ACC: Taylor Cook

'08 Miami class falls flat in recruiting re-rank

January, 19, 2012
1/19/12
3:30
PM ET
They were superstars, a heralded recruiting class carrying high expectations before they even set foot on campus. Miami's Class of 2008 was ranked No. 1 in the country by ESPN.com, but after a final review, it shaped up more like the No. 20 class. There were a few standout individuals like Sean Spence, but overall, the Canes fell out of the top 10 of RecruitingNation's re-rank. Clemson didn't receive quite as harsh of a demotion, falling from No. 2 to No. 4.

Here's a look back at how the ESPNU 150 Class of 2008 fared:

Nos. 1-25 (Da'Quan Bowers, Arthur Brown, Jamie Harper, Sean Spence)

Nos. 26-50: (Ryan Williams, Marcus Forston, Brandon Harris, Mike Glennon, Kyle Parker, Terrance Parks, Brandon Thompson, Spencer Adams, Andre Ellington, Jermaine Thomas)

Nos. 51-75: (EJ Manuel, Ramon Buchanan, Nigel Bradham, Aldarius Johnson, Xavier Brewer, Davon Johnson, Nigel Carr)

Nos. 76-100: (Jordan Futch, Antoine McClain, Dwayne Allen, Brandon Barnes, Marcus Robinson)

Nos. 101-125: (C.J. Holton, Taylor Cook, Christian Wilson, Kyle Long)

Nos. 126-150: (Kenny Tate, Kerry Boykins, Travis Benjamin)

Former ACC players find new homes

February, 26, 2010
2/26/10
5:00
PM ET

Athlon published a list of transfers who could have a significant impact this fall, and the ACC did its part in providing some of the talent, especially at the quarterback position.

Miami played a significant role in that, as you might remember Robert Marve, Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith. It's no wonder coach Randy Shannon has struggled with depth, as five transfers are listed from the Canes. Clemson's Willy Korn also made the list.

The only incoming quarterback listed is Maryland's Clay Belton. The Terps actually made out the best with the transfers, as they could get a nice surprise at tight end with the addition of former Notre Dame two-sport athlete Will Yeatman. Yeatman, also a lacrosse player, has talked extensively with offensive coordinator James Franklin about joining the football team.

A few more transfers worth watching this year include Florida State redshirt sophomores Anthony McCloud (DT), Debrale Smiley (RB), and Duke tight end Cooper Helfet. They are junior college transfers. NC State signed four junior college transfers, and the Pack could use the help up front from OT Mikel Overgaard and DE David Akinniyi.

What to watch in the ACC this spring

February, 15, 2010
2/15/10
10:00
AM ET
Here's a breakdown of three issues facing each program heading into the spring:

BOSTON COLLEGE

Spring practice starts: March 18

Spring game: April 24

What to watch:

• How linebacker Mark Herzlich progresses. Herzlich, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma cancer last May, has been going through winter conditioning with his teammates, and he plans on participating in spring drills. How quickly he regains his form will be worth watching, as he and sophomore Luke Kuechly could give the Eagles one of the most formidable linebacking corps.

• The quarterback battle. After one season, Dave Shinskie has the most experience on the roster, but he’ll get some competition from Josh Bordner and Chase Rettig, two early enrollees. There were times last season when Shinskie looked like the future of the position and there were others when he looked like any other freshman.

• Defensive linemen. For the second straight year, BC is looking for some stability up front. The Eagles have to replace left tackle Austin Giles and defensive end Jim Ramella. They return Kaleb Ramsey, Giles’ backup, and Brad Newman, Ramella’s reserve, but some young faces are likely to be seen in the rotation.

CLEMSON

Spring practice starts: March 7

Spring game: April 10

What to watch:

• Life without C.J. Spiller officially begins. The backs behind him had a pretty good year, so there’s no need for full panic mode. Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington actually combined for a higher yards per carry average (6.1 to 5.6 yards). Clemson will also be looking to replace Spiller’s lost kickoff return yardage. The Tigers had a 13-yard advantage in average starting field position, as their start was their own 37-yard line compared to opponents’ 24-yard line. Ellington is a candidate in the return game.

• Kyle Parker’s batting average. No, really. How well Parker does this spring with the baseball team will help determine whether he remains Clemson’s quarterback or turns to the MLB draft. He didn’t have a great 2009 season, but he was still the fastest player to 25 home runs in school history. It remains to be seen this spring if he’ll become a high enough draft choice to give up college football.

• Secondary shuffling. It seems like eons ago since Crezdon Butler and Chris Chancellor weren’t the Tigers’ starting corners, as Butler started 40 straight games and Chancellor started 42. Butler finished his career second in school history in interception return yards. Now it’s time for a new duo. Will Marcus Gilchrist move to corner, which he’s capable of doing? Might Rashard Hall move to safety with DeAndre McDaniel?

DUKE

Spring practice starts: Feb. 14

Spring game: March 27

What to watch:

• Quarterback competition. Somebody has to take over for the graduated Thaddeus Lewis, but his backup – Sean Renfree – will miss the spring with a torn ACL. Redshirt freshman Sean Schroeder should be heavily in the mix to be the starter, pending Renfree’s recovery.

• Defensive line makeover. It’s wide open. Charlie Hatcher is entrenched at nose guard, but it’s really anyone’s game. The staff might move redshirt senior Wesley Oglesby, who played the majority of his career at defensive end, inside. Other options are defensive tackle Sydney Sarmiento, a redshirt freshman, and Curtis Hazelton, who played sparingly last season.

