ACC: Terence Davis

In the days after leading Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro broke his hand against Duke, there was reason for optimism.

Campanaro did not require surgery, and he hoped to return in time for the Clemson game next Thursday night. But coach Jim Grobe said this week that the best-case scenario would have Campanaro returning against Boston College on Nov. 3.

"He's healing," Grobe said. "He's probably not healing as fast as he wants to. He probably would have liked to have been healed for the Maryland game. I would think Clemson would be a stretch. I think probably Boston College is a little bit more realistic."

Campanaro's is just one in a string of injuries that have really hurt Wake Forest this season. Those injuries are now mounting on offense, leaving Grobe with limited options at receiver and offensive line.

Grobe was asked if he had considered how good his team could be this year if everybody had stayed healthy.

"Going into the season, you always have some injuries," Grobe said. "That's just part of the game. The difference for us has been some of our best players have been injured. Camp is arguably the best player on offense. We lost Antonio Ford at Maryland. I think he was our best offensive lineman as far as guards and tackles. Losing (receiver) Matt James, he broke his collarbone, won't be back this season, he's out. (Receiver) Terence Davis separated both shoulders, hasn't had a lot of practice. That's been his biggest problem. A lot of guys that we thought were going to be key guys for us have been out for along period of time or are gone for the season.

"We're not going to get them all back together, but certainly I think getting Campanaro back would be huge for us. If we could stay healthy down the stretch, piecemeal that offensive line back together. We're in a situation right now with (receiver) Sherman Ragland down, Campanaro down, Matt James down, Terence Davis being up and down, we just don't have a lot of options to throw the football. Being a throwing offense, that's not a good thing."
Wake Forest will be without its best offensive player for at least the next two games, and possibly for the whole month.

So who is coach Jim Grobe looking toward to replace all-everything receiver Michael Campanaro? There are several options as the Deacs prepare for life without him Saturday at Maryland.

Grobe mentioned redshirt freshman Sherman Ragland III, redshirt senior Terence Davis and redshirt sophomore Brandon Terry as key players to step up.

Ragland has struggled with inconsistency this season; Davis has been injured and unable to practice for a full week since August; and Grobe is waiting on Terry to play even better. Those three players have combined for 29 receptions and no touchdowns this season -- while Campanaro has 38 himself, along with three touchdown receptions.

"Sherman Ragland is a kid that has all the ability in the world," Grobe said. "We see him kind of as a Camp guy going forward, so eventually that's the kind of role that we see Sherman Ragland filling in for, but he's got to catch the ball better. And right now he's struggling a little bit with not just running the offense but routes and catching the ball and doing all those. He's got to improve.

"Terence Davis is a real key for us. Terence has been hurt this year. He's had two separated shoulders. He's back in action. The problem he's had is he just hasn't been able to practice much, and I think this week we're going to get a full week of practice out of him for the first time since August, and I think that will be key. It would be nice if Brandon Terry stepped up for us. That's a big kid that can run and catch the football. We may even have to look at a couple freshmen going forward."

The injury bug has been particularly painful for the Deacs this season, as their top three players -- Campanaro, nose guard Nikita Whitlock (ankle) and cornerback Merrill Noel (hamstring) have missed games. Merrill has been able to play through his injury but sat out a game; Whitlock missed two. Now Campanaro will be out for three to four weeks.

When it comes down to it, missing those key players has contributed to the slow start for Wake Forest. Last season, Whitlock had 14 tackles for loss; this year he has zero. Last season, Noel led the nation with 21 pass breakups. This year, he has two. Campanaro was the only reliable threat for the Deacs this season. Davis had a big game without Campanaro last week, with six catches for 100 yards, and will have to keep that pace up.

"Every team has got two or three guys on each side of the ball that are really key, that are the big play guys, and if they're not making big plays, it's hard to estimate how much that hurts your offense or defense," Grobe said.
Despite its 6-7 overall record in 2011, Wake Forest came within a field goal from playing for the ACC title. With key pieces such as two-year starting quarterback Tanner Price returning, the Demon Deacons are looking to build off that success in 2012. Here, head coach Jim Grobe talks about expectations entering his 12th year leading the program.

The offensive line is replacing four starters. How important was the spring season for them from a developmental standpoint?

