Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday - for Football | Syracusefan.com

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Football

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Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
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Welcome to Annual Medical Checkup Day!


August 11 is Annual Medical Checkup Day, a yearly reminder of the importance of regular routine visits to maintain good health and prevent serious disease.

Why Are Annual Checkups Important?

The annual checkup is an opportunity for patients to meet with their physicians and communicate any current concerns, test for potential issues, and make sure the patient is in good health. Many diseases, including cancers, have improved outcomes when identified and treated early. Regular checkups let patients proactively manage their health.

SU News


QB Garrett Shrader meets with the media after practice.

Syracuse Football August 10th Practice Recap (SI; video; Schwartz)

Watch a recap of practice with comments from Wes Durham and Garrett Shrader in the video above.

Once a history-making freshman, Bergeron is embracing role as a leader (PS; $; Leiker)

Dino Babers remembers being wowed by the improvement offensive lineman Matthew Bergeron made between his first and second starts in a Syracuse football uniform.

After Ryan Alexander departed the program midway through the 2019 season, Bergeron was thrown into the starting rotation. He made his first start at right tackle against Florida State the last week of October after being one of the top reserve players through the opening weeks.

It was the first time since 2002 a true freshman started at the position for Syracuse.

Bergeron played a season-high 91 snaps that game and made five knock-down blocks. The following week he had four knockdowns in 81 snaps. By Bergeron’s fourth start, Babers “wasn’t happy with some coaches” over how long it took to get him in the lineup.

“If that guy is that good, how come we didn’t know it?” Babers recalled earlier this month.

This year will be Bergeron’s fourth with the program. He’s made 28-consecutive starts at left tackle, making the switch from the right side of the offensive line during the back half of the 2020 season.

He’s one of six players who will lead the Orange this season as a team captain, having already been elected alongside linebacker Mikel Jones and kicker Andre Szmyt. The other three captains will be voted upon closer to the start of the season.

Bergeron’s chemistry with his teammates is evident as ever at fall camp, and so is their respect for the teammate who Babers said has “matured beyond his years.”
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Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse | NFL Draft Scouting Report (PFN; Hodgkinson)

Syracuse running back Sean Tucker possesses electric speed and an endearing social-media presence. In two seasons with the Orange, he’s become a much loved and highly productive college football RB with multiple accolades and records to his name. Heading into his third season, can Tucker translate that into a legitimate candidacy to be one of the top RBs in the 2023 NFL Draft? As per his scouting report, I’m pleased to confirm he can.

Sean Tucker NFL draft profile

Tucker is no stranger to production and accolades. A two-time All-MIAA “A” Conference honoree during his high school career for Calvert Hall, he was named to the Baltimore Touchdown Club “Super 22” team as a result of consecutive 14 touchdowns and 1,000+ rushing yard seasons. While that didn’t translate to the recruiting trail as a three-star prospect and the 59th RB in the nation, Tucker found the perfect scheme fit in Syracuse.

Considered a redshirt candidate heading into his freshman season, injury opened the door for Tucker in 2020. In seven starts, he tallied 626 rushing yards and four touchdowns while compiling three 100+ yard games (Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, and Liberty). His rushing total was the third most by a Syracuse freshman RB. Meanwhile, Tucker’s 69.6 yards per game ranked second in the same category. An ACC Running Back of the Week award against Notre Dame set the scene for what would follow as a sophomore.

Tucker established himself as one of the top running backs in the nation last fall. Registering a ridiculous nine games of 100+ yards — including seven consecutive — the sophomore sensation set a Syracuse RB single-season record with 1,496 rushing yards. Additionally, he found the end zone 12 times.

As a result of his electric performances, Tucker earned All-American and All-ACC recognition while being named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award.

  • Position: Running Back
  • School: Syracuse
  • Current Year: Junior
  • Height/Weight: 5’10”, 205 pounds

Sean Tucker scouting report

The 2023 NFL Draft running back class is screaming out for a contender to challenge Bijan Robinson‘s presumed dominance. The Texas RB is earning early first-round consideration, but can anyone elevate their game to garner the same Day 1 respect?

As one of the top returning running backs in the nation, and with a game-breaking speed unmatched by almost all of his contemporaries, can Tucker be that contender? His scouting report certainly contains plenty of pizzaz, is soaked with strengths, and is packed with pro potential.

