ACC: Rendrick Taylor

Clemson's Taylor signs free agent contract

May, 5, 2010
5/05/10
2:58
PM ET
Former Clemson fullback Rendrick Taylor has signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Bucs and will report to mini-camp May 17. He will work as a fullback and tight end, but also played receiver during his career at Clemson.

Taylor, who will graduate on Friday, played in 38 games for the Tigers over the past five years, 10 as a starter. He finished his career with 54 receptions for 533 yards and a touchdown and had 15 carries for 36 yards as a fullback.

Taylor is the fifth member of last year's team to sign a free agent contract and five other players were drafted two weeks ago. That's a significant bit of talent gone from last year's Atlantic Division champs:

Still, Clemson returns enough talent on both sides of the ball to repeat as division champs. The Tigers will have six starters back on defense, including four of the top five tacklers and three defensive linemen. Even though Chancellor and Butler are gone, Clemson's secondary returns players who accounted for 19 of last year's 21 interceptions.

Around the ACC: Parker leads the way in Clemson scrimmage

August, 12, 2009
8/12/09
11:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here's your daily dose of practice reports from Tuesday, as reported by each school's sports information office:

CLEMSON

Kavell Conner and Brandon May each had eight tackles to key the defense in Clemson's first of three scrimmages of the preseason on Tuesday morning.

Four quarterbacks worked in the scrimmage that was 87 plays in length before the team went into a short-yardage situation drill. Kyle Parker completed 8 of 18 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown, a 39-yard scoring pass to tight end Durell Barry. Willy Korn was 4-for-9 for 41 yards, while Mike Wade was 4-of-7 for 49 yards. Freshman Taj Boyd, who worked with the third offense against the third defense, was sharp and completed 7-of-10 passes for 70 yards.

Two redshirt freshmen were the top receivers on the day. Brandon Ford had five catches for 60 yards and Jaron Brown added three for 48 yards. The tight ends were prominent during the scrimmage catching a combined eight passes. Michael Palmer had four catches for 33 yards.

C.J. Spiller was the top rusher with 10 carries for 60 yards and he also added a 7-yard pass reception. Jamie Harper had three rushes for 18 yards, while Rendrick Taylor added four for 17.

The defense played well, allowing just one touchdown all day, the 39-yard scoring pass from Parker to Barry. Conner had a tackle for loss to go with his eight tackles. Jarvis Jenkins was the top tackler up front with five stops, including a tackle for loss. Ricky Sapp had two sacks to pace the defensive ends. There were two interceptions by the defense, one by Xavier Brewer and one by Carlton Lewis.

"We did some things well, but we still have a long way to go," said coach Dabo Swinney. "The defense is definitely ahead of the offense at this point and you see that at this point in preseason. But we had way too many penalties and mistakes on offense.

Clemson will be back on the practice fields for two practices on Wednesday.

MARYLAND

The Terps continued practice without pads, spending much of the session working on timing, technique and learning the playbook.

For the second straight day, the team practiced in high heat and humidity as temperatures soared into the mid 90s. The weather may have played a role in Tuesday's workout.

"Today wasn't as good as Day 1," said coach Ralph Friedgen. "We didn't catch it as well as I like us to. But we still got a lot done. We had a lot of reps. We got a lot of young kids plenty of work. We're running two teams so I'm like a traffic cop out there."

In order to get more work for a roster which has 58 of its 85 scholarship with three or four years of eligibility left, Friedgen has split the practice into two groups, with the first and third teams squaring off against each other, and second and fourth teams working on an adjacent field.

"The good thing about this team, there's competition," said Friedgen. "Everybody has to compete. There's very few jobs that are set other than say [Chris] Turner's. But I'm looking for Jamarr Robinson to come on as well. But I'm not disappointed in the play of two young quarterbacks. I'm kind of amazed from what we have in that they're able to get out of the huddle. They're not finished products by any stretch, but they've picked things up well."