Jim Grobe: Well I thought it was really good. I think we've got three kids going forward that we can count on: Garrick Williams, our center, started for us last year so we feel really good about him. I think Colin Summers, our right tackle, is a kid who has the potential to be one of the better offensive linemen in the league, as does Antonio Ford, our left guard. I think all three of those kids really have the ability to get the job done for us. And then the rest of it's gonna be a toss-up. I think we've got some talented kids. I think Dylan Heartsill's a kid that's had some back issues at left tackle but we have great hopes for him and hopefully he'll get healthy. So we moved Frank Souza over to left tackle from nose guard -- he was backing up Nikita Whitlock on defense and we didn't feel like there was much future in that. So we moved Frank over to left tackle. I think that's gonna be a great move for us, he looked really good the last half of the spring.

We need somebody to step up at right guard; I'm hopeful that [Daniel] Blitch or [Dylan] Intemann or one of the younger guys will be that guy, so it's kind of a mixed bag. We don't have a starting five yet but I think three of those guys are really good players. If we can get a couple more guys to step up I think we can at least put a really good starting five on the field at the start of the year.

You know what you have under center in Tanner Price. Going into his third year now, what kind of strides does he need to make to take the next step?

[+] EnlargeJim Grobe
AP Photo/Nick WassJim Grobe says the goal is for Wake Forest to try to get back to a bowl game and to possibly make another run at the ACC title.
JG: Well it's huge when you've got your quarterback coming back, especially if he's a good one. I think Tanner thew for a little over 3,000 [yards] last year, [20] touchdowns, only had six picks. So he's a guy that takes pretty good care of the football. Really smart guy. a lot of Riley Skinner-type intangible stuff with Tanner. Tanner's got a more live arm than Riley had but he doesn't do as good of a job on the underneath stuff, and I think that's where his biggest improvements needs to come and I think we saw that this spring. We really challenged him to be a little more accurate with the touch stuff and I think we saw that this spring. I think he just looked better to me this spring than he did last fall and I thought he did good things last fall. So his biggest deal is just gonna be completion percentage. If we can bump that completion percentage up, we've got a guy that can win games for us.

It's been said that Michael Campanaro be that go-to guy for him, with Chris Givens now gone. Is finding a No. 2 target more pressing right now? Who has stood out in that role for you?

JG: Yeah I think so. I don't think there's any question. That's my concern. I think Campanero, you look at Chris last year, but in reality we had two guys -- Camp, he didn't catch as many balls as Chris, but he was close. They were really a 1-2 punch for us last year, so I think Camp, if he stays healthy, is ready for a big big year. So the key for us is we've gotta find some body else. If Camp's the only guy we've got to go to then defense are gonna make it really tough on us. So a guy like Terence Davis, Matt James, Brandon Terry, Sherman Ragland -- somebody in that group's gotta step up and kind of balance things out so that they can't just double-cover Camp and leave those other guys alone.

(Read full post)

The final team of our series, the Demon Deacons are forced to replace a versatile home-run threat who left school early for the NFL.

OUT: Chris Givens. Givens led Wake Forest in 2011 with 83 receptions for a school-record 1,330 yards and nine touchdowns. His 102.3 receiving yards per game led the ACC, and his 6.4 catches per game were second in the conference. Givens averaged 110.8 all-purpose yards per game. The first-team all-conference receiver had seven 100-yard receiving games, one shy of the school record. He leaves school with 163 career catches for 2,473 yards, with 21 receiving touchdowns, along with 45 carries for 238 yards and two scores.

IN: Michael Campanaro. While not as fast as Givens, Campanaro may be more of a complete receiver. Coach Jim Grobe has said Campanaro is a better possession receiver than Givens, and the bigger question may be who slides into Campanaro's No. 2 role after a 2011 season that saw him catch 73 passes for 833 yards and two touchdowns. Matt James and Brandon Terry are both 6-foot-5 and speedy, and the latter has run track at Wake Forest as well. Terence Davis had 20 catches last season for 269 yards and five touchdowns. Lovell Jackson had success as a kick returner but is sitting out spring practice as he recovers from a shoulder injury.
One of the biggest questions surrounding Wake Forest as the Deacs head into spring practice today is who will replace the team’s leading receiver from 2011 in Chris Givens, a speedy, home run threat who decided to leave early for the NFL.

The more accurate question, though, might be which receiver will fill Michael Campanaro's role as the No. 2 receiver.