• Johnny Williams’ move from wide receiver to cornerback. He had 31 catches in 2009 – the fourth-best on the team. Now they need his help in the defensive backfield. Duke will lose starter Leon Wright and his 10 career interceptions, and the pass defense, which allowed 215.75 yards per game, could use a boost.

FLORIDA STATE

Spring practice starts: March 16

Spring game: April 10

What to watch:

• Christian Ponder’s return from shoulder surgery. Ponder is expected to practice this spring, though it could be on a limited basis, at least early. He’s ahead of schedule, but the coaches won’t subject him to any risks now. Yes, E.J. Manuel is talented and played well at the end of the season, but make no mistake – Ponder is FSU’s starter and a potential Heisman Trophy candidate.

• The defense under first-year coordinator Mark Stoops. His secondary, in particular, will be interesting to watch, as will how quickly he can help the front seven generate a pass rush and plug the middle. Stoops has been a secondary coach, and the Noles lost three starters there. The fourth, Ochuko Jenije, could be pushed to retain his job.

• New faces, new opportunities. In addition to the fab freshmen who are coming in, FSU has a handful of unfamiliar players already on the roster who played sparingly or not at all. We'll see how they fit in this spring. RS-So DT Anthony McCloud and RS-So RB Debrale Smiley are both junior college transfers and former teammates. Physically, freshman linebacker Jeff Luc is already a man, but how quickly can he mature on the field? Two young wide receivers worth watching are Rodney Smith and Willie Haulstead.

GEORGIA TECH

Spring practice starts: March 29

Spring game: April 24

What to watch:

• The defensive transformation. The Jackets will switch from the 4-3 to the 3-4 under first-year coordinator Al Groh. In addition to learning the new scheme, the staff has to figure out who goes where. Linebackers might play defensive end and vice versa, safeties might play outside linebacker. It’s anyone’s guess as to how this team lines up in the spring.

• The replacements. From Georgia Tech’s coaching staff to the new faces who will be tasked with filling in for the Fab Four -- Jonathan Dwyer, Derrick Morgan, Morgan Burnett and Demaryius Thomas -- the Jackets will need some “Hello My Name Is” tags this spring.

• The offensive line. Three offensive linemen redshirted who could start, and Georgia Tech might need them to, especially if guard Joseph Gilbert decides to transfer to pursue his MBA. The Jackets lose two starters on the offensive line, and Gilbert, who graduates this spring, would be a third if he leaves. Center Sean Bedford and tackle Austin Barrick return as seniors.

MARYLAND

Spring practice starts: March 23

Spring game: April 24

What to watch:

• The quarterback competition. Chris Turner has graduated, leaving Jamarr Robinson the top option going into the spring, but he has limited experience. The staff liked what he did when Turner was injured, but Danny O’Brien, Miami (Ohio) transfer Clay Belton and C.J. Brown will all be given an opportunity. Look for O’Brien to start the spring at No. 2 on the depth chart.

• Cornerback: Cameron Chism is the only returning starter in the secondary, but right now the staff has fewer concerns about the safeties. Maryland will have to find some bodies at corner, and Dexter McDougle, who redshirted as a true freshman last year, is one option. Michael Carter and Trenton Hughes, who was the third corner last year, are also among a handful of candidates.

• The offensive line. Losing Bruce Campbell to the NFL hurt, but the Terps also lost starter Phil Costa. Justin Gilbert, a redshirt sophomore, could inherit Campbell’s job. And there’s always Mr. Versatility -- Paul Pinegar. He has helped the Terps at both tackle spots and left guard, and this spring he’ll likely be given a shot at center.

MIAMI

Spring practice starts: Feb. 23

Spring game: March 27 (tentative)

What to watch:

• Tight end/offensive line: Jimmy Graham is gone, and the Canes don’t return any tight ends with any experience other than Richard Gordon, who was injured the majority of last season. Miami signed four tight ends in this recruiting class, but none of them were early enrollees. Miami has to replace three starters up front, including both tackles and the center.

• How the two young quarterbacks perform: The health of Jacory Harris was precious last year, as he had nobody behind him with any experience after the transfers of Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith. The depth has improved a bit with A.J. Highsmith, who played sparingly last year, and Stephen Morris, one of the early enrollees.

• Upgrade on the d-line? Progress up front began with the hire of Rick Petri as defensive line coach, and it’s up to Petri to help the Canes become better pass rushers. Miami will depend upon its two mainstays -- Allen Bailey and Josh Holmes. The right end position was a group effort last year, and Miami has to replace Joe Joseph and Eric Moncur.

NORTH CAROLINA

Spring practice starts: March 15

Spring game: April 10

What to watch:

• Quarterback T.J. Yates. It’s his job to lose, and the coaching staff still has confidence in him, but Bryn Renner is waiting in the wings, and Braden Hanson will also be given an opportunity. The staff is looking for the offense to improve its passing efficiency and cut down on turnovers.

• The offensive line. It was a patchwork effort in 2009, thanks to injuries and inexperience, and will be a major key in how much UNC improves offensively this year. The Heels have to replace two starters, and Jonathan Cooper is likely to move from guard to center, and right guard Alan Pelc will miss spring drills while recovering from shoulder surgery.

• Defensive line tweaks. There aren’t many questions on a defense that should be one of the best in the country, but somebody has to replace Cam Thomas and defensive end E.J. Wilson. Tydreke Powell is the frontrunner to take over at defensive tackle and Quinton Coples at defensive end. Both were backups last year at their respective positions.

NC STATE

Spring practice starts: March 9

Spring game: April 17

What to watch:

• Backup quarterback Mike Glennon. Russell Wilson is the starter, but he’s going to be playing baseball all spring. Keep an eye on his backup to see if Glennon can make it any more of a competition in Wilson’s absence.