MIAMI

Day 4 was highlighted by several big runs from freshman running back Lamar Miller, as well as a strong showing by the tight ends in 7-on-7 action.

The Hurricanes donned shells for the second straight day. After a slow start to practice, the team picked up its pace as practice wore on.

"As a group, we started off slow today; but we finished up fast," coach Randy Shannon said. "We can't come out and start off slow and then try to pick it up at the end. That is part of practice. We have to get focused tomorrow and stay focused on the big picture."

Temperatures remained consistent with the first three days of practice, with hot, humid conditions on the Greentree Practice Fields.

The team will return to practice Wednesday morning wearing full pads for the first time in camp.

• Freshman defensive linemen Olivier Vernon and Luther Robinson each recorded a sack in 11-on-11 action.
• Sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris hooked up with sophomore Travis Benjamin and freshman Kendal Thompkins for deep balls in 11-on-11 play.
• Freshman Lamar Miller had two big runs on the morning, one that went for a 60-plus-yard touchdown.
• Jordan Futch forced and recovered a fumble in full-team action.
• Tight ends stood out in 7-on-7 play, with seniors Jimmy Graham and Richard Gordon and freshman Billy Sanders all recording a catch.
Taylor Cook found Thearon Collier for a long touchdown in 11-on-11.

WAKE FOREST

Wake Forest practiced for two hours Tuesday night at the Doc Martin Football Practice Complex. The fourth practice of the preseason marked the Demon Deacons' final practice in shells. The squad will wear full pads for the first time when it hits the practice field on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m.

"It was a little scary tonight, a lot of contact, lot of guys running into each other," said coach Jim Grobe. "We're trying to keep the guys high and on their feet but we had too many guys on the ground tonight. The good news is that they were getting after each other in a good way. We'll work harder at doing a better job of being physical but at the same time taking care of each other. We had a lot of energy tonight."

Grobe noted that the younger, less-experienced defense rose to the occasion on Tuesday night.

"I thought the defense did some better things today," said Grobe. "The past couple of practices we popped some big plays on offense and the defense kind of kept those in check today. They're moving around better. Some of our young kids, they don't know where to line up or what to do but they're flying around and playing hard so it was fun. It was a fun practice to watch. Usually at the end of finals and summer school the guys start dragging but we didn't today. It will be fun tomorrow to get out and have class behind us and not have to study anything but football for the next couple of weeks."

Clemson practice notes

August, 7, 2009
8/07/09
8:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here's what came in from Clemson's sports information office Thursday night:

Dabo Swinney put his team through a near three-hour practice on Thursday afternoon at the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center. He finished the practice with a four-period (20 minute) offense vs. defense competition. There was no tackling, but it was a good opportunity to have the team work on their assignments.

"We had a good day of practice," said Swinney. "The receivers showed progress today. There is a strong competition going on. Jacoby Ford is obviously the leader, but Marquan Jones has done very well and is poised to have a standout year. Kyle Johnson made a nice catch on a long pass today from Willy Korn. Terrence Ashe has looked good as well. The receivers are competing hard."

Swinney was again impressed with Rendrick Taylor today.

"He stood out again today. He is really a load to tackle, but he is light on his feet. He will see action at a number of positions. He ran hard today. Dwayne Allen also stood out at tight end. He caught a long pass from Taj Boyd and made some other nice catches.

"On defense, Scott Cooper made some plays in coverage situations and DeAndre McDaniel had an interception on a pass over the middle."

Swinney also said the punting game was good today.

"Both Dawson Zimmerman and Richard Jackson had a good day punting the ball. They had hang time between 4.6 and 4.7 and that is what you want. We should be good on special teams overall. With C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford we should have the best return combination in the country."

Swinney stayed after to practice as he is looking for a backup snapper and backup holder. Freshman Matt Skinner is the first team snapper and has done well, and Mike Wade is the first team holder. Among the snapper prospects is tight end Michael Palmer. Kyle Parker worked as a holder during that session.

