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2011 Spring Preview - ACC Questions
Florida State QB E.J. Manuel
Florida State QB E.J. Manuel
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 13, 2011


Is E.J. Manuel ready to lead the Florida State offense? Is Tevin Washington ready to be the man at Georgia Tech? Is Randy Edsall ready to rock at Maryland? Who's going to take over under center at Clemson, Virginia and Virginia Tech, and who'll take over the job at Miami and NC State? These key questions and a lot more in the 2011 CFN ACC Spring Preview.


2011 ACC Spring Preview

The Spring Questions

Click for each team's spring preview
Atlantic Boston Coll | Clemson | Florida St | Maryland | NC St | Wake Forest
Coastal Duke | Georgia Tech | Miami | North Carolina | Virginia | Virginia Tech

2011 ACC Spring Preview 
- 2011 ACC Schedules & Game-By-Game Picks
- 2011 ACC Spring Buzz   
- 2011 ACC Spring Attitudes 
- 2011 ACC Big Spring Questions  
- 2011 ACC Positions To Watch  
- ACC Spring Rankings 

2011 ACC Pre-Spring Preview
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On
 
Atlantic

Boston College
How much of an impact can offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers have on young QB Chase Rettig in just 15 practices? The program is cautiously optimistic that it’ll be profound. The coach worked with some high-profile pupils, like Brett Favre, through the years and will be looking to impart his wisdom on the Eagle starter. Rettig went through the usual growing pains in his first year on campus, throwing six touchdowns and nine interceptions in nine games. As he grows, so grows the Boston College offense.

Clemson
Is Tajh Boyd ready to become the guy under center and start fulfilling his enormous high school hype? Now that Kyle Parker is devoted to a career in baseball, it’s Boyd’s job, with no concerns about looking over his shoulder. He has a big arm and enough athletic ability to make opposing coordinators wince. What he lacks is experience, especially in the offense. Above all else, the Tigers want to use the month to get him better acclimated to the nuances of Morris’ system and more comfortable at being the leader of the offense.
 
Florida State
Is QB E.J. Manuel ready to lead the offense? Christian Ponder is gone, so the job is unequivocally his this fall. At 6-4 and 235 pounds, with a huge arm, he looks as if he came right out of central casting. However, he still has to prove that he can lead the team, make good decisions, and begin fulfilling the enormous expectations that accompanied his arrival in 2008. While no one doubts that he has all the tools for success, the folks around Tallahassee hope he can maximize that talent as soon as possible.
 
Maryland
How long will it take Randy Edsall to quiet critics who felt his hiring was, at best, a mild upgrade from Ralph Friedgen? Well, one spring certainly isn’t the timetable, but that doesn’t mean the new staff won’t be able to begin putting its stamp on the Terrapin program. In fact, that’ll be the objective in April. Edsall’s had a knack for coaching up his kids in Storrs, which is also what he hopes to do in College Park. He’ll be busy on both sides of the ball, as Maryland returns just two all-stars, S Kenny Tate and DT Joe Vellano.

NC State
What can Pack fans and the rest of the ACC expect from Mike Glennon? After signing in 2008 as one of the nation’s most decorated recruits, he’s had to sit patiently and watch Russell Wilson pile up the numbers and the accolades. However, a lack of experience, just 52 career passing attempts, does not mean he’ll need a year to adapt to a promotion. He’s been around the system long enough and has the requisite physical skills to have a breakout debut as the starter, assuming Wilson doesn’t return. A 6-6, 225-pounder, he can make all the throws and has the intangible qualities to be a team leader.

Wake Forest
Can Wake Forest get an exemption and somehow earn more than the usual 15 practices? Obviously, that’d be a violation of NCAA rules, but the program needs as much work as it can possibly get after ranking 108th in total offense, 101st in total defense, and struggling mightily on special teams. There’s no area that’s safe on this squad, especially since so many young players were employed a year ago. The Deacon staff will have to make the most of the time it’s been afforded before reconvening again in August.

Coastal

Duke
Can anyone play defense? This is a perennial issue around Durham, which continues to haunt the program. The Blue Devils can often stay in games with their offense, but too often, the D is Southern Conference caliber. Five starters have graduated and no all-stars return from a unit that ranked last in the ACC in most categories. NG Charlie Hatcher and S Matt Daniels provide a veteran presence, and LB Kelby Brown flashed the moves of a future star in his rookie year. Unfortunately, he’s still recovering from a knee injury and won’t participate in spring drills.
 
Georgia Tech
Is Tevin Washington ready to lead the offense? This is a Paul Johnson production so the quarterback is instrumental to the overall success of the team. He got his feet wet when Josh Nesbitt was injured last fall, rushing for 514 yards and four scores and throwing for another pair of touchdowns. However, being the guy from Day 1 comes with an entirely new set of responsibilities and expectations. Assuming he can hold off redshirt freshman Synjyn Days, Washington will be one of the keys to Tech’s ability to rebound in 2011.

Miami
So who will get the ball from Al Golden when the team travels to Maryland on Sept. 5? There will be competition at just about every position, but none will garner more attention and headlines than the one at quarterback. Golden doesn’t figure to be in a rush to anoint his first starter, though 15 practices and a spring game is enough time for someone to impress the staff and grab an early lead. Regardless of the first depth chart, Whipple is still viewed as a longshot, with Morris a slight favorite. The new staff is particular about protecting the ball and winning the turnover margin, which will be an issue for the error-prone Jacory Harris.

North Carolina
Is Bryn Renner ready to lead the offense? The golden boy of the 2009 recruiting class, he spent his first two seasons in Chapel Hill learning behind veteran T.J. Yates. Purely in terms of expectations, he might be the most heralded quarterback to ever sign with the Tar Heels. Now it’s time to begin living up to the hype. A year after making three cameos and throwing just a pair of passes, he figures to quickly ascend to the top of the depth chart without too much of a challenge.

Virginia
Who earns the start at quarterback now that Marc Verica has graduated? The long and arduous search for a productive passer continues in Charlottesville, with no immediate end in sight. It’s a four-man race involving underclassmen Michael Rocco, Ross Metheny, Mike Strauss, and Miles Gooch. Metheny and Rocco saw limited action last fall, combining for four touchdowns and three picks, and have a slight edge on the field. However, it won’t be so substantial that either Strauss or Gooch can’t close the gap. Whoever gets the nod probably won’t learn it until sometime in August.

Virginia Tech
So who is Logan Thomas and what can be expected from him in 2011? In all likelihood, Thomas is the heir apparent to Tyrod Taylor behind center, which is going to be a tough act to follow. Thomas won’t be nearly the playmaker outside the pocket that Taylor was, but at 6-6 and 240 pounds, has the size and arm to stretch defenses vertically. He has limited experience and the next few months to flatten the learning curve and adjust to being one of the focal points of the offense.

Click for each team's spring preview
Atlantic Boston Coll | Clemson | Florida St | Maryland | NC St | Wake Forest
Coastal Duke | Georgia Tech | Miami | North Carolina | Virginia | Virginia Tech

2011 ACC Spring Preview 
- 2011 ACC Schedules & Game-By-Game Picks
- 2011 ACC Spring Buzz   
- 2011 ACC Spring Attitudes 
- 2011 ACC Big Spring Questions  
- 2011 ACC Positions To Watch  
- ACC Spring Rankings 

2011 ACC Pre-Spring Preview
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On