• Chris Ward at punter. No, it’s not usually, the highlight of the spring, but in this case, it’s necessary. Ward is it -- he’s their only option right now, and it’s a position the Pack struggled with last year. Ward was expected to be the starter last season, but he was inconsistent. He’s definitely got the talent to be the guy.

• The recovery of linebacker Nate Irving. After being severely injured in a one-car crash last summer, Irving is hopeful he can go through spring drills. He has been lifting with the team and running with the sports medicine staff, but it’s still uncertain how limited his contact will be.

VIRGINIA

Spring practice starts: March 15

Spring game: April 10

What to watch:

• Quarterback competition. Marc Verica is the only one with any experience, and first-year offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor hasn’t been in Charlottesville long enough to evaluate any of the candidates. That’s what the spring is for, and true freshman Michael Strauss is the lone incoming quarterback on campus, so he’ll have a head start on the playbook. Of the four quarterbacks Virginia signed in this year’s class, Strauss is the only one listed as a true quarterback. The Cavs also have Ross Metheny, who redshirted last year, and Riko Smalls, who redshirted in ‘08 and was No. 2 on the depth chart when Verica was out with a concussion.

• Coaching transition. First-year coach Mike London has hired almost an entirely new staff, and they’ll bring changes in philosophy and scheme. London has said he wants to get the defense back to the traditional 4-3, and revert to the tradition of featuring the tight ends, offensive linemen and running backs.

• Running back. The Cavs will have the help up front, but they need to replace their four leading rushers in Mikell Simpson, Rashawn Jackson, Vic Hall and Jameel Sewell. The staff will look at true freshman Kevin Parks, but also have Torrey Mack and Dominique Wallace, who had just seemed to be coming on at Southern Miss when he was injured and missed the rest of the season.

VIRGINIA TECH

Spring practice starts: March 31

Spring game: April 24

What to watch:

• Revamped defensive line. The Hokies have to replace three of four starters up front. The only defensive ends with significant playing time are Chris Drager, who the staff wanted to move back to tight end, and Steven Friday. Redshirt freshmen will be given a chance – Duan Perez-Means, Tyrel Wilson, James Gayle and J.R. Collins – but they’ve never played. Isaiah Hamlette is the only other end who’s played and that was a skinny minute. At defensive tackle, Antoine Hopkins will be the frontrunner to replace Cordarrow Thompson.

• Darren Evans’ comeback. Evans, the team’s leading rusher in 2008, is working his way back from a season-ending ACL injury, and one of the biggest questions in Blacksburg is how the staff will divide the carries in such a talented backfield that includes Ryan Williams. With two returning 1,000-yard rushers, will David Wilson decide to redshirt? The spring will help him in that decision.

• The evolution of Tyrod Taylor. He’s going to be a senior, and with so many questions on defense heading into the season, the offense will be leading the way. This should be a breakout year for Taylor, who by now should have mastered the offense and should consistently be a passing threat to compliment his running abilities.

WAKE FOREST

Spring practice starts: March 16

Spring game: April 17

What to watch:

• The quarterback competition. It’s the most glaring hole the Deacs have to fill this spring, as they’re tasked with replacing the winningest quarterback in school history, Riley Skinner, and his backup, Ryan McManus. Redshirt sophomores Ted Stachitas and Skylar Jones, and sophomore Brendan Cross, will compete with rookie Tanner Price for the top spot.

• Offensive line. The Deacs will take a huge hit here, as seven players in the two-deep depth chart were redshirt seniors, including all four tackles. Three starters have to be replaced.

• The interior defensive line. Nose guard Boo Robinson and John Russell have graduated, and Russell’s backup, Michael Lockett, was also a redshirt senior. The Deacs are in good shape at the ends, but will need some help inside.
Tags:

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, Coastal Division, Atlantic Division, Miami Hurricanes, Wesley Oglesby, Russell Wilson, Darren Evans, Christian Ponder, Ochuko Jenije, Chris Drager, Cam Thomas, Demaryius THomas, Justin Gilbert, Isaiah Hamlette, Marc Verica, Rashawn Jackson, A.J. Highsmith, Boo Robinson, Torrey Mack, Trenton Hughes, Quinton Coples, Chris turner, Phil Costa, Cannon Smith, Jamarr Robinson, Mike Glennon, Tyrod Taylor, David Wilson, Jimmy Graham, Cameron Chism, Jamie Harper, CHris Chancellor, Michael Carter, Ryan McManus, Joseph Gilbert, Brad Newman, Antoine Hopkins, Sean Renfree, Dave Shinskie, Cordarrow Thompson, Richard Gordon, Mikell Simpson, Austin Barrick, Johnny Williams, Morgan Burnett, E.J. Wilson, Paul Pinegar, Tydreke Powell, Bryn Renner, Jacory Harris, Riley Skinner, Joe Joseph, Skylar Jones, Derrick Morgan, T.J. Yates, Braden Hanson, Sean Bedford, Jonathan Dwyer, C.J. Brown, John Russell, Jameel Sewell, Allen Bailey, Mike London, Nate Irving, Rodney Smith, Marcus Gilchrist, Mark Herzlich, Taylor Cook, Willie Haulstead, Andre Ellington, Josh Holmes, Thaddeus Lewis, E.J. Manuel, Leon Wright, Crezdon Butler, Ryan Williams, C.J. Spiller, Kaleb Ramsey, James Gayle, Eric Moncur, Jonathan Cooper, Bruce Campbell, Ted Stachitas, Jim Ramella, Danny O'Brien, Luke Kuechly, Sean Schroeder, Tyrel Wilson, Dominique Wallace, Austin Giles, Mark Stoops, Brendan Cross, Stephen Morris, Rick Petri, Bill Lazor, Chase Rettig, Michael Strauss, Tanner Price, Anthony McCloud, Debrale Smiley, Josh Bordner, Kyle Paker, Rahsard Hall, DeAndrew McDaniel, Charlie Hatcher, Sydney Sarmiento, Chris Hazelton, Clay Belton, Dexter McDougle, Chris Ward, Ross Metheny, Roko Smalls, Kevin Parks, Duan Perez-Means, J.R. Collins, Michael Lockett