Offensive tackle J.K. Jay and preseason All-ACC wide receiver Jacoby Ford were the only players who missed practice due to injury. Jay is out with a back injury and Ford has a hamstring injury. Both ran on the side during the practice.

Clemson practice report

August, 6, 2009
8/06/09
10:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here are a few excerpts from Clemson's second practice, as reported by the sports information office:

Clemson is in the five-day NCAA mandated acclimatization period. The Tigers will have practice each evening on Thursday through Saturday, then take Sunday off. Monday morning's practice will be the first in full pads. Clemson will practice twice that day, the first of four two-a-day practices during the pre-school schedule.

"It was a good day of practice," said coach Dabo Swinney. "I told the team that this was how championship teams practice. There was energy like there was the first day, but they played smarter today."

Swinney mentioned a few of his players in his postgame meeting with the media.

"Ricky Sapp looked like Ricky Sapp today and I am anxious to see him with the full pads on this coming Monday," Swinney said. "I was very impressed with Rendrick Taylor. He caught the ball out of the backfield, and from tight end, and ran very well, also.

"Byron Maxwell worked hard all summer. He worked out twice a day and I am proud of what he has done these first two days. Kevin Alexander also looked good at defensive end."

Jacoby Ford [hamstring] and J.K. Jay were both in yellow jerseys and missed the practice. Ford suffered the injury while fielding punts in Tuesday's first practice. Jay has a back injury.

Jaron Brown and Bryce McNeal were two receivers who missed the practice to take a final exam for the summer session.

"Today was the last day of summer school finals so we get them for all football now until Aug. 19."

Weekend rewind: Scrimmage updates

April, 6, 2009
4/06/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

There was plenty of football going on this Saturday, but only one spring game -- Florida State -- so we'll take care of the Noles in a separate post. Here's a quick recap of the other scrimmages, according to information provided by each school's respective sports information director.

BOSTON COLLEGE

In the Eagles' first spring scrimmage, redshirt sophomore quarterback Dominique Davis started and completed 9 of 22 passes for 64 yards with three interceptions. Redshirt freshman quarterback Justin Tuggle completed 9 of 11 passes for 87 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Sophomore quarterback Codi Boek also played several series, completing 7 of 14 passes for 61 yards. Redshirt freshman Alexander Atiyeh completed a pass for 26 yards and a touchdown.

Redshirt freshman Clyde Lee led all receivers with four catches for 59 yards. Junior Ryan Lindsey had three catches for 52 yards, along with a 26-yard touchdown. Junior tight end Jordon McMichael caught Tuggle's 5-yard touchdown, which ended the scrimmage.

Senior running back Jeff Smith led all Eagles in rushing, carrying the ball 13 times for 42 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Montel Harris had 12 carries for 33 yards, while sophomore Josh Haden had 12 carries for 32 yards.

"I saw some good things," coach Frank Spaziani said. "The offense is getting better, learning some things and executing. We're making progress, but it's still very early."

The defense looked strong early, as senior Mark Herzlich intercepted Davis and returned the ball 43 yards for a touchdown. Sophomore linebacker Will Thompson made six tackles. Redshirt freshman Nick Clancy was in the right place at the right time totaling four tackles and two interceptions. Junior cornerback DeLeon Gause returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown, while also intercepting a pass. Sophomore defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey recorded two sacks on the day.

CLEMSON

The defense had 13 sacks -- three of which came from defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, who also had four tackles -- but don't get too impressed by that stat. It's the one-hand touch rule on quarterbacks, so many of them wouldn't have counted.

"I thought it was a great scrimmage," said coach Dabo Swinney. "I saw great competition and solid performances on both sides of the ball. The wide receivers had their best day of the spring. Brandon Ford had two touchdowns [including goal-line drill] and has really made progress this week. The quarterbacks did well. People better not count out Michael Wade, he had an outstanding day.

"On defense I thought Da'Quan Bowers was outstanding. The defense had a very good day in general.