Tucker’s strengths

In his recent roundup of Syracuse prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft, Pro Football Network Draft Director Cam Mellor christened him “Track Speed” Tucker, which seems like a relevant place to bring the Orange RB’s scouting report.

A former 55m, 100m, and 200m sprint champion, Tucker has legitimate track speed. As we’ve seen before, that doesn’t always translate to the football field, but in the Syracuse RB’s case, it most certainly does.

Find yourself a linebacker or defensive back who can go toe to toe with Tucker down the length of the field and you’ve found a rare talent indeed. Once Tucker’s in the daylight, it’s goodnight for his opponent, leaving them only with dreams of catching him and nightmares of the 5’10”, 205-pound shadow monster that has just effortlessly glided past them.

Yet, it isn’t just speed that Tucker possesses. The 55m sprint is the ultimate track and field test of acceleration, and there’s no coincidence that the Syracuse RB was champion in consecutive years while at Calvert Hill. Tucker possesses excellent explosion, with the ability to create easy space and yardage off the tackles. Meanwhile, if he finds a hole to exploit in the interior, he’s quickly able to turn that opportunity into a big gain.

It’s easy to see Tucker’s speed and instantly pigeonhole him as an exclusive outside-zone rusher who makes his money simply outpacing everybody off-tackle. However, he boasts multiple elements of elite running back play, which enables him to be more than a one-dimensional threat. While the Syracuse RB is adept at following designed running lanes, Tucker has the vision to seek out other opportunities when there’s a roadblock in his way.


Vision without the athletic attributes to act upon them only gets you so far. Thankfully, Tucker is fleet of foot, with light and rapid footwork that enables him to change course with relative ease. The Syracuse RB has also demonstrated the ability to plant his foot and cut to leave defenders grasping at air, even within the tight confines of the line of scrimmage.

In open space, Tucker utilizes cuts and stutter steps to put his opponent in a pickle and create extra yardage. Rushing with a low center of gravity, Tucker combines all these elements to provide an elusive threat as a pure RB. It’s rare to see him taken down on first contact. Unsurprisingly, his 3.1 yards-after-contact average was one of the highest in college football last fall. Over half of his rushing yardage came after contact.

Despite a remarkably high workload last season, Tucker fumbled just once and that was recovered. Watching the tape, it’s easy to see that the Syracuse RB takes pride in ball security and routinely secures the ball in a manner where it’s difficult for his opponent to force a fumble. Don’t underestimate that value when teams evaluate him ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.

As NFL teams demand more from their backs, evaluating a college rusher’s ability to contribute as a pass protector and as a receiving weapon is important. Although Tucker hasn’t handled a heavy workload as a receiver, there are signs of promise. He appears to have a natural pass-catching style when called upon. His RB skill set lends itself to after-catch yardage. Furthermore, there were examples in the games studied of Tucker staying strong under contact in the middle of the field to secure the catch.

While pass protection is a clear area of improvement which we’ll get to shortly, there are some positives here too. Tucker shows willingness and will routinely look for work when the play breaks down. He leads with his shoulder to halt the pass rusher’s progress to his quarterback, and there were several instances where the Syracuse QB bought some time for Tommy DeVito or Garrett Shrader.

Tucker’s area of improvement

Tucker’s rare track speed and acceleration, combined with his vision and footwork, make for an alluring 2023 NFL Draft RB prospect. Another season of exceptional production should ensure that he’s talked about as an upper-echelon prospect in this running back class. However, there are some elements to his scouting report that may limit his potential NFL value, and therefore, halt his accent to the summit.

While he’s hardly diminutive at 5’10” and 205 pounds, there was little evidence in the games studied of a power element to Tucker’s game. The Syracuse RB can win in the tight confines of the interior with footwork and vision, but if you need a running back to lower his shoulder and barrel over some defensive linemen and linebackers to bulldoze into the end zone, Tucker probably isn’t going to be the guy for you.
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Watch as Dino Babers & Syracuse Football Players Preview Orange 2022 Season | Full Press Conference

Syracuse DB Ja'Had Carter back at practice, upbeat after being carted off in previous session (Day 7 videos) (247sports.com; Bailey)

Syracuse football safety Ja'Had Carter was back at practice one day after being carted off on a stretcher. The third-year cover man watched the open period of practice on Wednesday in casual attire, cheering on his position-mates during 1-on-1s and joking around with other members of the program.