Scouting the progress of ACC's backup QBs

October, 2, 2009
10/02/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich


It’s a good thing for the ACC that backup quarterbacks weren’t needed in September the way they were needed throughout the rest of the country (SEE: Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Robert Griffin, just to name a few). Had Miami’s Jacory Harris or Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor gone down early against the ranked opponents each of those teams faced -- including each other -- the ACC would be in big trouble right now. (Remember the panic, Miami fans, when FSU’s Greg Reid whacked Harris’ funny bone in the opener?)

Here’s to a healthy season in the ACC, and here’s a look at which backup quarterbacks are ready to roll after one month of football:

READY TO ROLL

Sean Renfree, Duke: He’s Duke's quarterback of the future and has already been groomed as such. Renfree has appeared in 13 series, completing 29-of-43 pass attempts for 286 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

Mike Glennon, NC State: He played in every game except last weekend against Pittsburgh, and has completed 10 of 13 passes for 85 yards. He’s a much more dependable option than the Pack had in the past.

Vic Hall, Virginia: He was actually the starting quarterback in the season opener, and is arguably the most athletic player the Cavaliers have, but injured his hip and hasn’t played since the William & Mary game. He’s a veteran leader who has already proven himself in a multitude of roles. Hall, Jameel Sewell and Marc Verica could all be backups any given Saturday, and they're all experienced and ready to roll. If Sewell is the starter, Hall can play just about anywhere else.

Jaybo Shaw, Georgia Tech: Shaw was finally cleared to play and could make his first appearance of the season this weekend at Mississippi State after breaking his collarbone this summer. He began throwing again on Sept. 7, and proved last year he’s a tough player who can run and pass well.

HAS THE HYPE

E.J. Manuel, Florida State: He’s definitely gotten more hype than he has playing time this fall, as Manuel played in two games and has completed just 1-of-2 passes for four yards. Manuel, recruited by Jimbo Fisher, was an ESPNU 150 prospect and the No. 6 ranked quarterback in the class of 2008.

Willy Korn, Clemson: Well, it’s more like he HAD the hype. It’s hard to believe Korn was the No. 12 quarterback in the class of 2007. Korn was relegated to the bench this summer in favor of Kyle Parker and has only played in two games. He’s also expressed his displeasure in the fact he’s only thrown two passes this year.

A.J. Highsmith, Miami: He earned a quick promotion after Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith both transferred, but all Highsmith has so far is hype and pedigree. He’s the son of former Miami and NFL running back Alonzo Highsmith, and was the No. 24-ranked quarterback in the class of 2009.

WHO KNOWS?

Ju-Ju Clayton, Virginia Tech – The former scout team quarterback was in on 23 snaps against Marshall, but threw three incompletions. Clayton won the job over Marcus Davis this past spring, who was moved to wide receiver. If Taylor is injured, uncertainty is the only thing behind him.

Jamarr Robinson, Maryland – The fact that Chris Turner has been sacked 14 times and hasn’t missed a snap makes you wonder about the confidence Ralph Friedgen has in his backup. Robinson, who was promoted after Josh Portis transferred, hasn’t seen the field yet.

Ryan McManus, Wake Forest – The redshirt senior is also a holder and backup longsnapper. He played against Elon and completed 1-of-4 passes, the only four plays he was in on as quarterback.

Justin Tuggle, Boston College – There wasn’t much separation between Tuggle and Dave Shinskie until the Wake Forest game, as both of them started with zero experience. Both have been used in every game, but it’s unclear where Tuggle’s future is headed. He has 229 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions so far.

Braden Hanson, North Carolina – He was given a shot ahead of Mike Paulus this year, and was 0-for-2 with one interception in his only chance against The Citadel, but they’re both listed as the backups this week. Neither has proven anything yet.

Around the ACC: Terps hold final summer scrimmage

August, 28, 2009
8/28/09
12:00
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

With the help of a few sports information offices and the hometown newspapers of the teams with practice reports, here's a quick trip around the league as we head into our final weekend of summer without any ACC football (thank God) ...


MARYLAND

The Terps had their final scrimmage of the summer, and while there were some bright spots, it doesn't sound like a lot was determined. However, coach Ralph Friedgen did put some order to the deep group of receivers he has. Friedgen said he thinks nine receivers will travel with the team. At X, it's likely to be Adrian Cannon, Kevin Dorsey and Emani Lee-Odai. At Z, expect to see Torrey Smith, Quintin McCree and Tony Logan, and in the slot position Ronnie Tyler, LaQuan Williams and Kerry Boykins.

Here are a few highlights from the scrimmage, according to the practice report:

Sophomore Torrey Smith, who will be counted on to be a big-play receiver this season, had a hand in two touchdowns. He set up Davin Meggett's 3-yard score by making an acrobatic 30-yard reception from Chris Turner, setting up first-and-goal. Smith also fielded a short kickoff and raced up the left sideline for an 87-yard touchdown. Freshman Nick Ferrara made two 48 yards-yard field goals and added a 45-yard extra point after Meggett's touchdown. Mike Barbour, also competing for the No. 1 place-kicking job, made a pair of 46-yard extra points. Chris Turner completed 6 of 8 passes for 102 yards. The defense also had two other interceptions with linebackers Hakeem Sule and Alex Wujciak forcing turnovers. In addition, coordinator Don Brown's unit posted four sacks.