"We did have some mistakes that were critical, a fumble on the goal line, an offside penalty by the defense that negated a big play that allowed a first down. But, overall I was pleased.

"The kickers also did very well today. Spencer Benton was 7-for-7 on field goals, including a 50-yarder and Richard Jackson had an outstanding day as well."

Jackson made two field goals from 49 yards during the scrimmage.

Wade had the best stats of the quarterbacks as he completed 9-of-12 for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Willy Korn was 8-16 for 96 yards and added a 3-yard scoring pass to Ford in the goal-line drill portion of the scrimmage. Kyle Parker completed 7-of-14 for 87 yards and a touchdown on a 10-yard pass to Terrence Ashe, who made a nice catch in the back of the end zone.

Parker hit a home run for the Clemson baseball team against Duke on Friday night, then was back in Death Valley Saturday morning. He will be back in the starting lineup against Duke on Saturday night.

"We came out today to work on our passing game," said Swinney. "We have had some tough weather this spring so today was the best day we have had to work on pitching and catching. I was pleased with what I saw."

Ford had three catches for 97 yards, including a 60-yard score from Wade, in the regular scrimmage, then added a touchdown catch from Korn in the goal-line portion. Jaron Brown had three catches for 68 yards, including a 26-yard reception from Wade. Ashe had three catches for 20 yards, including the 10-yard score from Parker. Xavier Dye added two catches for 40 yards receiving, and Brandon Clear had a 30-yard catch as well.

Rendrick Taylor was the top rusher with eight carries for 31 yards, while Andre Ellington had eight for 27. There were no rushing touchdowns in the scrimmage until the goal-line drill. Ellington and Jamie Harper both had two touchdowns in the goal-line drill.

C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford both missed the scrimmage as they compete this weekend for the Clemson track team in the Florida Relays.

Bowers, who was Clemson's top player in the Gator Bowl against Nebraska, had three sacks, a caused fumble, four total tackles for loss and six overall tackles. Brandon Clear had two sacks.

Kavell Conner, Clemson's top tackler last year, had six tackles, as did Jeremy Campbell and Bowers, to lead the defense. Sophomore Coty Sensabaugh had a 53-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Safety Sadat Chambers had the only interception of the scrimmage.

MARYLAND

Maryland won't hold its first scrimmage until next week, but the Terps geared up for that by spending about an hour of Saturday's workout in a scrimmage-type setting.

After spending roughly an hour on individual and team work, the first and second team offenses and defenses faced off for a mock scrimmage of eight possessions with each beginning at the 35-yard line.

The offense had scoring opportunities on two of its first five possessions, but the defense ended one drive with an interception and forced two three-and-outs.

Da'Rel Scott keyed the lone touchdown drive in his limited time. With the No. 1 offense and defense squaring off on the second drive, the junior carried four times for 56 yards to move the ball into the red zone.

After Chris Turner hit Tommy Galt on third-and-5 to keep the drive alive, Haroon Brown scored on a 4-yard
run.

The offense moved the ball on the ensuing possession, but Jamari McCollough thwarted the scoring chance, picking off Jamarr Robinson's pass at the 4 and returning it 50 yards.

Two possessions later, the offense had a field goal attempt set up by a 26-yard completion from Anthony Green to Matt Furstenburg.

Aided by a stiff wind, Mike Barbour's 50-yard kick had plenty of distance, but sailed just wide right.

Safeties Terrell Skinnner and Antwine Perez were the leading tacklers, posting four stops apiece. Skinner and Perez were also in the backfield quite a bit, combining for 2.5 tackles for loss. Skinner also had a forced fumble.

McCollough also had three solo stops in addition to his interception. The defense had four sacks, including two on the final possession.

"Defensively, we got better as the scrimmage went on," coach Ralph Friedgen said. "We got better at tackling, better pursuit to the ball and we [forced] some turnovers, which is good to see from a defensive standpoint but not from an offensive standpoint."

