The Seminoles received 56 of the 62 first-place votes as they enter 2014 looking to repeat as national champions.
Clemson and North Carolina were the only other ACC teams to be ranked, coming in at Nos. 16 and 23, respectively. For those keeping track, that means UNC is the only team from the Coastal Division to be ranked in the poll. This comes after Miami was chosen by the media in Greensboro, North Carolina, last week as the preseason Coastal favorite, in the same poll that saw Duke receive the most first-place Coastal votes. It is worth repeating again: This division race is wide open.
Notre Dame, which begins its football affiliation with the ACC this fall, checks in at No. 17 in the coaches' poll.
Miami leads the ACC contingent in the "others receiving votes" category of the coaches' poll, coming in at No. 34 overall. Right behind the Hurricanes? Duke and Louisville, at Nos. 35 and 36, respectively. Virginia Tech comes in at No. 40 while Georgia Tech is No. 48.
Half of the ACC's coaches vote in the poll: Frank Beamer, David Cutcliffe, Larry Fedora, Jimbo Fisher, Al Golden, Paul Johnson and Dabo Swinney. Notre Dame's Brian Kelly votes as well. Shockingly, all eight of those coaches saw their teams receive votes.
Until then, no news is good news, and North Carolina is the latest to find that out, with multiple reports saying that three scholarship Tar Heels are no longer on the team.
A school spokesman confirmed the departures to ESPN.com.
Defensive tackles Shawn Underwood and Greg Webb and linebacker Clint Heaven will not be with the Heels when fall camp kicks off Friday. Offensive guard J.J. Patterson is not a part of the 105-man roster, the spokesman said.
Underwood and Webb are no longer a part of the program due to personal reasons, the spokesman said, while Heaven has transferred to Northern Iowa.
Underwood is the most decorated of the four, having been on the two-deep up front and coming off a 10-tackle junior season.
As Insider Carolina's Greg Barnes notes, 15 UNC scholarship players with eligibility remaining will not return for the 2014 campaign, a number that would be staggering if it wasn't so familiar in the conference already. As Andrea Adelson noted last week, fellow Coastal division foe Georgia Tech has lost 13 non-seniors since last season ended.
Here's to relatively quiet camps this next month.
Elsewhere across the ACC:
- Jameis Winston was stopped by police at gunpoint in a 2012 incident, Rachel Axon writes in USA Today.
- Yahoo! Sports' Eric Adelson profiles former FSU defensive back Jajuan Harley, who turned in his Walmart badge for a shot with the Buffalo Bills.
- Sad, sad news out of South Florida, where 22-year-old Joseph Grosso, who was an aspiring walk-on at Miami, died on the first day of lobster miniseason.
- Miami released some potential new helmets for next season.
- Pitt coach Paul Chryst chats defense, receivers and more with Dejan Kovacevic.
Tim Jansen said Wilson had the initial felony charge reduced to misdemeanor petty theft and misdemeanor criminal mischief. Wilson already has paid $1,074 in restitution to the scooter owner, and was sentenced to spend 30 days on a jail work camp and two years' probation. The probation can be reduced to one year if he completes the work camp.
Wilson was automatically suspended from the football team after he was charged with a felony last month in connection with a stolen scooter. After initially telling police a friend let him borrow the scooter, he later admitted to investigators that he stole the scooter in June but did not plan on keeping it as long as he did.
The reduced charges pave the way for Wilson to be reinstated to the football team. There was no official word from Florida State about whether Wilson's status has changed.
Players report for fall practice Sunday. Wilson is expected to be a key contributor to the receiving group this fall after a standout spring.
"He feels great that this is over with. It's resolved. The restitution is paid," Jansen said. "It was a stupid mistake and he's moving on."
That's right, we're talkin' about practice.
Georgia Tech takes the field Thursday to kick off practice across the league. Here is a quick look at opening practice dates around the ACC:
- Boston College Eagles
- Duke Blue Devils
- Florida State Seminoles
- Pittsburgh Panthers
- Virginia Cavaliers
- Virginia Tech Hokies
10. Tre' Jackson, Florida State Seminoles
Position: Offensive guard
The interior linemen for Florida State have never gotten quite as much credit as the guys on the edge, but both Jackson and fellow guard Josue Matias have developed into top NFL prospects and elite blockers. At 6-foot-4, 330 pounds, Jackson is the biggest member of a senior-laden line for FSU, and in his two years as a starter, the Seminoles have rushed for an average of 5.6 yards per carry.