CLEMSON

FSU isn't the only one with injury problems on the defensive line. Clemson defensive tackle Brandon Thompson broke his hand - again.

Clemson spent Thursday's short practice working on Middle Tennessee's tendencies.

Brandon Ford was in a yellow jersey as he continues to heal from a foot injury. Spencer Benton was out again, but is expected to return to kicking duties on Saturday when the team holds its annual "Beannie Bowl." Jacoby Ford continues to improve from a hamstring injury and should be ready for the opener. Brandon Clear is back at full strength after a rib injury.

"The Beannie Bowl is a full rehearsal for the first game," coach Dabo Swinney said. "We will go through our pregame warm ups, even run down the hill. They we will kick off right at 6:00 PM and practice various special situations."


FLORIDA STATE

It was a good day for the Noles on Thursday, both at practice and in recruiting. FSU picked up two more recruits, bringing its 2010 class to 13. Florida State also got its first workout in the rain. There's one problem - all three of the senior defensive tackles are injured. You know what that means? It's time to meet Jacobbi McDaniel.

From the practice report:

Senior cornerback Patrick Robinson swatted away a touchdown pass intended for Jarmon Fortson in the end zone during 11-on-11 work. ... The best collision of the day came when linebacker Kendall Smith buried tailback and lead blocker Jermaine Thomas o
n a running play. ... Tight end Beau Reliford shook off the doldrums from several long afternoons with a 30-yard grab. ... With senior defensive tackles Budd Thacker (toe) and Kendrick Stewart (knee) held out of contact work for a second consecutive day, heralded freshman Jacobbi McDaniel continued to receive significant snaps alongside Moses McCray with the first-team defense. Fellow freshman Demonte McAllister is also getting a load of repetitions. "They are getting a lot of work, which is what they need," Bowden said of the youngsters. "They look like they can handle it."... Redshirt freshman Everett Dawkins, who began the preseason at defensive tackle and moved out to defensive end, was moved back inside to bolster position coach Odell Haggins' under-manned unit. ... There are quite a few position battles still being waged as the Seminoles head into Saturday's closed scrimmage, including cornerback, rover, defensive end, offensive guard, tailback, wide receiver and kicker. The competition is a welcome sign, reflecting the team's improved depth. "We let (the players) know those scrimmages are so important because they are game-like," coach Bobby Bowden said. "We've got ACC officials out there, so it's time to show your stuff if you've got it." ... The Seminoles will practice Friday afternoon.


MIAMI

Rise n' shine, it's practice time. The Canes started at 5:45 a.m. in shells under the lights on Mark Light Field. Dyron Dye was held out of practice with a leg injury. Leonard Hankerson and A.J. Trump returned to practice after being limited the last few sessions.

The Miami Herald is reporting that Taylor Cook is heading to Rice. With the transfer of Cook and Cannon Smith, A.J. Highsmith got a lot more work on Thursday. Here's what offensive tackle Jason Fox had to say on the transfers:

"Sometimes it can be a distraction but as a football team you have to limit the distractions, not think about it and remember why we are here. We are here to play football and win football games and anything else besides that, we have to push off to the side. You can't really do anything about it. Those were personal decisions they wanted to do for their careers that is going to help them out personally. As a team, we have to send them on their way and wish them good luck, but we still have to get ready."

Official statements from Miami

August, 25, 2009
8/25/09
7:04
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

There's nothing earth-shattering here, but these are the official statements from the involved parties at Miami, straight from a press release from their sports information office:
University of Miami redshirt freshmen quarterbacks Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith have asked and been granted their releases from the football program.
"I have appreciated the efforts and attitude of both young men while here at the University of Miami," UM head coach Randy Shannon said. "I respect their decisions and wish them success both as students and on the football field."
Taylor Cook Statement:
"It was a hard decision for me to leave the program. I enjoyed my time at Miami, and I'm going to miss it. I feel bad leaving my teammates, but it's a move I had to make. I have the utmost respect for Coach Shannon and Coach [Mark] Whipple, and I wish them the best of the luck. I've just decided to focus on football somewhere else."
Cannon Smith Statement:
"I'm very thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of this program. I am so grateful to Coach Shannon for giving me the opportunity to have been part of this team. Everything here was handled with a lot of class. I got to compete and that's what I wanted. The hardest thing is going to be leaving my teammates. I love all those guys, and I'm going to miss them all. I'll definitely be rooting for them. After evaluating everything, I felt I had to do what was in my best interest."

Miami loses two backup quarterbacks

August, 25, 2009
8/25/09
6:26
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

It's true -- Miami backup quarterbacks Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith have both decided to transfer, putting the Hurricanes in an even more precarious situation at the position.

That leaves the Canes with freshman A.J. Highsmith and senior walk-on Matt Perrelli as the top backups to Jacory Harris. Highsmith has played well this summer and was rated the No. 24 quarterback in his recruiting class by ESPN.com. His father, Alonzo, was a running back at Miami from 1983-86 and in the NFL for several years, so obviously there is some heritage there, not to mention expectations. Perrelli has been Matt Bosher's holder since he was in high school and was preparing for the same role again.