Twenty-four hours earlier, Carter was down on the same field for about 10 to 15 minutes after suffering an upper-body injury during a goal-line period. He was hospitalized as a precuation, head coach Dino Babers said after practice on Tuesday, and had feeling in all of his limbs and extremities at that time.

With SU Athletics not expected to provide additional information, the nature and severity of Carter's injury remain unclear.

Carter is the Orange's most productive returning safety having started 18 games over the last two years. He stepped into a starting role at boundary safety in 2020, earning Freshman All-American honors. Despite missing four games last year with an apparent arm injury, he's totaled 102 tackles, two interceptions, four pass break-ups, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble over the past two seasons.

"Ja'Had's one of our guys," Babers said. "Ja'Had's one of our best players."
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How Football Legend Ernie Davis Left A Lasting Impact On Elmira (981thehawk.com; Pitcher)

Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love Syracuse sports. I've been a big fan of the Orange since I went to my first basketball game when the Orangemen took on Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas.

It was the game that cheerleader Michelle Munn (from Sayre) fell and fractured her skull when she landed hard on the floor. It changed cheerleading guidelines for many years after that. By the way, Michelle is married and doing fine and lives in Florida.

I'm also a big fan of the Syracuse Orange football team but there hasn't been much to cheer about lately but this could be their year to turn it around. No matter how they are doing now, they have a rich history of gridiron greats.

Did you know that one of the Cuse all-time greats lived just down the road from Binghamton? He wasn't only a local hero but he is one of the most important figures in ALL of sports history.

Syracuse Football All-Time Great Ernie Davis

I'm talking about Ernie Davis. Davis wasn't born in Elmira, but he moved to Elmira when he was 12 to live with his mom and stepfather. Davis became a three-sport athlete at Elmira Free Academy. He lead the Elmira Free Academy to a 52 game winning streak in basketball, and was given the nickname "The Elmira Express".
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Sam-Hartman-Wake-Forest-football-ACC-2022-college-football-Sam-Hartman-Wake-Forest-768x432.jpg


Wake Forest Football's Sam Hartman Dealt Shocking Blow Ahead Of 2022 College Season (clutchpoints.com; Capurso)

Wake Forest football was looking forward to building off of last year’s 11-3 season and a trip to the ACC title game, led by star quarterback Sam Hartman. Hartman and the Demon Deacons were dealt a shocking blow on Wednesday morning. Les Johns of 247 Sports has the details.

Breaking from Wake Forest Fall Camp: quarterback Sam Hartman is out indefinitely. Statement below. pic.twitter.com/1uAi78Ny15
— Les Johns (@Les_Johns) August 10, 2022

Wake Forest football quarterback Sam Hartman has been ruled out “indefinitely” with a ‘non-football related condition.” Hartman’s return timetable is currently unknown. The school said that the Demon Deacons star sought medical attention after a workout on Tuesday.

The second-team all-ACC quarterback was a full participant at Monday’s practice and is present at the team’s practice Wednesday, though he is not suited up. Hartman was fresh off of leading Wake Forest football to their best season in program history.
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Syracuse Football: Duce Chestnut says Orange’s goal is to be top-10 team (itlh; Adler)

Syracuse football sophomore defensive back Duce Chestnut and his Orange teammates have some big-time aspirations ahead of the 2022 season, and I absolutely love that confidence.

The ‘Cuse lost several close games a stanza ago, and the squad just missed out on a potential post-season bowl berth by finishing up 2021 at 5-7. Still, it was a solid improvement from the 2020 term, when the Orange went a woeful 1-10.


Now, there are various reasons that some national pundits are optimistic that Syracuse football can reach at least six victories in 2022, but at the same time, there are numerous question marks, too.

As such, when the Atlantic Coast Conference’s pre-season media poll got released not too long ago, the ‘Cuse was picked to finish in last place within the Atlantic Division during the upcoming campaign.

Syracuse football star DB Duce Chestnut says the Orange will be better in 2022.

To get to a bowl game this coming season, the ‘Cuse will have to navigate a potentially challenging schedule. The team will also have to improve its passing attack, its special teams, and hold up on the offensive and defensive lines, among other things.

Duce Chestnut, who was among the ACC’s best freshmen defensive players a stanza ago, recognizes this. So do his teammates. But, simultaneously, they believe the Orange can have a special 2022 stanza.


