The ACC coaches are making the rounds in Bristol today and tomorrow as part of ESPN’s “Coaches Carwash” segments. Dabo Swinney was on the set of SportsCenter this morning with anchors Jay Crawford and Chris McKendry. Among the typical preseason questions, Swinney was asked to about Steve Spurrier’s reference to comments Deshaun Watson made about not losing to the Gamecocks. Another interesting Swinney response came when he was asked what is more important at Clemson, an ACC title or a win over South Carolina. (Spoiler alert: There was some dancing, but the answer is an ACC title). Take a listen to the segment below.
The Clemson football team picked up their 11th commitment for the 2016 class Friday when they received a verbal pledge from defensive end Xavier Kelly of Wichita, Kansas.
Kelly, originally a Kansas State commitment, chose the Tigers over the likes of Alabama, Georgia, and many others.
Tonight he joined us the program to explain why the time was right to pull the trigger on the Tiger program following the “All-in” cookout at Clemson last Friday.
We also got a feel for his attributes as a player, and more.
Clemson leads all schools with five selections to the 2015 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Football Team announced on Thursday.
The team was selected by a vote of 163 media members who were credentialed for the ACC Football Kickoff earlier this week at Pinehurst Resort.
Clemson sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson, who earlier this week was voted the ACC Preseason Player of the Year, is joined on the All-ACC preseason team by Tiger wide receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott, offensive guard Eric Mac Lain and defensive end Shaq Lawson.
Florida State and Virginia Tech each placed four student-athletes on the 2015 All-ACC preseason team, while Pitt had three selected.
Watson, who threw for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns despite being limited to eight games and five starts last season due to injuries, is joined in the offensive backfield by running backs James Conner of Pitt and Shadrach Thornton of NC State.
Conner, a 2014 All-American and the reigning ACC Player of the Year, led the conference and ranked among the nation’s leaders with 1,765 yards rushing and an ACC-record 26 touchdowns as a sophomore. Thornton, a rising senior, ranks 10th in NC State history with 2,369 career rushing yards and 12th all-time among Wolfpack ball-carriers with 16 career rushing touchdowns.
Clemson’s Williams and Scott are joined on the preseason All-ACC wide receiving corps by Pitt junior Tyler Boyd, the the first player in ACC history to compile 1,000 receiving yards in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Williams joined Boyd as one of four ACC players with at least 1,000 receiving yards in 2014, and Scott was close behind with 965.
Preseason All-ACC tight end recognition goes to Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges, a redshirt sophomore who broke in last season with 45 receptions for 526 yards and six TDs. He is joined on the offensive line by Florida State’s Roderick Johnson and Pitt’s Adam Bisnowaty at tackle. North Carolina’s Landon Turner and Clemson’s Mac Lain man the guard spots, while Duke’s Matt Skura was selected at the center position.
Three defensive ends were selected due to ties in the voting, with Virginia Tech’s Dadi Lhomme Nicolas joining Clemson’s Lawson and Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins. Adam Gotsis of defending Coastal Division champion Georgia Tech is a choice at defensive tackle, along with Virginia Tech’s Luther Maddy.
Florida State’s Terrance Smith, Wake Forest’s Brandon Chubb and Louisville’s James Burgess form the preseason All-ACC linebacker corps.
The secondary features a trio of returning All-Americans in cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey of Florida State and Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, as well as Duke safety Jeremy Cash. Virginia’s Quin Blanding, the 2014 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, also earned a spot at safety on the preseason team.
The special teams include junior All-America placekicker Roberto Aguayo, whose 293 total points in two seasons already ranks eighth on Florida State’s all-time list. Wake Forest’s Alex Kinal earned the spot at punter, while North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer is the choice at return specialist.
Pitt’s Conner led the overall voting, being chosen by 148 of the 163 media members casting ballots. Florida State’s Aguayo received 141 votes.
Others reaching or topping the century mark were Pitt’s Boyd (137 votes), Duke’s Cash (116), Florida State’s Ramsey (115), Virginia Tech’s Fuller (112), Duke’s Skura (111), North Carolina’s Turner (108), Virginia Tech’s Nicolas (108), Florida State’s Johnson (104) and Clemson’s Watson (100).
Boyd, Conner, Aguayo, Fuller and Ramsey were all named first-team All-ACC last year, while Scott, Williams, Nicolas, Gotsis, Smith, Cash, Blanding and Kinal all earned second-team All-ACC. Switzer, Hodges, Turner, Skura and Rankins were 2014 third-team All-ACC selections.
2015 All-ACC Preseason Football Team
WR – Tyler Boyd, Jr., Pitt
WR – Mike Williams, Jr., Clemson
WR – Artavis Scott, So. Clemson
TE – Bucky Hodges, r-So., Virginia Tech
OT – Roderick Johnson, So., Florida State
OT – Adam Bisnowaty, r-Jr., Pitt
OG – Landon Turner, r-Sr., North Carolina
OG – Eric Mac Lain, Gr., Clemson
C – Matt Skura, r-Sr., Duke
QB – Deshaun Watson, So., Clemson
RB – James Conner, Jr., Pitt
RB – Shadrach Thornton, Sr., NC State
DE – Dadi Lhomme Nicolas. r-Sr., Virginia Tech
DE – Shaq Lawson, Jr., Clemson
DE – Sheldon Rankins, Sr., Louisville
DT – Adam Gotsis, Sr., Georgia Tech
DT – Luther Maddy, r-Sr., Virginia Tech
LB – Terrance Smith, r-Sr., Florida State
LB – Brandon Chubb, r-Sr., Wake Forest
LB – James Burgess, Sr., Louisville
CB – Jalen Ramsey, Jr., Florida State
CB – Kendall Fuller, Jr., Virginia Tech
S – Jeremy Cash, r-Sr., Duke
S – Quin Blanding, So., Virginia
PK – Roberto Aguayo, r-Jr., Florida State
P – Alex Kinal, r-Sr., Wake Forest
KR – Ryan Switzer, So., North Carolina
Dabo Swinney has been busy making the rounds here at the ACC Football Kickoff. Earlier today the media picked Clemson to win the Atlantic Division and the overall ACC title, the first time that’s happened since 2013. That year the Tigers ended up finishing behind Florida State in the final standings. That might be the reason why Swinney isn’t putting much stock in the media’s projections. [Read more…]
Clemson is the preseason favorite to claim the Atlantic Coast Conference football championship, according to a poll of 158 media members in attendance at the 2015 ACC Football Kickoff at Pinehurst Resort.