This is obviously a pretty big hit for Miami, considering not one, but two quarterbacks decided to go. Cook's departure is significant because he was on the scout team last year, he was in the system, and following the spring had been named the No. 2 quarterback. Highsmith, as good as he is or might be, has only been on campus about a month. It's critical to the success of the program that Harris stays healthy, but the same can be said for several other teams throughout the ACC. And let's be honest -- when it comes to experience, Miami is no worse off than it was with Smith and Cook on the roster. Cook had yet to take a snap in a collegiate game and Smith's college stat line was 1-for-1 for two yards and one carry for two yards last year against Charleston Southern. Look no further than Maryland for a similar situation at quarterback. Or Virginia Tech.

What makes Miami's situation a little different is the long-term effect on the depth these transfers will have. That makes three quarterbacks who have left the program since the 2008 season ended, including former starter Robert Marve. Harris and Highsmith are now the only scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. Harris might very well be the future of Miami football, but so is their recruiting, and right now, only one quarterback -- local Stephen Morris -- is in the 2010 class.

Not only do the Canes have to bring more in, they've got to start keeping them.

ACC's lunchtime links

August, 24, 2009
8/24/09
3:30
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Happy Monday, ACC fans. You know why it's a good Monday? Because it's the last full week without any ACC football. Let's get it over with, shall we?

First, The Sporting News put forth a few ACC predictions, and they're all good. Here's their best of the best in the ACC. Oh, and P.S. -- Terry Bowden says Bobby Bowden isn't going to retire at the end of the season.
Wake Forest continues to pull players from the talent-rich state of Florida. Coach Jim Grobe said last year's offensive line "was soft and beat up." Will this year be any different? It should be.
If you think playing college football is a full-time job, ask Maryland cornerback Richard Taylor how easy it is to play for the Terps and work four days a week for the Department of Transportation.
The defensive line isn't the only concern up front for Georgia Tech. Especially when the o-line didn't play "worth a [crap]" in Friday's scrimmage.
Right now Miami's backup quarterback doesn't have to play. So don't count on seeing much of Taylor Cook this fall.
FSU defensive tackle Moses McCray isn't about to let his heart condition -- "athlete's heart" -- stop him from having a breakout season. And he's got the doc's permission to try.
Marcus Gilchrist appears to be the man taking over at free safety for Clemson, though those within the program say he could play anywhere.
It's not unusual to have turnover at a program after a coaching change, but what stands out at UNC is the fact that more players left after Butch Davis' second season than his first.
The state of North Carolina might have one of the best groups of quarterbacks it's ever seen.

Weekend rewinds: Scrimmage wrap-ups

August, 24, 2009
8/24/09
10:00
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich Here's a recap of the scrimmages that happened this weekend, with the help of the sports information directors, and the local newspapers that covered them: BOSTON COLLEGE As if things couldn't get worse for coach Frank Spaziani's quarterback situation in his first year, leading candidate Dave Shinskie was injured in Sunday's scrimmage. It might be a bruised rib. Here's how the rest of the team fared without him: All four quarterbacks played and redshirt freshman Justin Tuggle went 8-for-16 for 84 yards. Junior Codi Boek threw for 74 yards on a 6-for-12 day while freshmen Michael Marscovetra and Shinskie both had three completions. Junior Jordon McMichael and sophomore Colin Larmond Jr. both had three receptions for 18 and 33 yards, respectively. Sophomore Montel Harris was the leading rusher with 46 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown. Senior Steve Aponavicius went 2-for-4 in his field goal attempts, hitting from 42 yards both times. A 44-yard attempt went awry following a bad snap and his 37-yard try was blocked by sophomore Isaac Johnson. Redshirt freshman Alexander DiSanzo shined on defense with seven tackles, a forced a fumble and an interception. Senior Roderick Rollins and freshman Luke Kuechly both had a team-high nine tackles. DUKE Quarterbacks Thaddeus Lewis, Sean Renfree and Sean Schroeder combined to complete 25 of 39 passes for 240 yards. Renfree threw for a team-high 93 yards by hitting on 11 of 18 throws while Lewis was 7-of-12 for 86 yards. Freshman running back Desmond Scott led all receivers with six catches for 39 yards while rookie wideout Conner Vernon had three grabs for 42 yards. Redshirt sophomore running back Cameron Jones picked up a scrimmage-best 49 yards on just three rushing attempts. Defensively, sophomore safety Matt Daniels caused and recovered one fumble while redshirt sophomore cornerback Colin Jones registered one interception. Junior kicker Will Snyderwine booted a 27-yard field goal and successfully converted his lone PAT attempt. FLORIDA STATE Quarterback Christian Ponder had another good day, but with no interceptions, did the defense? Ponder wasn't thrilled with the results and said it might have been because guys were too eager to end their two-a-days. Jimbo Fisher said overall it was far too inconsistent. To read the Noles' entire practice report, click here. MARYLAND The Terps' scrimmage was a mixture of good and bad, and it was the latter that kept coach Ralph Friedgen going. There was one player, though, who made a name for himself in Friedgen's book -- redshirt freshman running back Gary Douglas. Douglas rushed 17 times for a scrimmage-high 122 yards, including four runs of 15 or more yards. He didn't score a touchdown but almost single-handedly led the offense down the field for a score on one drive, accounting for 72 of the 80 yards. Quarterback Chris Turner completed 13 of 20 passes for 113 yards. Backup Jamarr Robinson didn't fare quite as well as he had in previous scrimmages, hitting on just 5 of 14 passes for 59 yards, though he did direct two scoring drives. Mike Barbour looked sharp early, capping off two drives with field goals. The redshirt freshman, who had a leg up on the No. 1 place-kicker job, hit from 30 and 36 yards out. "Barbour started off pretty good, and then he missed his last three," Friedge
n said. "He kind of looked like he had solidified the job and then he opens it up again." Defensive back Eric Franklin, a true freshman, made a scrimmage-best eight tackles and picked off Turner on the sixth possession. MIAMI The Canes wrapped up their final two-a-day of fall camp on Sunday, and coach Randy Shannon said everything -- that's right, everything -- is still up for grabs. Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post had a couple of notes for you off Sunday's practice. Morning Practice Highlights -- (pads) Joe Joseph and Marcus Robinson each had a sack in 11-on-11 drills. Randy Phillips (INT, pass break-up) and DeMarcus Van Dyke (two pass break-ups) stood out in the secondary. Lee Chambers and Damien Berry each broke off a couple runs of 15+ yards. Javarris James caught several passes in both 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 sessions Afternoon Practice Highlights -- (shells) Sam Shields (red zone), Chavez Grant (7-on-7) and C.J. Holton (11-on-11) all recorded interceptions. Grant returned his for a touchdown while Holton caught his off a tipped pass. A.J. Highsmith connected with Tommy Streeter (11-on-11) and LaRon Byrd (7-on-7) for significant yardage. Damien Berry took a short pass in the flat from Taylor Cook for a long gain. Other highlights include a near interception by Randy Phillips, a pass break-up by Ramon Buchanan and a sack by Micanor Regis. Red zone touchdowns included Jacory Harris to Richard Gordon and Taylor Cook to Jimmy Graham. VIRGINIA TECH So ... add Ryan Williams to the list of VT running backs who are banged up. Williams sprained his ankle, and Josh Oglesby has "the worst infection" coach Billy Hite has ever seen on a foot. Also, the coaches want to redshirt Logan Thomas, and Kenny Lewis Jr.'s recovery has been delayed. Not a lot of happy news coming out of Blacksburg these days. To read Virginia Tech's entire scrimmage report, click here. Tyrod Taylor completed 8 of 11 passes for 78 yards. Xavier Boyce led all receivers with two catches for 47 yards. Freshman running back Tony Gregory rushed 18 times for 48 yards and two touchdowns. Williams rushed just five times for 22 yards before spraining his ankle and sitting out the rest of the scrimmage. He did score on a 4-yard run and he returned several punts. Matt Waldron was 4-for-4 on his field goal attempts. (31, 32, 43, 30) Defensive tackle Cordarrow Thompson led the defense with seven tackles, four for a loss, and one sack.