Per a recent article from Michael Gross of SyracuseOnSI, Chestnut said in part, “Our goal is to be top 10 in the country and we know we can even be top five when we’re playing at our best. It’s definitely going to be better this year.”
Naturally, some of my fellow ‘Cuse fans may read this quote from Duce Chestnut and have some reservations about it, given that head coach Dino Babers has only tallied one winning campaign in his tenure on the Hill.

Do I think that Syracuse football is going to reside in the top five or even the top 10 of the national polls in 2022? I do not. Do I think that the Orange can notch six, seven, maybe eight triumphs and head to a bowl game? I absolutely do.
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ACC football order of finish predictions for 2022 season, via Phil Steele (247sports.com; Crawford)

ACC football order-of-finish predictions are out ahead of the 2022 season, the latest projections arriving from Phil Steele, one of the industry's veterans and leaders in accuracy for early prognostications. The conference was dealt a critical blow to its elite quarterback on Wednesday following Wake Forest's announcement that Sam Hartman, who leads one of the nation's top returning offensive units, is out indefinitely with a medical condition.

His availability may critically affect the Demon Deacons' overall value in the league standings as a contender after Dave Clawson's team finished a few plays short of a league championship last fall. He's one of the top 25 quarterbacks nationally and a headliner in a conference hoping to get back to the College Football Playoff after a one-year hiatus.

Numerous first-year coaches are making their debuts in the ACC this fall as well, something to watch as you make your own conference-wide predictions before the games begin later this month.

Here's a look at Steele's ACC order-of-finish predictions and our thoughts on each selection:

SYRACUSE ORANGE

Projected finish: 7th in ACC Atlantic
What Steele says: "Syracuse will likely be favored in four of their first five games, but would likely need to pull some upsets after that to reach a bowl."
247Sports' Take: Will Dino Babers' team really bring up the rear of the ACC with playmakers like Garrett Shrader and Sean Tucker back offensively? Given the holes elsewhere on the team, it's highly possible the Orange fail to meet program expectations. Missing out on the postseason could doom Babers, whose seat is warm, but not the hottest in the conference heading into September.
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30 Minutes In Orange Nation 8-10 (ESPN; radio; Orange Nation)

Steve and Paulie discuss last night’s wild Yankees loss to the Mariners before they are joined by Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader. Later, they react to some news from ESPN’s Pete Thamel regarding Coach Babers potential buyout.

Wes Durham "On The Block" 8-10 (ESPN; radio; Axe)

Wes Durham, ACC Network host, joins Brent in studio to discuss the ACC Network road trip, his expectations for SU and the rest of the league this season, and his favorite spots in Syracuse.

On The Block On Demand 8-10 (ESPN; radio; Axe)

Brent discusses the Pete Thamel’s news on Dino Babers potential contract buyout and what this means for the Orange. Later, Brent discusses the new NIL collective to support Syracuse athletics.

Syracuse football 2022 opponent preview: Clemson Tigers (TNIAAM; Ostrowski)

We’re past the halfway point of our Syracuse Orange football schedule preview. Coming off a game where they host NC State, SU will hit the road for the first time in over a month. They’ll do so against this next ACC opponent, who present possibly the toughest matchup on the entire ‘Cuse calendar.

Clemson Tigers

School: Clemson University
Mascot: Tigers
#BRAND Slogans: #ALLIN, “Best is the Standard”
Alternate #BRAND Slogan Suggestions: #TheOtherDeathValley or “The Most Overhyped 25 Seconds in College Football”
Recommended Blog: Shakin the Southland
Conference: ACC

History vs. Syracuse: The Tigers have won eight of their ten matchups against the Orange. The first meeting between the two schools was the 1996 Gator Bowl, where SU stunned No. 23 Clemson 41-0. The other Orange upset came in 2017, when Eric Dungey had 339 all-purpose yards and 3 TDs in a back-and-forth battle. The Dome field was swarmed by home fans after ‘Cuse held on for the 27-24 win over the No. 2 Tigers. Last year’s game was the first time Clemson was not ranked when facing Syracuse and only the third time that they were not ranked in the Top 3.