Turner completed six of his seven passes, but managed only 12 yards. Robinson went 3-for-5 for 37 yards and Green, a defensive back serving as the No. 3 signal-caller this spring, hit all three of his attempts for 33 yards.

Scott, who played on just one possession, was the leading ground gainer with 56 yards on four carries. No receiver had more than two catches, with Furstenburg leading the way, hauling in a pair for 41 yards.

"There were a lot of positives," Friedgen said of Saturday's practice. "We just need to keep on working at trying to get better. I think our attitude is very good, I think they're enjoying themselves and I think they're working hard. As long as we have that and we keep trying to get better every day, one day we're going to be a good football team."

Scrimmage updates

March, 28, 2009
3/28/09
4:13
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here's a quick wrap-up from scrimmages around the ACC today. The information is from each school's sports information director:

CLEMSON

Running backs Jamie Harper, Andre Ellington, Rendrick Taylor and Ronald Watson Jr. combined for 200 yards rushing on 36 carries and quarterbacks Willy Korn and Kyle Parker combined to throw five touchdown passes during a two-and-a-half hour scrimmage at Clemson Memorial Stadium on Saturday morning.

It was the first stadium scrimmage for Clemson. The spring game will be held on April 11 at 1 p.m.

"The offense scored two touchdowns on the first two possessions on 70-yard drives, but the defense came back later in the scrimmage," coach Dabo Swinney said. "The defense had the upper hand in most of our practices up until today, so it was good to see the offense have strong performance today. Overall I was pleased with the effort, but we still have a lot to work on."

Swinney singled out some performances after the scrimmage.

"I thought both quarterbacks played well today. Willy Korn and Kyle Parker both managed the offense in difficult weather conditions and made some plays. I don't know who our starting quarterback will be in the opener, but I am confident we will have a talented player under center.

"The running backs played well. Rendrick Taylor had a good day running the ball. He is going to help us. He really ran hard and broke some tackles. I have been looking for a wide receiver to step up and make a play and Marquan Jones did that with a touchdown catch on the first possession. Marcus Gilchrist made an outstanding play on an interception late in the scrimmage."

Korn completed 4 of 9 passes for 42 yards, but two went for touchdowns, a 28-yard score to Jones and a 3-yard pass to Michael Palmer in a goal-line situation.

Parker completed 5 of 12 passes for 87 yards and three touchdowns. Two of his scores went to fullback Chad Diehl, one of 43 yards on a swing pass on the sidelines, and one on a 4-yard score. He also threw a 14-yard scoring pass to freshman tight end Dwayne Allen. Michael Wade was 4 of 11 for 35 yards through the air in the difficult weather conditions.

Jamie Harper led the running backs with 11 rushes for 57 yards. He scored on a 25-yard run during the regular part of the scrimmage and scored three times from the 1 on fourth-and-goal situations at the conclusion of the scrimmage.

The top receiver was Diehl with two catches for 47 yards. Jones had 2 for 27 and freshman Jaron Brown had 2 for 13 yards and added an 11-yard run on a reverse.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Tig Willard was the top tackler with seven, while Jamie Cumbie and DeAndre McDaniel had six apiece. Andre Branch had four tackles including two for loss, one a sack. Coty Sensabaugh had two pass deflections, Tarik Rollins had a fumble recovery and Marcus Gilchrist had an interception.

DUKE

Quarterbacks Thaddeus Lewis and Sean Renfree combined to complete 17 of 29 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown to highlight Duke's 50-play football scrimmage on Saturday morning at Brooks Field.

"We had a lot of intensity today," coach David Cutcliffe said. "Thad Lewis and Sean Renfree were both very, very efficient. I was disappointed that we dropped the football in the passing game. Thad made some unbelievable throws. It's disappointing because we would have thought, as a staff, that we're further along. I thought the defense tackled well. I was really proud of our defensive front. The play along the line of scrimmage was crisp. It looked like real football.

