Around the ACC: Tigers' LBs, DLs lead ACC; Duke on top-20 recruiting pace

FSU, Clemson playing toughest non-league schedules; Wake Forest building indoor practice facility

Clemson spring football game - DeShawn Williams

Photo by Mark Crammer

Clemson spring football game - DeShawn Williams

Clemson's defensive line and linebackers have been ranked as the ACC's best at those positions.

The Tigers' linebacking crew, led by Stephone Anthony, gets the nod over Duke (David Helton, Kelby Brown) and Syracuse (Dyshawn Davis, Cam Lynch).

Depth will be one of Clemson's strengths, with Tony Steward and Ben Boulware manning the 'will' position and a large group of players, led by Travis Blanks, Korrin Wiggins and T.J. Burrell, competing for the 'sam' spot.

Clemson's interior defensive line, which includes returning senior starters Grady Jarrett, Josh Watson and DeShawn Williams, is ranked ahead of units from Florida State and Virginia.

Seminoles, Tigers facing toughest non-league schedules: The Sporting News ranks Florida State and Clemson 1-2 among ACC schools in playing the most challenging non-conference schedules, while NC State and Wake Forest will play the weakest non-league slates.

Miami is ranked third behind FSU and Clemson, followed by Virginia, Syracuse, Boston College, UNC, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Duke, Wake Forest and NC State.

Twelve of the ACC's 14 teams will play at least one game against other 'Power 5' conference teams, led by FSU, which plays three - Oklahoma State, Notre Dame and Florida. Clemson has two on its schedule - Georgia and South Carolina - as does Syracuse.

Blue Devils making big recruiting move: Duke coach David Cutcliffe has never had a top-50 recruiting class, but that's about to change as the Blue Devils assemble an impressive haul of talent for 2015.

Duke's class of 17 is currently ranked No. 19 nationally by Rivals, and is comprised primarily of three-star players.

The Blue Devils have two four-star members of ESPN's Top 300 - tight end Tyler Petite of Moraga, California, who picked Duke over Southern Cal, and wide receiver Keyston Fuller of Griffin, Georgia, who picked the Blue Devils over Auburn.

California and Georgia have been hotbeds for Cutcliffe and his staff this year. Joining Petite are Californians Reno Rosene, an offensive lineman from Westlake Village, and Aaron Young, a wide receiver from Murrieta.

From Georgia, Duke has plucked defensive back Jordan Hayes from Loganville, defensive end Trevon McSwain from Sugar Hill, defensive end Zach Morris from Ringgold, defensive end Marquies Price from Fort Valley, and athlete T.J. Rahming from Power Springs.

The Blue Devils have commitments from two quarterbacks - DePriest Turner from Mobile, Alabama and Quintin Harris of Watertown, Connecticut.

Louisville plans 'black-out' for opener: Coach Bobby Petrino has unveiled new all-black uniforms for Louisville's Labor Day opener against Miami, declaring the game a 'black-out' to commemorate the Cardinals' first game as a member of the ACC.

"I've always felt it was important for your players to look good and feel good, and then you have a chance to go out and play well," Petrino said.

Syracuse adjusts for 'no-huddle' attack: Syracuse experimented with a fast-paced, no-huddle offense a couple of years ago under former coach Doug Marrone. Now the Orange are fully embracing the concept under new offensive coordinator George McDonald.

As a result, Syracuse strength and conditioning coach Will Hicks has adjusted the Orange's off-season workouts, cutting down significantly on rest periods between drills.

Deacons latest to make indoor move: Following a conference-wide trend, Wake Forest has announced plans to build a $21 million indoor practice facility for football. The building will feature roll-up doors and a 120-yard artificial-turf field, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

The building will be named for former Deacon football player Bob McCreary, who donated $7.5 million to the cause.

Syracuse is finishing up its new indoor facility this fall, and new buildings are set for completion in 2015 at NC State and Virginia Tech. Miami is the only ACC school without plans for an indoor facility.

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Comments » 4

BlueRidgeBengal writes:

What's the status of Kellen Jones? I've seen no mention of him anywhere for months,yet he's listed on the two-deep in Sporting News preview.

BrandonRink writes:

in response to BlueRidgeBengal:

What's the status of Kellen Jones? I've seen no mention of him anywhere for months,yet he's listed on the two-deep in Sporting News preview.

He sat out the spring and didn't land on the summer depth chart like Charone Peake did. Should be able to compete in fall camp after cross-training at a couple spots last year.

robtthetiger44#293707 writes:

As a cradle to grave Tiger fan and graduate of Clemson, you would be hard pressed to find anyone that has retained memories of games and particular plays of certain games dating back 50 years. My first live game was the 1957 Orange Bowl and while just a real young little fellow, I can honestly say I don't remember too much of the game. I remember wetting my pants because my daddy was so excited in the second half, I didn't dare ask him to take me to the bathroom. Nobody knew what I did because I never got up so you could see anything until the game was over and we had lost 27 to 21. Colorado had us 20 to 0 at half but we came storming back in the second half to take a 21 to 20 lead but blew the game in the end. I don't remember what happened but that was the score. My point is this: Our defense this season may be as good as the '81 defense and they were good. It was hard to make 3 yards on them on the ground. I honestly believe our defense this year will be as good as the '81 defense was against the run. Depending on how the secondary plays, this may very well be the best defensive team Clemson has ever had. That's a mouth full but I think it is very possible they may be just that good. If our young guys start clicking on offense, this may very well be the best team Clemson has ever had and that's a real big mouth full. Let's all just sit back and watch our opponents try to make a 3rd and 3 via the ground game and see how much success they have. It should be fun and exciting to watch. I'm ready to go this Saturday. How 'bout y'all?

33dtb writes:

....."Clemson's defensive line and linebackers have been ranked as the ACC's best "........

I hope for the day we hear this about our O-Line ..........

Then we'll get back to "owning" the Gamecocks. regardless of how they recruit....

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