NCF Nation: Matt Pridemore

Famous fathers in the ACC

June, 18, 2010
6/18/10
9:00
AM ET
On Monday, NC State quarterback Russell Wilson buried his father. Our thoughts and prayers are with him this weekend as our fathers are celebrated. Wilson’s father, Harrison, died on Friday after a long illness, but at his funeral, his son remembered fondly what an impact he had on his athletic career. Russell’s father played football at Dartmouth and then made it to the last cut for the San Diego Chargers AFTER completing his law degree.

According to school spokesman Annabelle Myers, Russell and his brother spoke at the funeral and told countless stories about their dad waking them to throw baseballs to them, and how the three of them would go out and one would play quarterback, one would play wide receiver, and one would play running back.

These are the moments and memories our dads deserve a big thanks for this weekend. In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a look at some of the ACC’s ‘Famous Fathers,’ and the players who share their legacies. Thanks to the sports information directors in the league and Mike Finn in the Greensboro office for making this post possible:

BOSTON COLLEGE
  • Redshirt freshman defensive end Max Holloway’s father (Brian) played 10 seasons in the NFL (with Patriots and Raiders). His maternal grandfather, Johnny McKenzie, played 19 seasons in the NHL, winning two Stanley Cups with the Boston Bruins.
  • Junior wide receiver Chris Fox’s father (Tim) was an All-American at Ohio State under Woody Hayes and played 10 years in the NFL (with the Patriots, Chargers and Rams).
  • Redshirt freshman wide receiver Hampton Hughes’ father played for six years for the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Junior linebacker Mike Morrissey’s father (Jim) played nine seasons in the NFL for Chicago and Green Bay.
CLEMSON
  • QB Mike Wade, LB Chris Richardson and Landon Walker: Their fathers, Mike Wade Sr., Chuckie Richardson and Gary Walker, played on the national championship team in 1981.
DUKE
  • Kicker Paul Asack’s father Phil Asack was a 1971 Duke graduate who lettered for three seasons before joining the San Diego Chargers.
  • Redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Conor Irwin’s father Tim Irwin played football at the University of Tennessee and in the NFL from 1981-94 with the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins. As an aside, his uncle, King Irwin, played football at Georgia Tech.
  • Wide receiver Matt Pridemore’s father Tom Pridemore played at West Virginia and for the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Receiver Brandon Braxton’s father David Braxton played for the Minnesota Vikings, Phoenix Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals.
FLORIDA STATE
  • QB Christian Ponder's father, David, was a defensive lineman at FSU from 1980-83.
  • Redshirt freshman defensive end Dan Hicks’ father is former FSU standout and NFL veteran Dan Footman.
  • Incoming freshman linebacker Christian Jones’ father, Willie Jones Sr., was a standout defensive end for the Seminoles (1975-78) and a second-round draft choice of the Oakland Raiders in 1980 and returned to FSU as a graduate assistant football coach in 1988.
  • Quarterback Clint Trickett, who enrolled as a freshman in January and took part in spring practice, is the son of FSU assistant head coach/offensive line coach Rick Trickett. Travis Trickett, another son who has been a videographer in the FSU football program, will be the graduate assistant on offense this season.
GEORGIA TECH
  • Junior safety Cooper Taylor’s father, JimBob Taylor, played quarterback at Tech.
  • Senior wide receiver Kevin Cone’s dad, Ronnie, played running back at Tech.
  • Senior running back Lucas Cox’s brother, Michael, was a three-year starter at fullback for Tech and now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs.
MARYLAND