"What a difference a year makes. A year ago I would go back into my office, take about an hour shower to recover emotionally, and today I think I can be a little normal. It did look like football out here."

Lewis was 10-of-20 through the air for 109 yards including a 42-yard touchdown to Donovan Varner. Renfree completed 7 of 9 throws for 39 yards. Running back Cameron Jones led all receivers with five catches for 31 yards.

Patrick Kurunwune led with 23 yards on seven attempts including a 1-yard touchdown plunge.

"We'll look at the tape," said Cutcliffe. "It's never as good as you think and never as bad as you think. We'll learn from it."

MIAMI

There were four, 10-minute running quarters. The offense scored 51 points, the defense scored three.

TEAM STATISTICS

First downs: 17 (6 rushing, 11 passing, 2 penalties)

Rushing: (33 attempts, 158 gained, 27 lost, 131 total)

Passing: (38 attempts, 26 completions, 275 yards, 1 INT)

Offensive plays: (71)

Net yards: (406, 5.7 avg)

Return yards: (25)

Fumbles-lost: (1-0)

Interceptions: (1-25)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Damien Berry 14-114, 1 TD, 54 long; Mike James 6-14, 1 TD,

PASSING: Jacory Harris 9-16, 141 yards, 1 INT, Long 33; Taylor Cook 11-14, 103, 34 long; Cannon Smith 6-8-, 31, 1 TD, 8 long.

RECEIVING: Thearon Collier 5-65, long 26; Aldarius Johnson 4-23, long 8; John Calhoun 3-13, 1 TD, long 5;

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS (Solo Tackles-Assisted-Total): Chavez Grant 3-2-5, 1 PBU; JoJo Nicholas 0-4-4; Kylan Robinson 1-3-4; Jordan Futch 1-2-3, 1 TFL, 1 PBU; Sean Spence 2-1-3, 1 TFL; Olivier Vernon 2-2-4, 1 sack (-5); Brandon Harris 3-1-4, 1 TFL, 1 PBU

FIELD GOALS: Jake Wieclaw 1-2 (made 41, miss 22)

INTERCEPTIONS: Randy Phillips 1-25

FUMBLES/LOST: Graig Cooper 1-0

NORTH CAROLINA

Rushing
Jamal Womble -- 7 carries, 50 yards
Shaun Draughn -- 6 carries, 8 yards, 1 TD
Ryan Houston -- 5 carries, 16 yards

Passing
Mike Paulus -- 12 for 15, 51 yards
T.J. Yates -- 5 for 8, 96 yards
Braden Hanson -- 6 for 7, 55 yards, 1 TD

Receiving
Dwight Jones -- 3 for 61 yards
Joshua Adams -- 3 for 20 yards
Womble - 3 for 12 yards

Defense
Herman Davidson (LB) -- 6 tackles
Dion Guy (LB) -- 4 tackles
Kennedy Tinsley (LB) -- 4 tackles

Clemson: Good news, bad news

August, 16, 2008
8/16/08
4:54
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Let's get the bad news out of the way first.

Freshman running back Jamie Harper suffered a sprained ankle on his fourth carry of Clemson's scrimmage Saturday and did not return after the injury. X-rays were negative. It is not known how long Harper will be out.

The other news out of Clemson's scrimmage this morning was that Tommy Bowden said he plans to redshirt running back Rendrick Taylor, who was the leading rusher in the scrimmage with seven carries for 45 yards and a touchdown. Taylor lettered each of the last three years at wide receiver.

Now for the good news.

The Tigers were ranked ninth in the Associated Press preseason poll that was released Saturday. It's the first time the Tigers have been ranked that high since 1991, when they were ranked ninth and won the ACC title.

That simply reiterates the fact that expectations are the highest they've been under Bowden.

"I hope our team takes this ranking as a motivating factor, as something to uphold, then it is a positive," Bowden stated in a team release. "If they think we have arrived, believe we have accomplished something and become complacent, then it is a negative. We won't shy away from it, but it will put a target on us. I am sure it will motivate Alabama."