[+] EnlargeMichael Campanaro
Bob DeChiara/US PresswireMichael Campanaro is poised to step into the No. 1 wide receiver role for Wake Forest, but who will step up to complement him?
Make no mistake -- the Deacs don’t have anyone on the roster quite like Givens, but they do still have Campanaro, who might be a more complete player than Givens, albeit not as fast. Coach Jim Grobe said Campanaro is a better possession receiver than Givens, and that he’s more precise at what the staff asks the slot receivers to execute. Grobe and quarterback Tanner Price agreed that Campanaro has what it takes to be this year’s go-to receiver. The key is finding the next “Camp” to give Wake Forest two playmakers at receiver.

“I think Camp is going to be our go-to guy,” Grobe said. “Some of the other kids could develop into really fine receivers, but it’s going to be hard to replace Chris’ ability to take off sprinting and outrun people and go catch the football. I don’t see anybody capable of doing that right now, but I think one of the better receivers we’ve had since I’ve been here is Mike Campanaro. We kind of plugged him into Chris’ area -- not so much in what he’ll be doing, whether it be playing split end, or flanker or slot or whatever, but just from a go-to perspective I think Campanaro can do some great things for us.”

Price said he’s got no problem with the next man up. Campanaro caught 73 passes for 833 yards and two touchdowns last year.

“Camp, he’s been a great target my whole career here,” Price said. “He’s one of those receivers that if you throw the ball in his general direction, he can come down and catch it. It’s great having a guy like that on the team, but at the same time you’ve got to have two guys. Camp and Chris complemented each other nice last year. It would be good to have another receiver who steps up so you can have that dual threat and two really solid targets to throw to.”

The Deacs have more than a few options there. Matt James and Brandon Terry are both listed at 6-foot-5, and have impressed Grobe with their speed. Terry would have played more last year, but he broke his little finger and had trouble catching the ball. (Grobe, a former linebacker, didn’t have much sympathy, but conceded it ‘wasn’t chapped lips.’) Terry also competed with the Deacs’ track team this year. Terence Davis showed flashes of potential last year, and Lovell Jackson is one of the most talented players on the offense. Grobe said Jackson has great hands, is an effective kick returner and has impressive foot speed and quickness, but is out this spring while recovering from a shoulder injury.

While the receiver position lost its fastest player from 2011, it might have gained a more versatile group.

“We’re going to lose a great player in Chris Givens, but the kids who were kind of on the fringe who gained a lot of experience last year, we might actually have a better group of guys for Tanner to throw to,” Grobe said. “Not the one home run threat like Chris gave us, but overall that whole group of guys might actually be better for Tanner because he’ll have more of a variety of guys to get the football to.”

Wake Forest spring wrap

May, 5, 2011
5/05/11
6:00
AM ET
WAKE FOREST

2010 overall record: 3-9

2010 conference record: 1-7

Returning starters

Offense: 7, defense: 9, kicker/punter: 1

Top returners

WR Chris Givens, G Joe Looney, DE Tristan Dorty, DE Kyle Wilber, SS Cyhl Quarles, PK Jimmy Newman, QB Tanner Price, RB Josh Harris, NG Nikita Whitlock

Key losses

C Russell Nenon, RB Josh Adams, WR Marshall Williams, WR Devon Brown, LB Hunter Haynes, LB Matt Woodlief, P Shane Popham

2010 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Harris* (720 yards)

Passing: Price* (1,349 yds)

Receiving: Brown (302 yds)

Tackles: Hunter Haynes (77)

Sacks: Wilber* (6)

Interceptions: Alex Frye (3)

Spring answers

1. Solidified secondary. All four starters return in CB Josh Bush, SS Cyhl Quarles, FS Daniel Mack and CB Kevin Johnson, and the Deacs are two-deep at every position. It’s a much better scenario than it was a year ago, when Wake had to start two true freshmen corners. The Deacs will also have Dominique Tate, who missed all of last year for academic reasons, and two players who redshirted last year in Desmond Cooper and Merrill Noel. The Deacs ranked 11th in the ACC in pass defense last year, but saw signs this spring of that improving.

2. Sold on the 3-4 defense. The staff is confident in the defensive tackles and committed to the scheme, which it began using last year. Nose guard Ramon Booi, the backup to Nikita Whitlock, might have been the most improved player on the roster this spring, and is a good contrast to Whitlock, who is 5-foot-10 and more of a speed guy. Booi is a 6-foot-6, 300-pound man-wall. At tackle, Grobe singled out defensive end Zach Thompson as a possible all-ACC candidate, and Tristan Dorty moved from linebacker to defensive end.

