ACC Quarterbacks All Over The Board

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  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    ACC Quarterbacks All Over The Board

    Friday, June 25, 2010, 11:00AM

    By Rich Tandler

    With the "ACC Kickoff" just about a month away, and with practice starting soon after that, the ACC teams’ quarterback situations are all over the board. Some have four-year starters returning while others are scrambling to fill the signal-caller spot. Here is a look at the confidence level we have in each team’s projected starting quarterback.


    Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech—In his junior year, Taylor learned when to run and when to throw. He kept plenty of drives alive with his feet, but as often as not, it was because he scrambled behind the line until a receiver broke open rather than because he took off downfield at the first hint of pressure. If he can maintain his 2009 average of 9.5 yards per attempt and his 149 rating—and every wide receiver who caught a pass last year is back—the Hokies offense could be a force.

    Jacory Harris, Miami—Harris had surgery on the thumb on his right (throwing) hand shortly after the Hurricanes’ bowl game. Although the operation on his tendon was described as routine, he did not throw during spring practice. That should not slow him down in 2010. Harris’ performance was key to the team’s success last year as he threw four touchdowns and eight interceptions in Miami’s four losses, and had a ratio of 20 TD’s to 9 INT’s in their nine wins.

    Christian Ponder, Florida State—Ponder was on pace to surpass 4,000 passing yards last year when a shoulder injury knocked him out of the last four games of the season. He appears to be fully recovered from that injury, and he appears on many Heisman Trophy watch lists. Ponder seems to have it all going for him—a solid offensive line and an experienced corps of receivers.

    Joshua Nesbitt, Georgia Tech—While he loses leading receiver Demaryius Thomas, who accounted for two-thirds of Nesbitt’s 1,701 passing yards, to the NFL draft, passing isn’t the primary part of his job. Nesbitt, who has asked that he be referred to by his full first name instead of Josh, is the trigger man in the Yellow Jackets’ option attack. He is the master of that, and he makes Georgia Tech a favorite to defend their ACC title.


    Dave Wilson, NC State—After missing all of spring practice to play baseball, Wilson was drafted in the fourth round by the Colorado Rockies. While Wilson said that he fully intends to play football for the Wolfpack this fall, he also said that he wants to sign with the Rockies and report to a minor league team. Certainly some can pull off the two-sport deal successfully, but one has to wonder if Wilson will be at peak effectiveness in late October and November as the football season wears on. Backup Mike Glennon is capable of starting should Wilson falter.

    T. J. Yates, North Carolina—There are reports that Yates was being pushed hard for the starting job by freshman Bryn Renner. Assuming that he hangs on to the job, he will have a couple of things going for him. He has a pretty good receiver coming back in Gene Little and, since the Tar Heels’ defense should be among the best in the nation, he won’t be asked to win very many games.

    Kyle Parker, Clemson—The Rockies like those ACC quarterbacks. They took Parker in the first round of the MLB draft, and there is a good possibility that Colorado will throw enough money at him to make him forget about the two-sport deal and become a full-time baseball player. If Parker, who threw for 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last year, does take the Rockies money and run, inexperienced sophomore Taj Boyd should get the job. Parker was at about half of the Tigers’ spring practice sessions, and Boyd took the first-team snaps when Parker wasn’t there.

    Marc Verica, Virginia—If Verica can avoid throwing the ball to guys in the wrong-colored shirts, he might be OK. When injuries and academic issues forced him into the starting spot in 2008, he responded fairly well, completing 63.8 percent of his passes. However, he threw 16 interceptions to eight touchdowns. After seeing just mop-up duties last year, he will need to flip that TD-INT ratio around if he’s going to hang on to the job. With Verica entering his senior year, and the Cavs starting over with new coach Mike London, Virginia may turn to one of two freshmen, Michael Strauss or Ross Metheny.


    Sean Renfree, Duke—Replacing a four-year starter is not an easy thing to do, especially since Thaddeus Lewis helped bring the Blue Devils back to respectability. Renfree played fairly well in a limited role last year, and the sophomore will get the starting job as the only quarterback on the roster who has thrown an NCAA pass. On the plus side he will have three receivers who had over 500 receiving yards last year including Donovan Varner, who surpassed 1,000 yards receiving. On the down side, he missed all of spring practice while rehabbing a knee injury, never a good development for a first-time starter.

    Jamarr Robinson, Maryland—With Chris Turner, who started for most of the past three years, gone, there was a three-way competition for the Terps’ starting job. Robinson, who played fairly well when Turner was hurt for tough games against Virginia Tech and Florida State, beat out Danny O’Brien and C. J. Brown. Leading rusher Da’Rel Scott and leading receiver Torrey Smith both return, but the Terps are keeping their fingers crossed that an inexperienced offensive line can gel in time to give Scott running room and to give Robinson time to throw.

    Dave Shinskie, Boston College—The good news is that Shinskie is the returning starter. The bad news is that coach Frank Spaziani said that the team’s quarterback situation is in “intensive care”. Shinskie is a 26-year-old sophomore, having played minor-league baseball for several years. He completed just over 50 percent of his passes last year and threw 15 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. While it’s likely that Shinskie is under center for the Eagles, true freshmen and early enrollees Chase Rettig and Joshua Bordner and redshirt sophomore Michael Marscovetra all are in the mix.

    Skyler Jones, Wake Forest—He’s the default replacement for four-year starter Riley Skinner at the moment since both of Jones’ competitors for the job, Ted Stachitas and Brendan Cross, missed spring practice due to injuries. Along with the change at quarterback, coach Jim Grobe has decided to go with a new offense, a run-based option scheme. Jones’ running ability gives him the edge going in, but there will be competition in August with freshman Tanner Price also in the mix.

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