9. DeVante Parker, Louisville Cardinals
Position: Wide receiver
Only five receivers in the nation recorded double-digit touchdown totals in both 2012 and 2013. Of that group, just one will be back for 2014, and that’s Parker. Louisville is the newest addition to the ACC, but the conference’s cornerbacks better get to know Parker quickly. For his career, Parker has racked up 113 catches and nearly 2,000 yards, but with offensive guru Bobby Petrino taking over as head coach this year, Parker is poised for his biggest season yet.
8. P.J. Williams, Florida State
A preseason first-team All-ACC selection, Williams is finally starting to get the credit he so richly deserved for handling so much of the dirty work on Florida State’s dominant secondary in 2013. Williams was often tasked with shadowing the opponent’s top receiver, and he was targeted more than any other defensive back on the Seminoles’ roster, but he held his own and clearly made strides as the season progressed. The result was 35 tackles, three interceptions and defensive MVP honors in the BCS national championship game.
7. Cameron Erving, Florida State
Position: Offensive tackle
Year: RS Senior
When Erving first made the switch from a back-up defensive tackle to the starting left tackle in the spring of 2012, coaches immediately gushed about his natural ability on the offensive side of the ball. And it was true, he was a quick fit on a developing line that made huge strides in his first year. But now Erving has refined those natural skills and, as coach Jimbo Fisher raved, he’s a far more nuanced lineman and leader, and he’ll be the cornerstone of a senior-laden line in 2014 that promises to be among the best in the nation.
6. Denzel Perryman, Miami Hurricanes
A first-team All-ACC selection, Perryman is the heart and soul of Miami’s defense. Perryman racked up 108 tackles last season, including double-digit tackles in six different games, highlighted by a 13-tackle performance in an upset win over Florida. Perryman’s speed and athleticism in the middle should make him one of the ACC’s most feared defenders again in 2014 and opens options for the Hurricanes to break in some young talent around him.
Those upgrades are expected to be completed this weekend, and the athletic department showcased the renovations Wednesday following a joint announcement by university and Seminole Boosters, Inc., that Florida State is in the midst of an eight-year, $250 million fundraising campaign.
"We're demanding so much today of our athletes ... that there has to a commitment on the Florida State side. The culture has changed," Fisher said Wednesday.
Athletic departments across the country annually are upgrading facilities with help from school donors, and Florida State is just the latest in the ongoing arms race across college football. Mark Robinson, Seminoles director of football operations, said few programs can match what Florida State is doing, and he said he has not seen any other program build a locker room that can mirror the Seminoles'.
"We can't be complacent," Fisher said. "We have to be ahead of everybody, let people follow us.
"... We plan on being on top for a while."
Now, which team will be the first to try and top this in 2015?
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Police say Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and Florida State teammate Chris Casher were held at gunpoint by campus police nearly two years ago while hunting squirrels with a pellet gun.
Officer Anthony Gioannetti responded to a call and found the pair on a campus bike path with a long-barreled pistol. He drew his gun, pointed it at the players and shouted several times for them to get on the ground.
One of the players dropped the gun and Gioannetti kept his weapon draw until another officer handcuffed the players across the street from campus. The officers then determined the pistol was a pellet gun.
"They said they were shooting at squirrels along the bike trail," Gioannetti wrote in his report.
The gun was confiscated and the players were released with no charges.
The story was first reported Wednesday by USA Today.
Contacted after the report, Winston said, "Sorry sir, I'm not talking about that."
I'd say these photos are proof of that.
The picture on the left was taken in January, when Williams enrolled at Syracuse and weighed close to 350 pounds. The picture on the right is what he looks like now. Though Williams did not say how much weight he has dropped, it appears to be a significant amount.
A new and improved Williams indeed.