3. Staff changes were a positive. Without disrespecting former defensive coordinator Brad Lambert, who left to become head coach of the fledgling Charlotte program, Grobe said he was pleased with the promotions of Tim Billings and Brian Knorr to co-defensive coordinators, and Lonnie Galloway, who was hired to coach the wide receivers. Knorr’s knowledge of the 3-4 scheme has been an added bonus.

Fall questions

1. Which running back will take over? Josh Harris is the most talented back on the roster, but he missed several spring practices with a hamstring injury he suffered while competing in the 100-yard dash with the track team. He’ll have to get healthy and earn the starting job this summer despite competition from senior Brandon Pendergrass. Harris, though, scored the only touchdown of the spring game.

2. Will dependable receivers emerge? The Deacs didn’t chart every one, but there were about eight or 10 dropped passes by wide receivers in the spring game. Wake Forest is looking for a playmaker to emerge like Kenny Moore did in ’07 and D.J. Boldin in ’08. Chris Givens, Michael Campanaro, Danny Dembry and Terence Davis are lead candidates, but redshirt freshmen Matt James (6-foot-6) and Brandon Terry (6-5), could both work their way into the rotation.

3. Will the offensive line improve? Four starters are back, so it looks better on paper, but the Deacs will sorely miss the experience and leadership of former center Russell Nenon. Garrick Williams started the final three games of 2010 -- two at guard and one at center, but he struggled with the snaps towards the end of spring and isn’t where the staff needs him to be yet.

Opening camp: Wake Forest

August, 5, 2010
8/05/10
2:00
PM ET
Schedule: Practice is from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

What’s new: With a new face at quarterback, Wake Forest’s offense is likely to run the ball more. Former quarterback Riley Skinner was an excellent passer, but not the swiftest of foot. Expect a different dimension to be added to the Demon Deacons’ offense.

Sidelined: Nobody on the two-deep roster is expected to be missing.

Key battle: Quarterback. No surprise here. Skylar Jones enters practice atop the depth chart, but some of that is simply because he was the healthiest of the group, and offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke likes to say “durability equals dependability.” Ted Stachitas, who had a hamstring injury this spring, will be competing for the job, along with redshirt freshman Brendan Cross, who suffered a concussion in the spring. True freshman Tanner Price has also impressed his teammates in offseason workouts.

New on the scene: Redshirt sophomore receiver Terence Davis. He redshirted in 2008, tore his ACL in 2009 and missed 2010 spring practices. He’s finally back, healthy and ready to contribute.

Breaking out: Cornerback Kenny Okoro. He started each of the final eight games at corner and developed into one of Wake’s top players on defense. He led the team with three interceptions and tied for the team lead with eight pass breakups. He clinched the win over NC State when he intercepted a Russell Wilson pass in the end zone with 2:02 left to play. The kid can move -- he’s getting his minor in dance.

Don’t forget about: Running back Josh Adams. He was the ACC’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2007, but his production has dropped off the past two seasons. The staff is hoping he gets back to his freshman form.

All eyes on: The quarterback, whoever it might be. This is one of the best competitions in the league this summer and will be the main factor in whether or not the Deacs can get back to the postseason.

Quotable: "Durability will be a key because when you go back to running the football you're going to ask your quarterback to run it some. I don't know how much, but probably whoever the guy is, that will depend on how much we run it with the quarterback. He's going to have to be a durable guy. The most durable guy this spring was Skylar Jones. That's why he came out number one. Ted Stachitas had a pulled hamstring in the spring and Brendan Cross missed a few practices with a concussion. I think with what we're going to do with our offense, it wouldn't surprise me if we ended up using more than one guy." -- Coach Jim Grobe

Fresh faces: Wake Forest

July, 20, 2010
7/20/10
10:45
AM ET
Raise your hand if you knew who Luke Kuechly was at this time last year? Exactly. Today we begin a series looking at potential impact players from each school that you've likely never heard of before, or newcomers with the potential to make an immediate contribution. We'll look at three players from each school -- they can be true freshmen, redshirt freshmen, transfers or just an otherwise unheralded player or newcomer who will be making an impact for the first time. Maybe, by the end of the 2010 season, one of them will develop into a nationally recognized talent like Kuechly.

We'll star with Wake Forest, where whomever starts at quarterback will also be a fresh face.

WR Terence Davis -- He redshirted in 2008 then tore his ACL in camp in 2009 and missed spring practices. He should be back for the start of August camp and could be in the rotation this fall. Davis, from Lilburn, Ga., by way of Brooklyn, N.Y., was a quarterback and defensive back for Brookwood High.