  • Defensive lineman Joe Vellano’s father, Paul, played for Maryland (1971-73). He was an All-American defensive lineman in 1972 and All-ACC in 1972-73.
  • Defensive back Austin Walker and defensive lineman Alex Walker are the sons of Doc Walker, who starred at UCLA from 1974-77 before being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals. He also started at tight end from 1980-85 for the Washington Redskins, playing for the 1982 Super Bowl championship team. Their father is currently a local sports-talk radio host for Sportstalk 980 and also covers ACC football for Raycom television.
  • Running back Davin Meggett’s father, Dave, played in the NFL for three different teams -- the New York Giants (1989-1994), the New England Patriots (1995-1997) and the New York Jets (1998).
MIAMI
  • Backup quarterback A.J. Highsmith’s father, Alonzo Highsmith, and running back Damien Berry’s father, Kenny Berry, played for Miami. Highsmith played at Miami from 1983-86 and in the NFL for seven years. Berry was at Miami from 1987-89.
  • Backup quarterback Spencer Whipple is the son of assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.
NORTH CAROLINA
  • Punter C.J. Feagles’s father, Jeff, is currently the New York Giants punter and has played 21 seasons in the NFL.
  • Backup quarterback Bryn Renner’s father, Bill, was a punter at Virginia Tech and for the Green Bay Packers.
  • Offensive tackle Brennan Williams’ father, Brent, played in the NFL from 1986-93 with the Patriots, Seahawks and Jets.
  • Linebacker Shane Mularkey’s father, Mike, is the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.
NC STATE
  • R.J. Mattes' father, Ron, played at Virginia, where as a senior in 1984 he was an all-ACC defensive tackle for George Welsh. He also played offensive tackle in the NFL for the Seahawks, the Bears and the Colts. He is now coaching at Virginia as offensive line coach.
VIRGINIA
  • Wide receiver Jared Green is the son of Darrell Green, who was a standout cornerback for the Washington Redskins and a 2008 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Jared gave his father’s induction speech at the ceremony.
  • Cornerback Chase Minnifield is the son of Frank Minnifield, a Pro Bowl cornerback for the Cleveland Browns, playing from 1984-92.
VIRGINIA TECH
  • Zac Evans is the son of George Evans, who was a starter on the Hokies’ offensive line and lettered from 1979-82.
  • Kenny Lewis, Jr., is the son of Kenny Lewis, Sr., a standout running back for the Hokies who is enshrined in the Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
  • Beau Warren’s father, Donnie Warren, played 14 years in the NFL for the Washington Redskins.
  • Freshman linebacker Chase Williams, who entered school in January, is the son of Gregg Williams, the defensive coordinator of the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.
  • Linebacker Jeron Gouveia-Winslow is the son of Kurt Gouveia, who was also a starter for the Redskins.
  • Wiley Brown’s father, Chuck Brown was deemed the Godfather of GoGo music.
WAKE FOREST
  • Quarterback Brendan Cross is the son of former 49ers center Randy Cross.
  • Linebacker Joey Ehrmann is the son of Joe Ehrmann, who played for the Colts and Lions.
  • Center Chance Raines’ father, Mike, was an All-American at Alabama under Bear Bryant.
  • Quarterback Ted Stachitas’ father, Len, is vice president of the National Football Foundation and the executive director of the NFF’s Play It Smart Program, a highly successful youth development program.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Duke coach David Cutcliffe made a difference in his first season, winning four games in 2008. While that might sound like a disastrous season for many, the Blue Devils won as many games last season as they had in the four previous seasons combined. Still, it wasn't good enough for Cutcliffe, who thought they were capable of winning more. He discusses that and more in our interview this week:

 
  Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
  While his program showed signs of improvement in 2008, David Cutcliffe knows there is still work to be done.

Ok, let's go ahead and get this one out of the way. Can Greg Paulus really throw the football well enough to be a college quarterback?

David Cutcliffe: Greg can throw the ball. I haven't seen him throw it in person, but I saw him on high school tape, and he threw the ball a lot and effectively. My dealings with him, I kind of started that. I actually called Mike Krzyzewski first, just to say, 'Hey, I'm going to call Greg.' I wouldn't do it without telling Mike first. We had six practices left, and he could play a little receiver. It would be very difficult for him to start for us at quarterback. He just decided if it wasn't pure quarterback he wasn't interested in it, so we'll see what happens, but you don't bet against a competitor. Ever. He is definitely a fierce competitor.

Do you have a pretty good relationship over there with Coach K? Or do you guys not really see each other much?

DC: Absolutely, great. I'm one of his biggest fans. I have watched him practice, I love to hear him teach, I love conversations with him because he is the epitome of a coach. He's always teaching. I just think he's a master, I really do. I enjoy everything he does with his program.

About your program, what is the biggest change you've seen since you took over?

DC: People starting to believe we can win at Duke, most importantly our players, but not unimportantly our fans. Our fans, we're creating a little expectation. People say you're crazy, well I don't think so. I don't know if you'd call it revitalizing, because it basically had gone dead. Part of beginning a program is to make people believe we can win at Duke.

(Read full post)

Around the ACC

April, 18, 2009
4/18/09
10:11
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Happy spring Saturday, ACC fans. We'll look closer at each school after spring ball is over, but a few reports have come in Saturday from spring games around the league. Here's a quick update, per each school's sports information director:

(Usually I go in alphabetical order, but I'm starting with NC State because of the large turnout in support of the late Kay Yow).

NC STATE

A crowd of 21,075 fans attended the Wolfpack's spring game, which was named in honor of the late Kay Yow. Each fan was asked to donate a dollar, and the day, according to Tim Peeler's report on GoPack.com, was as much a celebration of Yow's life as it was a spring football game.

Of course, there was also plenty of interest in how the quarterbacks, starter Russell Wilson and backup Mike Glennon, fared. Glennon was 23-of-38 for 272 yards and one touchdown, and competed for both teams. Wilson, who had to leave early for a baseball game, completed 10 of 14 passes for 195 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown pass to Owen Spencer. NC State's entire report can be found here.

DUKE

Redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Renfree threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns to lead the White squad to a 24-17 victory over the Blue team in front of 4,162 fans at the annual spring game held Saturday afternoon at Wallace Wade Stadium.

"The game was crisp with few penalties," Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. "No one was sloppy with the football and I thought the game was intense. I told the players before the game that we are a good football team. I thought they played like one today. We had really good execution for the most part throughout the game."

Renfree completed 15-of-24 throws with touchdowns of 17 yards to wide receiver Matt Pridemore and 17 yards to tight end Danny Parker. Pridemore led the White team with five receptions for 67 yards while running back Patrick Kurunwune led all rushers with 66 yards on 13 attempts while hauling in four passes for an additional 67 yards. Running back Tony Jackson added a touchdown run and finished with 34 yards on six carries.

For the Blue unit, quarterback Thaddeus Lewis hit on 17 of 23 passes for 257 yards while rushing for a pair of one-yard touchdowns. His favorite target was wide receiver Donovan Varner who had six grabs for 116 yards.

"We went out there and executed," Lewis said. "We had some big plays today. The coaches put us in good situations. We can go to the tight ends over the middle and to our shifty guys who can get yards after the catch. If they leave our running backs open we can get the ball to those guys with space and let them do what they do best."

Duke's entire report can be found here.

GEORGIA TECH

A crowd of about 8,500 saw Jaybo Shaw and redshirt freshman quarterback Tevin Washington combine for five touchdowns.

Washington ran for two touchdowns, threw for another and the Gold team held off a late rally by the White team for a 31-28 victory in Georgia Tech's spring game. With junior quarterback Josh Nesbitt sidelined with a minor shoulder injury, Shaw scored three touchdowns and produced 263 yards of total offense for the White team, which scored two touchdowns in the final 3:30 to make things interesting down the stretch.

Washington finished with 43 yards rushing and was 7-of-10 passing for 167 yards.

"The best news is that no one got hurt," coach Paul Johnson said. "We put the ball on the ground today, but we are way ahead of where we were at this time last year."

The two teams combined for eight fumbles. Both teams also produced more than 400 yards of total offense. For the school's entire report, click here.

VIRGINIA

The Cavaliers unveiled their no-huddle offense for the first time this spring, and threw the ball 53 times while mixing in 57 running plays. The offense only scored two times though. Marc Verica, the starting quarterback for the nine games in 2008, completed 14 of 19 throws for 148 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown to Raynard Horne.

The only other score by the offense came on a 48-yard run by tailback Mikell Simpson. He led all rushers with 64 yards.

Vic Hall, who started at quarterback in the 2008 finale at Virginia Tech, was the first signal-caller on the field with the offense. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 98 yards. Jameel Sewell, who did not play last year while not enrolled at the university, managed 61 yards while completing seven of 11 throws.

The Cavs entire report can be found here.

Check back for more on Monday.

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