Why is this important? Williams' development is a huge key for a Syracuse defensive line that has to address major depth issues when practice begins Saturday. Syracuse has to replace tackle Jay Bromley, who led the team with 10 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss last season. Williams was so out of shape in the spring, he could not really contribute in a meaningful way, and the Orange ended up cross-training ends to play inside to help make up for depth concerns.
An in-shape Williams changes the picture dramatically. Syracuse has been waiting on him for years now, a talented prospect who has been frustratingly out of reach. But now that it appears Williams has taken the necessary steps to get himself into playing shape, the Orange defensive front could end up surprising some people.
Now, here is a look at more headlines across the ACC:
- Fall camp will be a showcase for Clemson's next crew of receivers.
- No surprise to see Chad Morris on this list.
- Florida State has found spending money is as important as its talent.
- Prayers go out to Georgia Tech quarterback commitment Jaylend Ratliffe, who suffered a severe head injury in an ATV accident.
- Miami picked up two commitments from offensive linemen.
- Here is a quick take on North Carolina's offensive line headed into the season.
- The ACC and Notre Dame are finalizing details for the remainder of their 60-game contract.
- Mike London remains the eternal optimist despite major challenges at Virginia.
Here are the picks for the teams in the ACC, with the prospect's overall ranking.
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15. Anthony Harris, Virginia Cavaliers
His junior stats speak for themselves, leading the nation with eight interceptions. Even more impressive is he picked off an opposing quarterback in five straight games, an even tougher feat considering Virginia spent much of last season on the wrong end of a blowout. The unquestioned leader of the Cavaliers defense, Harris will have to repeat his performance from last season as well as raise his teammates' level of play if Virginia is going to return to bowl eligibility. Harris also will be saddled with grooming Quin Blanding, a five-star freshman.
14. Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh Panthers
Wide receiver, sophomore
With Aaron Donald, Tom Savage and Devin Street all moved on, Boyd is the face of the program. The second-year player is the lone Panthers representative on the team's media guide. He totaled nearly 1,200 receiving yards last season, but don't be surprised if those numbers increase. He is the only proven receiving target, and first-year starter Chad Voytik will need a security blanket. Boyd is one of the most explosive players in the conference, and he could easily lead the ACC in catches and yards this season.
13. Ryan Switzer, North Carolina Tar Heels
Wide receiver/punt returner, sophomore
It speaks volumes about a player's game-breaking ability when he ranks No. 13 on the list following a season with just 32 catches and 341 yards receiving. But Switzer earns the accolades considering how dynamic he is on special teams. He returned 25 punts last season and he took five back for touchdowns, tying an NCAA record. Scoring on 20 percent of your punt returns is an unheard of number. Chad Owens, who shares the record with Switzer, needed 36 returns. Devin Hester scored on less than 10 percent of his returns when he broke the NFL record with four punt return scores in 2007.
12. Mario Edwards Jr., Florida State Seminoles
Defensive lineman, junior
The best indicator on Edwards' junior season will be analyzing the statistics of those around the former No. 1 recruit nationally. The Seminoles' scheme won't consistently put Edwards in a position to rack up sacks or tackles for loss, but he will be the focal point of a defensive line filled with blue-chip prospects. Edwards will be asked to take on double-teams to open up room for his fellow linemen and to allow Florida State's athletic linebackers to run freely toward the football. On the occasions Edwards doesn't command a double-team, it could be a repeat of the national championship game when Edwards, listed at 294 pounds, was running down Auburn's Nick Marshall.
11. Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech Hokies
A preseason All-ACC selection, Fuller is poised to not just follow in brother Kyle's footsteps but to surpass him. The 2013 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, Fuller has the tools to be the next elite defensive back to come through Blacksburg. He played in every game last season and picked off six passes. Fuller is also a factor in defending the run, totaling 58 tackles. At nearly 200 pounds, Fuller is rarely going to get bullied by opposing receivers.
The GameDay set will broadcast from the Sundance Square Plaza in downtown Fort Worth.
The Cowboys were host to GameDay last season when they played Baylor in Stillwater. Oklahoma State won that game, 49-17.
Wilson Can Return To FSU After Plea
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