaliers, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Miami Hurricanes, ACC, Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, Vince Williams, Kevin Reddick, Barquell RIvers, Sterling Lucas, Herman Davidson, Tristan Dorty, Steven Sylvester, Demetrius Hartsfield, David Mackall, Jordan Futch, Adrian Moten, Ramon Buchanon, Terrell Manning, Tariq Edwards, Sean Spence, Malcolm Munroe, Kendall Smith, Nigel Bradham, Darin Drakeford, Alonzo Tweedy, Bruce Taylor, Zach Brown, Gelo Orange, Nate Irving, Dwayne Maddox, Steve Greer, Audie Cole, Nick Clancy, Mark Herzlich, C.J. Holton, Colby Jackson, Alex Wujciak, Will Thompson, Tyree Glover, Luke Kuechly, Shayon Green, Ausar Walcott, Julian Burnett, LaRoy Reynolds, Joey Ehrmann, Christian Jones, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Daniel Drummond, Kevin Rojas, Corico Hawkins, Brandon Watts, LoVante Battle, Quandon Christian, Justin Jackson, Chase Williams, Jonathan Willard, Telvion Clark, Kelvin Cain, Riley Haynes, Darius Lipford, Mister Alexander, Kelby Brown, Jack Tyler, Telvin Smith, Stephone Anthony, Tony Steward, Fabby Desir, Dominique Patterson, 2011 ACC position rankings, 2011 ACC summer position rankings, Bradley Johnson, Steele Divitto, Tyrone Cornelius, Ebele Okakpu, Kyle Wisber, Mike Olsen, Scott Betros, Jeremy Attaochu, Quayshawn Nealey, Albert Rocker, Isiah Ross, Adam Taliaferro, Conner McCartin, Tucker Windle

Miami spring wrap-up

May, 7, 2009
5/07/09
9:25
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Miami Hurricanes

2008 overall record: 7-6

2008 conference record: 4-4

Returning starters: Offense: 8, defense: 8, kicker/punter: 2

Top returners: QB Jacory Harris, OT Jason Fox, WR Aldarius Johnson, WR Travis Benjamin, RB Graig Cooper, RB Javarris James, LB Sean Spence, LB Darryl Sharpton, CB Chavez Grant, K/P Matt Bosher, DE Allen Bailey

Key losses: QB Robert Marve, OT Chris Rutledge, C Xavier Shannon, LB Glenn Cook, S Anthony Reddick

2007 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Graig Cooper* (888 yards)

Passing: Robert Marve (1,293 yards)

Receiving: Aldarius Johnson* (332 yards)

Tackles: Glenn Cook (76)

Sacks: Allen Bailey* (5)

Interceptions: Sean Spence*, Brandon Harris*, Bruce Johnson, Eric Moncur (1 each)


2009 Schedule

Sept. 7 at Florida State
Sept. 17 Georgia Tech
Sept. 26 at Virginia Tech
Oct. 3 Oklahoma
Oct. 10 Florida A&M
Oct. 17 at Central Florida
Oct. 24 Clemson
Oct. 31 at Wake Forest
Nov. 7 Virginia
Nov. 14 at North Carolina
Nov. 21 Duke
Nov. 28 at South Florida

Spring answers

1. Temporary answer. Miami coach Randy Shannon said Taylor Cook earned the backup quarterback job -- for now. Cook beat Cannon Smith for the job this spring, and Shannon said that if the season started today, it would be Cook's job. A.J. Highsmith will join the competition, though, this summer.

2. You've got to coordinate. New offensive coordinator Mark Whipple wasted no time in implementing his new system, the players and staff were very receptive to it. Defensive coordinator John Lovett was also well received, even though it was the players' third coordinator in as many seasons.

3. Position change. Sam Shields' move from wide receiver to cornerback proved to be a good one. Shields showed he can not only provide some depth, but also possibly challenge for a starting job. He'll definitely work hyis way into the rotation, and the staff needs more consistent play from the secondary.

Fall questions

1. From hoops to helmets. Former forward Jimmy Graham has reportedly said he will join the football team this fall as a tight end, and it's a position that can use some help, especially with the knee injury to Dedrick Epps. But how much will Graham be able to help considering he hasn't played the sport since high school?

2. Tweaks to the o-line. 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.

3. Depth at linebacker. It's a patchwork effort, as several young players who were defensive backs last season were moved to linebacker (C.J. Holton, Ramon Buchanan), and Colin McCarthy didn't practice all spring but will be back. Arthur Brown is in the mix in the middle with Darryl Sharpton, and Sean Spence proved himself as a freshman, but depth is a concern.

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