Monday, July 21, 2008

ACC summer football meetings begin

  • Freshman quarterback Mike Glennon should be well prepared when he reports to N.C. State after spending time working out with his brother this summer.

Sean Glennon, who helped quarterback Virginia Tech to an ACC championship last season, said he supported highly recruited younger brother Mike’s decision to attend N.C. State.

“He has the chance to play right away,” Sean said Sunday at the ACC football media kickoff in Greensboro, Ga. “He’s in a good system for his strengths, and he’s in an up-and-coming program.”

Mike Glennon will join Daniel Evans, Harrison Beck, Justin Burke and Russell Wilson in a crowded competition for the starting quarterback job in August. Sean said it’s yet to be decided whether Mike will play immediately or redshirt.

“If the team needs him, he’s all for going in there,” Sean said. “He knows it might be better for his career to redshirt and learn (the offense). Either way, everything’s going to work out for him there.”

Sean stands 6-foot-4 and said Mike is 3 inches taller. Sean – who’s not known for his foot speed – claims to be more athletic than Mike.

Sean said Mike’s intelligence will help him in N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien’s system, which helped groom Matt Ryan at Boston College as a successful drop-back passer.

“He can see over the line,” Sean said. “He has a big arm, I think a stronger arm than I had at that age. I wouldn’t say my arm right now is much stronger than his. Maybe a little bit. Physically we’re similar.”

Sean is one of two players representing Virginia Tech at the ACC’s annual summer media event. He shared time with speedy Tyrod Taylor last season and isn’t sure if Virginia Tech will continue using a two-quarterback system.

According to Sean, coach Frank Beamer has told the players he would like to settle on one quarterback but will continue using two, if necessary.

  • First-year Duke coach David Cutcliffe might have ventured into the realm of political incorrectness when he said the players he inherited were fat.

Defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase doesn’t dispute Cutcliffe’s characterization.

“You really can’t object to something when you haven’t done anything to change it,” Oghobaase said. “If we were a fat football team and we won eight or nine football games last year, well, we were a fat football team but we won. We were a fat football team and we lost every game except the Northwestern game.”

The Blue Devils faded late in some narrow defeats during a 1-11 season that resulted in coach Ted Roof’s firing. North Carolina and Navy were among the opponents who defeated Duke with late scores.

Like many of the Blue Devils’ players, Oghobaase has set out to become slimmer and increase his stamina during the offseason. His body fat fell from 20 percent in January to 15 percent in April, and he predicts he will show another decrease when he is tested again soon.

  • While driving west through Georgia on Saturday evening to attend the ACC media kickoff, I pulled off Interstate 20 to do a guest segment via cell phone on Peter Brown’s show on Sporting News Radio.

Brown declared that North Carolina was his surprise pick to win the ACC’s Coastal Division. The Tar Heels are a trendy pick to move up in a weak division after posting a 4-8 record in coach Butch Davis’ first season.

North Carolina has highly regarded skill players at wide receiver (Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Tate), quarterback (T.J. Yates) and tailback (Greg Little).

“This is the turnaround year,” said Nicks, a former Independence High player.

Nicks said he spent time this summer in Charlotte with former high school teammates Joe Cox and Mohamed Massaquoi of Georgia and Dominique Lindsay of East Carolina.

Massaquoi told Nicks that Georgia is moving him exclusively back to the “X” wide receiver position after he played in the slot at times last season.

  • Four years ago, Vance Walker’s mother was calling around shortly before signing day to college coaches lobbying for a Division I-A scholarship offer for her son.

When Janet Walker called East Carolina, Vance had offers from Appalachian State and Georgia Southern of the Football Championship Subdivision’s Southern Conference. After East Carolina came on board, Georgia Tech gave Vance his first I-A offer.

The Fort Mill native committed immediately, and now is rated the No. 4 defensive tackle prospect for the 2009 NFL draft by Walker, who weighed just 240 pounds as a high school senior defensive tackle, has retained his quickness and added 60 pounds.

His bench press has increased 95 pounds to 415.

“I really had no control over who offered me, and we were trying to get in touch with as many coaches as possible to see who was out there,” Walker said. “There’s no reason why [another player] is better than me just because he weighs more.”

  • N.C. State tight end Anthony Hill said his knee is back to 100 percent.

He was expected to contend for All-ACC honors last season but required surgery for a ligament lorn during a workout shortly before preseason practice began. Coach Tom O’Brien has said he expects Hill to be an All-ACC-caliber player.

Hill has even higher goals.

“I definitely want to be the best tight end in the whole country,” he said.

  • Defending ACC champ Virginia Tech will begin its season Aug. 30 at Bank of America Stadium against East Carolina.

Defensive end Orion Martin said he has been outside the Carolina Panthers’ home stadium but never inside.

“Anytime you get to play in a pro stadium you get a little extra excited,” Martin said. “It’s going to be our first game and playing in a new stadium, we’re excited about that.”