Coach: Dabo Swinney, 15th season. Dabo is well known as the man to elevate the Clemson football program into consistent National Championship contenders. After walking on at Alabama in 1989, Swinney earned a scholarship as a wide receiver and was part of the undefeated 1992 National Champion Crimson Tide. He spent his first eight coaching years there, working with both wide receivers and tight ends during that stretch. After a two-year hiatus, he took the job of WRs coach at Clemson. In the middle of his sixth year at the position, Tommy Bowden resigned as head coach after a disappointing 3-3 start. Dabo took the reins and hasn’t looked back since, winning seven ACC titles, making the College Football Playoffs six years in a row (2015-2020), and earning two National Championships.

2021 Record: (10-3) (6-2)

Recapping Last Season:

The Tigers got off to an uncharacteristically slow start in 2021. They were bested by Georgia in a 10-3 defensive showdown to start the year. After crushing an FCS squad, Clemson barely beat Georgia Tech. That warning sign was proven true the next week when NC State took them down 27-21 in 2OT. Clemson fell from the rankings but managed narrow victories against Boston College and Syracuse. Then No. 23 Pitt got the better of them and left fans wondering what happened to the offense of years past. This third loss finally snapped the Tigers out of their funk, as they proceeded to win five straight, including one over No. 10 Wake Forest. In the Cheez-It Bowl, Clemson beat Iowa State 20-13 to end the campaign at No. 14.

The offensive struggles fall mostly on the shoulders of quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei. The sophomore completed only 55% of his passes and threw a meager nine touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions. He had big shoes to fill after Trevor Lawrence went number 1 overall in the NFL Draft, and whether or not that pressure will continue to affect him remains to be seen. Will Shipley and Kobe Pace led a respectable rushing attack, combining for 1,380 yards and 17 TDs. Justyn Ross regressed after missing all of 2020 due to injury, but he still managed to lead the team with 514 receiving yards.

While the offense wasn’t up to par, the defense did its job and then some. This Tigers unit surrendered just 15 points per game, 2nd-best in the nation behind Georgia. They also allowed the 9th-fewest average yards. DE Myles Murphy and LB Trenton Simpson combined for 13 sacks as part of a very well-rounded front seven. Corners Mario Goodrich and Andrew Booth Jr. protected the outside with a total of 14 passes defended and five interceptions. B.T. Potter was 21/26 on his FG kicks.
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ACC Partners with FishBait Solutions as Its Chief Revenue and Business Innovation Consultant (theacc.com)

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today that FishBait Solutions will serve as the league’s Chief Revenue and Business Innovation Consultant. The partnership was formed by ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips and FishBait CEO Rob Temple, who will work closely with conference office staff and key institutional contacts to assist the conference in the areas of revenue generation and innovation opportunities.

FishBait will focus on a variety of projects intended to strategically identify and maximize revenue through new and existing partnerships as well as developing innovative solutions that drive value for ACC student-athletes, sponsored sports, member institutions and the entire conference enterprise. FishBait will also assist the conference office in maximizing opportunities with ACC Network.

The partnership is a continuation of the ACC’s strategic initiatives across a variety of areas including the league’s priority surrounding ACC Football, the ongoing conference office review and assessment, securing ACC Network full distribution (December 2021) and direct involvement in the future of college sports via Federal Legislation, NCAA Transformation Committee and College Football Playoff, among others.

Prior to today’s announcement, FishBait has participated in a number of introductory meetings including a presentation to the league’s Athletic Directors. Over the coming weeks, FishBait will have individual in-person meetings with each of the league’s 15 member schools and their respective leadership teams.

“FishBait brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this partnership – including a deep love and appreciation for the ACC and its 15 world-class institutions,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D. “The Fishbait team, led by Rob Temple, is both uniquely qualified and positioned to strategically assist our league in the areas of revenue and business innovation. They understand the corporate and collegiate landscape and how we can work together to provide significant opportunities that will benefit the ACC’s nearly 10,000 student athletes and 27 sponsored sports.”
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Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers is one of the most explosive playmakers returning to the field for the 2022 season. Flowers enters his senior season with 122 career receptions for 1,979 receiving yards and 17 receiving touchdowns, ranking in the top 12 all-time at BC in all three categories. Flowers begins the season on the Biletnikoff Award watch list and looks to build on his amazing career at BC.


Boston College's Pat Garwo III is the second leading returning rusher with 1,045 rushing yards and 87.1 yards per game. Garwo is a strong runner at 5'8" 208 pounds and is capable of running through tacklers. The Second-Team All-ACC running back will be one of the key members of a potentially potent Eagles offense, along with quarterback Phil Jukovec and wide receiver Zay Flowers. Check out our 21st-ranked returning ACC played, Boston College's Pat Garwo III.