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

August, 20, 2009
8/20/09
9:00
AM ET

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.

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."

Ranking the ACC units: Quarterbacks

July, 14, 2009
7/14/09
11:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

With about three weeks left until the start of camp, it's a good time to take a look at the top units throughout the conference. We'll start with the quarterbacks. These rankings are based most heavily on the returning starter, but also factor in the depth at the position (hence the unit ranking, not individual). It's important to keep that in mind when reading this. The backups are important, and there's not a lot of experience there throughout the league this fall. Only leading candidates are listed.

1. NC State

Starter: Russell Wilson
Backups: Mike Glennon
2008 Starter stats: Wilson completed 150 of 275 pass attempts (54.5 percent) for 1,955 yards, 17 touchdowns and one interception. He averaged 177.7 yards per game.
Analysis: Wilson's accuracy was remarkable last year, and his receivers should be even better this fall. Glennon is going to play, though, and got more work this past spring and summer because Wilson was playing baseball. Regardless of whose job it is in November, it's Wilson's to lose now, and having Glennon as a viable backup will make a huge difference in the offense.

2. Duke

Starter: Thaddeus Lewis
Backups: Sean Renfree
2008 Starter stats: Lewis completed 224 of 361 pass attempts (62 percent) for 2,171 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He averaged 197.4 yards per game.
Analysis: Standout receiver Eron Riley is gone, but Lewis is confident he can spread the ball around to the group of receivers he still has. Lewis' completion percentage has improved each season, while his interceptions have gone down. He's poised for a breakout season. Renfree will play, as he needs to be prepared to take over the offense next fall.

3. Wake Forest

Starter: Riley Skinner
Backups: Ryan McManus, Skylar Jones, Ted Stachitas
2008 Starter stats: Skinner completed 232 of 363 passes (63.9 percent) for 2,347 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He averaged 180.5 yards per game.
Analysis: I didn't give Skinner enough credit in my list of the ACC's top 30 players. There's no question his leadership and success makes him one of the top three quarterbacks in the league, but Wake's problem at this position is depth. The Deacs have to keep Skinner healthy, and they have the offensive line to do it this year.

(Read full post)

Who's No. 2? Ranking the ACC's backup quarterbacks

May, 27, 2009
5/27/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

One of the major themes this fall in the ACC will be keeping starting quarterbacks healthy because of the lack of experience behind them. Virginia Tech, which saw both Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor get hurt against Florida State last year, knows this scenario all-too well. How will the Hokies fare this season if Taylor's ankle fails him again? Based in large part by experience and some on recruiting hype, here's a look at who's got the best backup situations in the ACC -- and who doesn't.

1. Virginia -- Say what you will about the Cavaliers' chances this fall, but no team has more experience at quarterback right now. Jameel Sewell, Marc Verica and Vic Hall have all started a game. That, in itself, is progress from last season. And they all have different strengths. Sewell is an elusive runner, Verica is more of a drop-back passer, and Hall, well, he was a cornerback with tremendous athletic ability.

2. Georgia Tech -- If need be, the Yellow Jackets can also go three deep, as starter Josh Nesbitt has experience behind him in Jaybo Shaw and a talented newcomer in redshirt freshman Tevin Washington. Shaw quarterbacked the Yellow Jackets almost exclusively in two games last season -- a 38-7 win over Mississippi State and a 27-0 victory over Duke. When Nesbitt hurt his hamstring eight snaps into the Mississippi State game, Shaw took over and promptly threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas. By the final buzzer, Georgia Tech had accumulated 500 yards of total offense.