NT Nikita Whitlock -- The redshirt freshman from Wylie, Texas was a linebacker last year and moved to nose tackle this past spring where he impressed the coaches. He's a strong rusher who could help out the line.

LB Justin Jackson -- The redshirt freshman led the defense during the spring game with a team-high six tackles. He graduated from Richmond (N.C.) High school, where he made 123 tackles as a junior and added 191 as a senior with eight sacks and 18 tackles for loss.

ACC injury reports: Week 9

October, 30, 2009
10/30/09
9:00
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

I think I actually have them all this week ...

BOSTON COLLEGE

Questionable

DE Alex Albright (ankle)

Doubtful

OT Rich Lapham (shoulder)

LB Mike McLaughlin (leg)

Out

WR Ifeanyi Momah (knee)

RB Rolandan Finch (illness)

CLEMSON

Out for Season

J.K. Jay, OT, back

Probable

Scotty Cooper, LB, Concussion

Doubtful

Michael Palmer, TE, Concussion

Out

Kantrell Brown, S, Concussion

DUKE

RB Re'quan Boyette (knee) -- Questionable

CB Lee Butler (leg) -- Doubtful

LB Abraham Kromah (leg) -- OUT

WR Tyree Watkins (leg) -- OUT

RB Kyle Griswould (leg) -- OUT FOR SEASON

S Anthony Young-Wiseman (knee) -- OUT FOR SEASON

FLORIDA STATE

Out for the season

44 LB Maurice Harris (neck)

81 TE Caz Piurowski (knee)

Out

28 CB Dionte Allen (thumb)

76 OT Garrett Faircloth (hip)

70 OT Antwane Greenlee (knee)

51 LB Aaron Gresham (knee)

97 DT Demonte McAllister (knee)

74 OT John Prior (knee)

72 DT Budd Thacker (knee)

11 LB Vince Williams (back)

Questionable

27 CB Xavier Rhodes (thumb)

21 CB Patrick Robinson (ankle)

Probable

9 WR Richard Goodman (groin)

26 RV Korey Mangum (shoulder)

94 DT Justin Mincey (knee)

36 LB Dekoda Watson (groin)

GEORGIA TECH

Out

Kevin Cone, r-Jr., WR (ankle)

Robert Hall, r-Jr., DE (knee)

Cooper Taylor, So., S (undisclosed)

Questionable

Julian Burnett, Fr., LB (knee)

Out For Season

Kyle Jackson, r-So., LB (foot)

MIAMI

Probable

OL Joel Figueroa – Upper Extremity

K Matt Bosher - Illness

Out

DB Ray-Ray Armstrong – Lower Extremity

FB Patrick Hill – Lower Extremity

RB Javarris James – Lower Extremity

DL Eric Moncur – Lower Extremity

DB JoJo Nicolas – Lower Extremity

LB Sean Spence – Lower Extremity

Surgery and Out for the Season

DL Dyron Dye – Lower Extremity

DL Marcus Forston – Lower Extremity

LB Jordan Futch – Lower Extremity

TE Richard Gordon – Upper Extremity

LB Shayon Green – Lower Extremity

DE Gavin Hardin – Upper Extremity

DB Ryan Hill – Upper Extremity

DE Adewale Ojomo – Jaw

NC STATE

OUT FOR SEASON

Mario Carter, TE - knee

Ryan Cheek, LB - hip

Denzelle Good, OL - shoulder

Nate Irving, LB - leg

Colby Jackson, FB - knee

Everett Proctor, QB – shoulder

Jeff Rieskamp, DE – sports hernia

Rashard Smith, CB - knee

Javon Walker, S – knee

James Washington, HB - knee

OUT

T.J. Graham, WR/RET – leg

Ray Michel, LB - ankle

Jesse Riley, DB - knee

Dwayne Maddox will start at middle linebacker in place of Michel; Clem Johnson, Jamelle Eugene and Donald Bowens will return punts/kicks.

VIRGINIA

Out

Aaron Clark (knee)

Matt Conrath (ankle)

Probable

Oday Aboushi (knee)

Landon Bradey (knee)

Darren Childs (leg)

Nate Collins (leg)

Cam Johnson (knee)

Corey Mosley (shoulder)

Brandon Woods (shoulder)

WAKE FOREST

Out for Season

WR Terence Davis (knee)

Questionable

DE Kyle Wilber

ACC's lunchtime links

August, 19, 2009
8/19/09
12:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Mmm. Links.