What the ACC and Big 12 should do to maximize TV value (usatoday.com; Zemek)

Let’s cut to the chase: Why are you seeing a picture of eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes, and toast? What could this possibly have to do with the ACC and the Big 12, and what they should be doing in negotiations with ESPN and other potential television partners in their battle with the Pac-12?

The answer is not as complicated as it might seem.

Plainly put, the ACC and the Big 12 can’t offer ESPN or other networks (or streaming services such as Apple or Peacock) the late-night game window. That’s the Pac-12’s baby, and it always will be. The Pac-12 owns late night.

The ACC in particular, and also the Big 12, can offer something different: breakfast football.

If I’m ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips or Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark, I would offer ESPN a conference game on ESPN2 or ESPNU or — for the ACC specifically — ACC Network in the 10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. time slot. I can put my conference on in an exclusive game window before the big, bad Big Ten and the mighty SEC air their featured games beginning at noon.

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ACC Football gets respect in pre-season Coach's Poll, can they keep it? (scacchoops.com; JFann)

The pre-season coaches poll is out, and for ACC football it could not have gone better considering recent on-the-field results.

Here is where the ACC Teams landed.

#4 Clemson

#13 NC State

#16 Miami

#17 Pittsburgh

#19 Wake Forest


That’s more teams in the top 20 than the Big 10 (4), SEC (3), Big 12 (4), Pac 12 (3). For the maligned football conference, it’s excellent news to start the season. 25% of the top 20 are ACC football teams. Don't forget the best online casino with real money is as hard to find as college football team that can live up to lofty preseason expectations.

With that said, ACC football can’t just start there, it needs to end the season.

That means consistent quality football throughout the season. Pre-season polls only last as long as well the preseason.

The ACC received respect to start the season, and now they have to keep it.


NC State Ranked 24th in PFF’s 2022 Preseason Power Rankings (packinsider.com; Bradham)

ProFootballFocus released their 2022 Preseason Power Rankings recently, and they aren’t quite as high on NC State as the newly released Coaches Poll, which ranked the Wolfpack 13th. PFF ranks the Wolfpack at 24th.
  1. Alabama
  2. Georgia
  3. Ohio State
  4. Clemson
  5. Michigan
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Oklahoma State
  10. Utah
  11. Kentucky
  12. Cincinnati
  13. Mississipi
  14. Pitt
  15. Baylor
  16. Penn State
  17. Michigan State
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Minnesota
  20. LSU
  21. Mississippi State
  22. Iowa
  23. Arkansas
  24. NC State
  25. Florida
Here’s what they had to say about the Wolfpack:
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Bruce Feldman's 2022 college football Freaks List: Michigan's Mazi Smith is No. 1 (theathletic.com; $; Feldman)


Check out #100...

It’s been almost two decades now since I began writing about the biggest Freaks in college football. Initially, there were 10 of ‘em. My premise was to spotlight the players who generate buzz inside their programs by displaying the unique physical abilities that wow even those who observe gifted athletes every day. The Freaks list is compiled with the help of many coaches, players and sports information directors, as well as NFL scouts from all over the nation.

1. Mazi Smith, Michigan, defensive tackle

His former teammate, Aidan Hutchinson, almost was our top guy in 2021, but this year a Wolverine is the No. 1 Freak in college football. The 6-foot-3, 337-pound senior has rare power and agility. So rare, in fact, it’s hard to find the right superlative to begin with. But let’s start with this: Smith does 22 reps on the bench press, but that’s with 325 (not 225). He close-grip benched 550 pounds. He vertical-jumps 33 inches. He broad-jumped 9-4 1/2. Smith, who had 37 tackles last season, has clocked a 4.41 shuttle time, which would’ve tied the best by any defensive tackle at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, and it would’ve been better than any defensive tackle weighing 310 pounds or more in the past decade. His 6.95 3-cone time would’ve been by far the fastest among defensive tackles in Indianapolis. The fastest was 7.33. Smith’s 60-yard shuttle time is 11.90.

The Wolverines do a reactive plyo stairs test, which is a series of seven 26-inch high stairs that players attempt to jump up as fast as possible. The team record is 2.21 seconds. Smith did it in 2.82. To better gauge just how impressive that is, Hutchinson, some 60 pounds lighter than Smith, did it in 2.57.