Checking in on practices

August, 7, 2008
8/07/08
9:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here are a few notes from Wednesday practices around the league, according to each program's daily practice report:

MARYLAND

* The secondary has to replace three of four starters from a year ago, but this group led a ramped up defensive charge in the first day of full pads. DB's Nolan Carroll, Jeff Allen and Kevin Barnes each made interceptions. Carroll produced what was perhaps the play of the day when he dove to make a shoestring catch on a pass deflected by defensive lineman Mack Frost.

* The defense implemented blitz package drills for the first time.

* Is former Florida QB Josh Portis finally making a move? Ralph Friedgen said Portis looked the best on Wednesday.

* The standout offensive play, though, came from redshirt freshman receiver Tony Logan, who caught a touchdown on a deep fade pattern, prompting offensive coordinator James Franklin to exclaim, "That's beautiful! I love these touchdowns -- the defender can't find the ball!"

CLEMSON

* It was a rough day for the Tigers, who had final exams AND a two-and-a-half hour practice in 100-degree heat.

* Highlights: A 44-yard touchdown pass from Cullen Harper to Aaron Kelly on a slant pass in the third-and-long drill. Harper was 4-5 for 72 yards for the five plays.

* Injury update: Wide receiver Jacoby Ford was upgraded to a green jersey and hopefully will be back to full speed by Saturday's first scrimmage. Starting tight end Michael Palmer missed the practice due to a pulled hamstring. Offensive tackle David Smith was still out with a dislocated toe, while wide receiver Xavier Dye was in a green jersey as he attempts to get back on the field after suffering a bruised shoulder. Rendrick Taylor was excused from practice by Tommy Bowden, so he could attend to some personal matters.

GEORGIA TECH:

* Highlights: A long run by sophomore B-back Jonathan Dwyer to the left side drew the biggest applause from fans braving the heat. Redshirt senior receiver Andrew Smith also broke a long run down the right sideline on a reverse. Tech's defense continued to make plays as well, forcing fumbles and in turn dreaded up-downs Tech players have to do after a miscue.

ACC in the morning - Miami edition

August, 2, 2008
8/02/08
7:27
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

It MUST be close to football season if I'm bloggin' on a Saturday morning.

Just didn't want to neglect the Miami fans, as Friday was media day and practice starts today.

And when it does, the main job will be up for grabs. Randy Shannon said he won't name his quarterback until about a week before the opening game, and in the meantime, Robert Marve, Jacory Harris and Cannon Smith will be fighting for it on the field. That doesn't mean these guys can't play nice and be friends, too.

Shannon declined to name a frontrunner on Friday, and said each of the players will get an equal number of snaps. Not even Robert Marve, who was the scout team quarterback late last season, will concede any edge.

There's no question the Hurricanes will be depending on a number of fresh faces to help pull them off the edge of irrelevance. Is Randy Shannon the coach to do it? According to this article, a Sporting News ranking of the 66 BCS coaches released this spring had Shannon ranked, well, 66th.

Just how far has the national respect dropped? When the poll came out yesterday, the Hurricanes were treated like "mutts."

Here are a few of the issues facing the Canes as camp begins today.

Here's a snippet of what Shannon had to say on Friday.

Elsewhere in the ACC ....

While the Hurricanes were nowhere to be found in the polls, Wake Forest came in at No. 23. And they're lovin' it.

Not only is Jahi Word-Daniels the lone senior in Georgia Tech's secondary, he's also the only upperclassman likely to start. That's forced him to be a leader.

A similar responsibility will fall on UNC running back Greg Little this year. Can he run the Tar Heels to a bowl? Butch Davis said they would've had a better shot at it last year had they moved Little, a former wideout, earlier.

Here's another one out of the Triangle I missed yesterday.

The status of Clemson running back Rendrick Taylor is still up in the air, but he was at the Tigers' first practice on Friday.

Virginia Tech is getting a little creative with its recruiting -- twins.

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