3. NC State -- The Wolfpack finally have a prized recruit to fall back on should Russell Wilson need some help. Mike Glennon, who is perfectly suited for Tom O'Brien's Matt Ryan-esque style, made significant progress this spring and could see some playing time even if Wilson is 100 percent. Glennon was rated the No. 3 quarterback in his class and No. 32 player overall in the ESPN 150.

4. Duke -- Sean Renfree earned himself some playing time behind Thaddeus Lewis this fall and will use this season to ease into the role of next year's starting quarterback. Renfree had originally committed to Georgia Tech, but was also recruited by Tennessee when David Cutcliffe was there. He's the real deal.

5. Florida State -- The Seminoles probably would have been moved up a notch or two on this list had E.J. Manuel actually made it through more than one spring practice without hurting himself. But FSU offensive coordinator/head coach in waiting Jimbo Fisher has high hopes for his first hand-picked quarterback.

6. North Carolina -- The Tar Heels have the Paulus who actually IS a quarterback, and he's even got some experience at it. The problem is, Mike Paulus was 4-for-13 for 33 yards with two interceptions in four games last year. Paulus entered the Virginia Tech game when T.J. Yates was injured and was 3-for-8 for 23 yards and two picks. There's a reason Cam Sexton took over last year, but Sexton has since transferred.

7. Clemson -- If by chance Kyle Parker wins the starting job, then Willy Korn will be like 1a. Korn played two games as a true freshman in 2007 then suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. He played in six games last year, including a start against Georgia Tech in Dabo Swinney's first game as a head coach. His career efficiency rating is 132.9 and he has completed 69.4 percent of his passes. Those are starter stats, but Parker had an impressive spring.

8. Wake Forest -- The Demon Deacons at least have depth. They had a competition between Ryan McManus, Ted Stachitas and Skylar Jones this spring, and McManus came out on top heading into summer camp. McManus is a former walk-on who has seen most of his playing time as a holder and on special teams, Stachitas is dealing with a shoulder injury, and Jones finished his first spring working exclusively at quarterback.

9. Miami -- At least Randy Shannon made a decision and decided Taylor Cook earned the No. 2 spot at the end of the spring, but it's not a done deal. Cannon Smith will continue to push Cook this summer, but neither one of them have taken a collegiate snap yet. Cook, though, was a very highly touted recruit, ranked the No. 9 quarterback in his class and No. 108 in the ESPN 150.

10. Virginia Tech -- Joseph Ju-Ju Clayton won the backup job over Marcus Davis, but he's still a redshirt freshman who hasn't been tested when the lights come on. Clayton was projected by some to be a better defensive back in college. He wasn't as highly touted a recruit as Manuel, Cook, Glennon or Renfree, but the Hokies are known for finding talent and making the most of somewhat unheralded recruits.

11. Maryland -- The Terps' depth took a hit when Josh Portis decided to transfer, but sophomore Jamarr Robinson had an impressive spring. He completed 15 of 19 passes, including his final 12 attempts, for 253 yards and four touchdowns.

12. Boston College -- The Eagles don't know who their starting quarterback is, let alone their No. 2. Dominique Davis struggled in the ACC championship game and the bowl game -- both losses -- but he has the most experience among Justin Tuggle and Codi Boek.

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.

ACC spring rewind: quarterbacks

April, 30, 2009
4/30/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

One of the overriding themes of this spring was backup quarterback situations across the ACC. Georgia Tech and North Carolina were actually the only teams that entered the spring certain of their two-deep. Here's a quick rundown of who made progress and who is still in a holding pattern heading into summer camp:

PROBLEM SOLVED

Virginia Tech -- Ju-Ju Clayton won the job and Marcus Davis was moved back to wide receiver, giving both of them plenty of time to develop in their solidified roles.

Duke -- Former backup Zack Asack was moved to safety and Sean Renfree proved he's capable of being the No. 2 behind Thaddeus Lewis and even earned himself some playing time this fall.

NC State -- Finally. The Wolfpack has a dependable backup in Mike Glennon, and odds are he sees playing time this fall.

LINGERING ISSUE

Maryland -- Jamarr Robinson isn't a lock, but he put himself in a great position and could be a lock if he continues to develop over the next few months. His biggest competition won't come until summer when true freshmen Danny O'Brien and C.J. Brown arrive.

Miami -- Randy Shannon said that Taylor Cook finished the spring as the No. 2 quarterback, but he didn't sound like the decision had been cemented. Shannon said Cannon Smith will continue to compete for the job during fall camp, but Cook was better this spring.

Florida State -- E.J. Manuel, who injured his finger on the first day of practice, didn't get quite as many reps as the staff would have liked.

Wake Forest -- Skylar Jones, Ryan McManus and Ted Stachitas finished the spring in a three-way tie.

STARTER UP

Virginia -- The competition between Jameel Sewell, Marc Verica and Vic Hall will continue this summer. Hall was the first quarterback on the field in the spring game, but Verica completed 14 of 19 throws for 148 yards, including a 21-yard yard TD toss to Raynard Horne. Sewell, who admitted he was rusty this spring, was 7-of-11 for 61 yards.

Boston College -- Dominique Davis got the most reps with the first team, but nobody seems to have separated himself as the leader of the offense. Justin Tuggle and Codi Boek are still in the mix.

Clemson -- Kyle Parker was arguably the best performer this spring, but Willy Korn is the better runner of the two, and that's hard to evaluate when the quarterback can't be tackled.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ACC SCOREBOARD