Miami defensive end Adewale Ojomo had surgery Tuesday morning for a broken jaw and could miss the season opener. Was he sucker punched? There seem to be conflicting reports.

Tim Tebow? Pshh. He ain't got nothin' on Charlie Ward.

There's an overall attitude change at Florida State, and the players' are the ones calling the meeting for it.

Steven Friday is a guy who will come in handy on Saturdays for the Hokies this year.

Georgia Tech safety Cooper Taylor's versatility makes him the perfect wolf.

When UNC coach Butch Davis talks about turnovers, the team listens. It's a proven formula for winning.

BC freshman defensive tackle Dillon Quinn is learning as fast as he can, so he can help the Eagles at one of the spots they need it most -- up front. The ideal situation would be to redshirt Quinn, but the staff might not have that luxury.

NC State will be without third-string tight end Mario Carter for at least the season opener after knee surgery. The Pack is about mid-way through its summer camp, and still looking for answers at a few positions.

Virginia has one important rule for its receivers: If you don't block, you don't play. Lesson learned for Raynard Horne.

Wake Forest joined the ACC injury club on Tuesday when receiver Terence Davis went down with a torn ACL. That could provide a way to get Skylar Jones on the field.

Aside from Jacoby Ford, Clemson's receivers have been an inconsistent group.

ACC injury update: Two more players tear ACLs

August, 19, 2009
8/19/09
8:03
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Two more hits for the ACC:

  • Wake Forest redshirt freshman receiver Terence Davis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) at Monday night's practice and will likely miss the rest of the season. This is unfortunate for the Deacs, as Davis was one of the young receivers the staff was going to depend on. Because of his injury, backup quarterback and sophomore Skylar Jones was working out with the wideouts on Monday.
  • North Carolina junior defensive back Matt Merletti tore the ACL in his right knee during Tuesday afternoon's practice and will miss the 2009 season. One of Carolina's top special-teams players, Merletti was competing for playing time at safety this fall. In 2008, the Cleveland native was a co-captain on special teams, an honor bestowed on UNC's top special-teams players based on a point system. Merletti had 11 tackles last year and recovered two fumbles, including a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown vs. Connecticut.

ACC's scrimmage stars

August, 17, 2009
8/17/09
3:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

More than half of the teams in the ACC held scrimmages this past weekend, and no, I didn't forget about them. Instead of giving you the entire practice reports, though, I decided to highlight a few scrimmage stars for each team. (Virginia also scrimmaged on Saturday but it was closed and they do not release stats.)

In some cases, like at Maryland and Boston College, the defense looked much sharper than the offense. At others, like Wake Forest, the offense lived up to the preseason expectations. And Virginia Tech looked good on special teams. The teams that have veteran quarterbacks took advantage of them, while others -- like Clemson and BC -- struggled. Here are a few of the top performers from Saturday:

MARYLAND
The defense had 12 sacks including two each by Derek Drummond and Obum Akinyili. Drummond, who is expected to be a key player at one of the end positions, also had the first scoring play of the day, sacking Jamarr Robinson in the end zone for a safety on the third series, which began at the 5-yard line.

BOSTON COLLEGE
The defense stole the show, and cornerback Isaac Johnson led the way with five tackles. Redshirt freshman defensive end Max Holloway had two quarterback sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown.

WAKE FOREST
The Deacs might have lost their leading receiver, but there are plenty of young players eager to take over, as 13 players caught at least one pass. Chris Givens finished with four catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Terence Davis led the receiving corps with six catches for 75 yards, including a gain of 25 yards. Riley Skinner completed 12 of 16 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns.

CLEMSON
Defensive ends Da'Quan Bowers and Ricky Sapp combined for five quarterback sacks. Malliciah Goodman, a freshman, also had a pair of sacks in the scrimmage that was played with no tackling the quarterback, so it was much easier to record sacks. Brandon Maye led the defense in tackles with seven, while Marcus Gilchrist had two tackles for loss and a 60 yard fumble return.

DUKE
The quarterbacks shone in the 60-play scrimmage with backup Sean Renfree completing 11-of-18 passes for 120 yards and 1 touchdown. Can't wait to see him play. Veteran Thaddeus Lewis completed 9-of-18 for 96 yards and an interception.