Even more remarkable: The Wolverines also do a workout on their combo-twist machine, which is designed to show a player’s ability to rotate an opponent but also their ability to resist being rotated in the trenches. Smith had the machine completely tapped out. There was only enough room for 300 pounds on each side of the machine for a 600-pound max.

“For Mazi, it wasn’t even challenging,” says one of the Wolverine strength coaches. A staffer called the manufacturer to see if there was a way to extend it, then ultimately contacted a private company to build custom extenders for the combo-twist, which made it capable of loading up to 800 pounds to accommodate Smith.

“Mazi’s rotational strength is ridiculous,” said longtime Michigan strength coach Ben Herbert, who said Smith is the strongest defensive lineman he’s seen in 25 years in the business. “He is an incredible combination of rare traits packaged into one player. He is just ridiculously strong and powerful.”


2. Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State, wide receiver

There has been a ridiculous run of wideout talent in Columbus the past decade, and Harrison, the son of Colts great Marvin Harrison, is probably the Freakiest athlete of the entire group. Harrison is a big dude at 6-3 1/2, 206 pounds. He benched 380 pounds this offseason, doing 22 reps at 225. He clocked a blistering 3.94 pro shuttle time and did 10-9 on the broad jump. He also topped out at 23 mph on the GPS. As a freshman in 2021, he caught 11 passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns but finished with a flourish, catching six passes, including three touchdowns, in the Rose Bowl win over Utah.
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All-Time Best True Freshmen (RX; HM)

All-Time Best True Freshmen
It's only been 50 years since freshmen were allowed to play college football, making this the golden anniversary season. From "College football's 50 greatest true freshman seasons of all time" by ESPN's Bill Connelly, here are the ACC-related* players who made their list [click the link to read the rest]:
freshmen

The top 10 true freshmen in each offensive unit
QUARTERBACK
1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (2018)
3. Philip Rivers, NC State (2000)
5. Sam Howell, North Carolina (2019)
RUNNING BACK
3. Tony Dorsett, Pitt (1973)
WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END
7. Larry Fitzgerald, Pitt (2002)
8. Sammy Watkins, Clemson (2011)
9. Tamarick Vanover, Florida State (1992)
OFFENSIVE LINE
2. Bill Fralic, Pitt (1981)
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Links, News, and Rumors: 2022 Aug 10th (RX; HM)

Links, News, and Rumors: 2022 Aug 10th

From Richmond.com: ACC partnering with FishBait to explore innovative revenue enhancements


The ACC has hired a revenue and business innovation consultant, FishBait Solutions, with longstanding connections to the conference and ESPN. Led by former ESPN executive Rob Temple, FishBait's team has already met with the ACC’s 15 athletic directors and will travel to their campuses in the upcoming weeks for more detailed presentations.
The ACC formally announced the affiliation late Wednesday morning after a Times-Dispatch report. Retaining FishBait is part of second-year ACC commissioner Jim Phillips’ persistent focus on revenue and football...

I guess it's time for the ACC to "fish or cut bait"?
__________

From the SI:AM newsletter/email:


According to those with knowledge of player contracts, collectives at the elite Power 5 programs have developed a baseline of about $50,000 per football player a year. The price tag for elite recruits is often at least $100,000 in NIL salary, says LSU booster and Baton Rouge attorney Gordon McKernan, who himself will pay $500,000 in NIL deals this year.
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2022 Preseason Computer Power Ratings (JHowell) (RX; HM)

2022 Preseason Computer Power Ratings (JHowell)

I often make reference to JHowell's website during football season. Here's how it ranks the FBS conferences on average, preseason:


ConferencePR
SEC0.652================================
Big 120.625===============================
Big Ten0.59=============================
ACC0.562============================
American0.542===========================
MWC0.497========================
Independent0.483========================
Sun Belt0.466=======================
Pac 120.464=======================
CUSA0.443======================
MAC0.422=====================


The ACC is technically 4th, but in a virtual 3-way tie for 3rd behind the SEC and Big XII, which are also very close. The Pac-12 is way down at #9 (ouch!) - and remember, that's with USC and UCLA!

