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ACC FOOTBALL NOTES: Local products adjust to new positions
GREENSBORO, N.C.—Three former area high school football standouts will be manning new positions for their respective Atlantic Coast Conference schools this fall.
Helping to fill a need, Colonial Forge graduate Tim Scott will move to safety as a senior at North Carolina after starting for three seasons at cornerback. He made 49 tackles and two interceptions last season.
“He’ll do well there,” UNC quarterback Marquise Williams said. “He’s aggressive, and you can’t be a nice guy back there. He works his tail off, and he can bench 355. I think the guy is ready for it.”
At Duke, Chancellor graduate Chris Holmes has moved to linebacker after practicing exclusively at safety while redshirting last fall. Holmes, who now weighs 215 pounds, is listed as the primary backup to starting weak-side linebacker David Helton.
“He loves it,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “He’s so excited. He hasn’t played in a game yet, but he can run and he’s really talented. He’s still got a lot to learn, but he’s going to learn on the run. He’s going to get some playing time.”
Another former Charger, redshirt junior Sam Marshall, is now a reserve offensive tackle at Duke after previously practicing as a defensive lineman. Marshall, who stands 6-foot-7, has bulked up to 285 pounds.
SEMINOLES FAVORED AGAIN
Defending national champion Florida State and its Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Jameis Winston, are overwhelming choices to dominate the ACC again.
The Seminoles (14–0 in 2013) received 104 of 108 votes from media members at the annual ACC Kickoff event. Virginia Tech and Florida State got two votes apiece.
Winston, FSU’s sophomore quarterback, was chosen on 99 ballots as preseason player of the year. Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley got six votes, and Miami tailback Duke Johnson, Duke receiver Jamison Crowder and Virginia Tech quarterback Brendan Motley (who has yet to play a down of college football and may not start) got one each.
The Hokies were picked to finish third in the Coastal Division behind Miami, and defending division champion Duke. Virginia, coming off a 2–10 season, was picked to finish last in the Coastal, behind No. 4 North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh.
ACC newcomer Louisville was chosen third in the Atlantic Division behind FSU and Clemson. The rest of the predicted order was Syracuse, N.C. State, Boston College and Wake Forest.
ODD VOTE FOR MOTLEY
It came as no surprise that Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, received 99 of the 108 votes for preseason ACC player of the year.
The shock came with the rest of the vote. Virginia Tech sophomore quarterback Brenden Motley received one vote, tying him for third with Miami running back Duke Johnson and Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder, both of whom received first or second-team All-ACC honors last season.
The 6-foot-4, 219-pound Motley, who has yet to see game action but is listed atop the Hokies depth chart heading into training camp, still hasn’t earned a starting gig, and he figures to get some stiff competition from senior Mark Leal and junior transfer Michael Brewer.
Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, a projected high NFL draft pick, was second with six votes.
BAD GAINS FOR WILLIAMS
The Hokies would love for freshman Marshawn Williams to play a big part in their rushing success this season, but right now his biggest gains have come from bad eating habits.
Tech coach Frank Beamer said Williams has put on some unwanted weight between the end of spring practice and now.
“His weight got up a little bit this summer, so we’ve got to get that back down,” Beamer said of Williams, who is listed at 5-foot-11 and 224 pounds in the Hokies media guide. “He’s got to do what’s good for him and what’s in the best interests for him and the program.
“There’s no question about his talent,” Beamer added. “There’s no question I thought he had a good spring practice, but it’s one of those things—he’s a young guy and he’s got to learn how to make progress from spring to the fall, too.”
Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442