VIRGINIA TECH
Not a bad day for Beamerball. Matt Waldron made all four of his field-goal attempts, 42, 25, 46 and 25 yards, and Ryan Williams returned a punt for a touchdown. Lyndell Gibson intercepted a pass to go with five tackle. Logan Thomas completed 6-of-14 for 128 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

FLORIDA STATE
Christian Ponder put up some no-nonsense numbers, completing 15 of 20 attempts for 287 yards and four touchdowns. Jarmon Fortson made three receptions for 106 yards, while Rod Owens added three for 84, including a touchdown. Markus White led the defense with six tackles.

Ranking the ACC units: Wide receivers

July, 15, 2009
7/15/09
5:01
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Tuesday we broke down the quarterbacks in the ACC, so let's figure out who the best targets are in the conference:

1. Miami -- No doubt this is the deepest group in the ACC, and it comes with a wide range of abilities. Seven freshmen were introduced last season, and five of them -- Travis Benjamin, LaRon Byrd, Aldarius Johnson, Thearon Collier and Davon Johnson -- scored touchdowns. Both Tommy Streeter (wrist surgery) and Kendall Thompkins (shoulder surgery) redshirted last year but should be factors this fall. Leonard Hankerson, a junior, is the veteran of the group.

2. Maryland -- The Terps had nine different scholarship wideouts show promise this spring, so replacing Darrius Heyward-Bey should be a smooth transition. Quintin McCree was the star in the spring game, but all of them have had their moments and should excel in the second season under offensive coordinator James Franklin. Torrey Smith and Ronnie Tyler should build upon last year's success, especially with a veteran quarterback throwing to them in Chris Turner.

3. Virginia Tech -- There are plenty of talented options here, but this was a young group a year ago and it's still a young group. The Hokies have something to prove on offense, and this is the year to do it. They started to turn the corner in the last two or three games of 2008 and can build on that momentum. Jarrett Boykin, Xavier Boyce, Danny Coale, Dyrell Roberts, Brandon Dillard ... depth should not be a problem. Boykin earned eight starts as a true freshman and was second with 30 receptions.

4. Boston College -- When the Eagles figure out who their quarterback is, he'll have dependable options to throw to. Rich Gunnell caught a team-high 49 passes and four touchdowns with 551 yards last year. He also returned punts and brought one back 65 yards for a score against Virginia Tech. Justin Jarvis caught 25 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns last season and will work for the other starting job. Ifeanyi Momah will look to prove that he can be more than just a situational receiver while Clarence Megwa is working to return in the fall after suffering a devastating leg injury against Clemson last season.

5. NC State -- Jarvis Williams and Owen Spencer are ready to elevate their games as redshirt juniors, and now have one season as starters to build upon. Their chemistry with Russell Wilson should be better and they were No. 3 in the ACC in passing offense a year ago. Williams caught 26 passes for 432 yards and four touchdowns in 2008. Spencer could be a big-play threat if he cuts down on the dropped balls.

6. Clemson -- Jacoby Ford and ... Jacoby Ford. He's one of the fastest athletes in the country and will likely be the best solo receiver in the ACC, but he'll draw all of the coverage until one of his teammates becomes a legitimate concern for opposing defenses. It will be up to Xavier Dye, Marquan Jones and Terrence Ashe to help Ford out.

7. Georgia Tech -- This should be one of the more improved units on the Jackets' roster. It was very thin last year (they started a freshman walk-on at Virginia Tech), but should have better depth this season. Demaryius Thomas should be one of the best wideouts in the conference, and he'll have more help this year with the return of sophomores Tyler Melton and Luke Fisher.

8. Florida State -- It's the Noles' lone question mark on offense, but the cupboard isn't completely bare, and Christian Ponder has plenty of confidence in the players who are there. Louis Givens, Jarmon Fortson and Bert Reed. If Taiwan Easterling heals from his Achilles injury and they get their suspended players back, this group could impress.

9. Wake Forest -- The Demon Deacons have to replace D.J. Boldin, but they've got enough players that the depth and speed should actually improve overall. Chris Givens and Terence Davis, both redshirts last year, impressed the staff this spring. They'll team with Devon Brown, Marshall Williams and Jordan Williams.

10. Duke -- Zero seniors. Not a good sign for a team trying to win more than one ACC game. It's not like the cupboard is bare, though. The Blue Devils will be led by sophomores Johnny Williams and Donovan Varner, who had six catches for 116 yards in the spring game. Williams finished second on the team last year with 30 catches for 327 yards. Freshmen Conner Vernon, Corey Gattis and Tyree Watkins could all push for playing time.