Other

V775V6JLU5AR5POOMWY6BI36UE.jpg


Hidden Gems of CNY: A tiny slice of Key West somewhere between Liverpool and Baldwinsville (video) (PS; $; Miller)


Most of the ice clinging to a lone Corona melted in the seconds it traveled 5 feet from the cooler to the worn wooden bar top. Thankfully, the koozie lifted from the Green Parrot bar in Key West, Florida, insulated the 36-degree beer inside the bottle from the 91 muggy degrees outside last Sunday.

Dear Beer: We are NOT in Key West. We are at The Tiki Bar in Baldwinsville. ... Baldwinsville, New York.

The Tiki Bar, while it does maintain a Baldwinsville mailing address, is actually located in Cold Springs, somewhere wedged between B’ville and Liverpool in Lyncourt. Regardless, on any given steamy weekend night here, you’d think you were in Margaritaville. This 2.9-acre marina along the Seneca River has almost everything you’d experience at our country’s southernmost point. It has free live music from a sand-bordered stage, cheap cold drinks, quality food and a stunning sunset that urges you to put off everything until tomorrow.

“Well, yes. That’s what this is,” said Mark Bragman, the creator of The Tiki Bar. “It didn’t start that way, but that’s what it became.”

Back in 2011, Mark had a tiny boat that he stored it in Cooper’s Marina. Like many young captains, he decided to upsize and bought a 41-foot cruiser. Cooper’s, however, said his new boat was way too big for its slips. It just wouldn’t fit.

On his way home with his oversized vessel, he heard a rumor that Chuck Webb was selling The Winds of Cold Springs Harbor Marina. At the time, it had 10 slips for boats, but it would be big enough for his boat, christened “Lower Deck.”

“So I bought it,” he said.
...
 
Last edited:

BillSU

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NOT TRYING TO SCARE ANYONE OUT THERE, BUT SINCE I SAW MY DOC ONCE A YEAR FOR A THOROUGH PHYSICAL INCLUDING A STRESS TEST AND BLOOD PANEL FOR MOST OF MY LIFE, ( THE DESIGN FIRM I WORKED FOR AFTER GRADUATING FROM SU REQUIRED IT), SO I BEGAN THOSE PHYSICALS WHEN I WAS 25. I CAN TELL YOU IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO KEEP A GOOD RELATIONSHIP YOUR PHYSICIAN.

FOR THOSE OF YOU OVER 60 IT'S ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT. GETTING THAT BLOOD PANEL WILL REVEAL A LOT. HDL, LDL, CHL, PSA AND MORE. TRY AND DEVELOP A LIST OF QUESTIONS FOR EACH APPT. TO REVIEW WITH YOUR DOCTOR. IT HELPS T(O ANSWER MANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE AND A GOOD REVIEW AT YOUR PHYSICAL HELPS YOU TO KNOW THAT WHAT YOU ARE EATING, EXERCISE, LIFESTYLE IS GOOD OR NEEDS TO CHANGE.

IT HELPED ME KNOWING THAT THE PSA, PROSTATE SPECIFIC ANTIGEN, WAS INCREASING, (NOT GOOD) AND LED ME TO MAKE A LIFE CHANGING DECISION.

TO KNOW THAT I NEEDED TO SEE A UROLOGIST GET TESTED FOR CANCER HAVE HIM RECOMMEND SURGERY ASAP OR IGNORE IT OR LIVE WITH IT UNTIL I CAME FACE TO FACE WITH FULL BLOWN DISEASE.

I OPTED FOR SURGERY IN CT AT HARTFORD HOSPITAL. I HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE THAT ONE OF THE WORLDS BEST SURGEONS WAS AT HARTFORD HOSP. AND OPERATED ROBOTICALLY. YOU CAN ALSO HAVE IT TREATED BY RADIATION. MEN WITH HIGH TESTOSTERONE LEVELS HAVE A HIGHER INCIDENCE THAN THOSE THAT DON"T. THAT IS WHY THE ANNUAL/BI-ANNUAL PHYSICAL PANEL IS SO IMPORTANT.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE ACTORS, JERRY ORBACH, LAW & ORDER, DIRTY DANCING, OTHER DIED AFTER PLAYING CHICKEN WITH PROSTATE CANCER DIED AT 69. NOT NECESSARY NOW. TREATMENT AND SURVIVAL RATES ARE EXCELLENT YOU JUST HAVE TO MAKE THE DECISION.
 

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