11. North Carolina -- The Tar Heels took a huge hit in this department and it's obviously their biggest concern heading into summer camp. It's not like they don't have players ready and willing to start, but there's nothing that can compensate for game experience, which only Greg Little has. The next most experienced receiver is Rashad Mason, who played in the Rutgers game.

12. Virginia -- The Cavaliers lost their top four receivers from last year, and coach Al Groh didn't notice that "go-to guy" yet this past spring. Sophomore Jared Green leads the returnees with 12 catches for 144 yards a year ago. Kris Burd caught seven passes as a redshirt freshman last year, and the expectations are obviously higher now.

Wake Forest spring wrap-up

May, 7, 2009
5/07/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Wake Forest Demon Deacons
2008 overall record: 8-5

2008 conference record: 4-4

Returning starters

Offense: 9, defense: 4, kicker/punter 1

Top returners

QB Riley Skinner, TE Ben Wooster, LT Joe Birdsong, C Russell Nenon, RT Jeff Griffin, RB Brandon Pendergrass, DT John Russell, NT Boo Robinson, CB Brandon Ghee, P Shane Popham, TB Kevin Harris, TB Josh Adams.

Key losses

DE Matt Robinson, LB Aaron Curry, LB Stanley Arnoux, LB Chantz McClinic, CB Alphonso Smith, FS Chip Vaughn, PK Sam Swank, WR D.J. Boldin, WR Chip Brinkman, SS Kevin Patterson

2008 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Brandon Bendergrass* (528 yards)
Passing: Riley Skinner* (2,347 yards)
Receiving: D.J. Boldin (848 yards)
Tackles: Aaron Curry (105)
Sacks: Boo Robinson* (5)
Interceptions: Kevin Patterson (4)

Spring answers

2009 Schedule

Sept. 5 Baylor
Sept. 12 Stanford
Sept. 19 Elon
Sept. 26 at Boston College
Oct. 3 NC State
Oct. 10 Maryland
Oct. 17 at Clemson
Oct. 24 at Navy
Oct. 31 Miami
Nov. 7 at Georgia Tech
Nov. 14 Florida State
Nov. 28 at Duke

1. Stepping up in the secondary. Cornerbacks Josh Bush and Kenny Okoro both looked impressive this spring while competing for Alphonso Smith's old position. They got a lot of reps with injured starter Brandon Ghee out and began to establish themselves as capable replacements.

2. Strength in numbers. Seven players with starting experience return to the offensive line and they have combined for 95 career starts. Russell Nenon, who moved to center after Trey Bailey broke his ankle last year, has solidified the position, and Jeff Griffin, who had been a starting tackle, is now comfortable at right guard. It will help tremendously to have Chris DeGeare back at left tackle, and Barrett McMillin returns at guard.

3. Better depth and speed at receiver. The Deacons have to replace D.J. Boldin, but they've got more options and more speed to do it this year. Chris Givens and Terence Davis, both redshirts last year, impressed the staff this spring. They'll team with Devon Brown, Marshall Williams and Jordan Williams.

Fall questions

1. Another loaded backfield. Like several other teams in the ACC, Wake has three capable tailbacks, and the staff will have to figure out how to distribute the carries. Josh Adams, Brandon Pendergrass and Kevin Harris each had a 100-yard game last year.

2. Healing power. Brandon Ghee sprained his knee on the first day of spring practice and did not return, and Boo Robinson has had some disc problems and didn't participate in any spring drills. Their absence didn't help a defense trying to replace seven starters. Aaron Curry is the kind of player who can't be "replaced," but four candidates will continue to try this fall.

3. Looking for No. 2. Backup quarterback Ryan McManus earned a slight lead as the No. 2 behind Riley Skinner -- so slight you might even call it a three-way tie -- but the coaches aren't ready to put it in ink yet. Skylar Jones and Ted Stachitas will continue to push McManus this fall.

True freshmen to play at Wake?

August, 14, 2008
8/14/08
7:56
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Jim Grobe has earned a reputation for his redshirting philosophy, and it is paying dividends this season for his defense, but as Wake Forest has won, so have the coaches on the recruiting trail.

There's a possibility as many as four true freshmen could play this season.

Offensive guard Joe Looney, tight end Andrew Parker, corner Kenny Okoro and wide receiver Terence Davis, are all candidates for playing time.

What does this mean?

They're legit.

Grobe will not play a freshman unless his coaches guarantee him the kid is going to get 20-30 snaps a game, and contribute beyond special teams.

If more than two of these guys actually see the field, it would be the most true freshmen to ever play under Grobe.

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