Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Football


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011

Welcome to Fat Thursday!

Taking place on the last Thursday before Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent, Fat Thursday is a Christian feast that is primarily celebrated in European countries. It is similar to Fat Tuesday, which is celebrated the following week, but in many European countries, it is the more important holiday of the two. It also is associated with Carnival. As much fasting is done during Lent, Fat Thursday is a day for getting together and eating sweets and other foods that are eschewed during that season. Commonly eaten foods include pączki, berliners, and angel wings.

The holiday is given different names in various European countries, where distinct foods are associated with the day. The day appears to be most widely celebrated in Poland, where it is known as Tłusty Czwartek. Pastries and doughnuts from bakeries are eaten, especially pączki. The tradition of eating doughnuts on the day began in the seventeenth century. In parts of Germany, it is known as Weiberfastnacht. People wear costumes, and celebrations in the streets and in pubs begin at 11:11 a.m. It is known as the "women's carnival" and there is a tradition of women "taking over" town halls. In some parts of Germany, the holiday is also known as Fetter Donnerstag.

SU News


Malachi James of Willingboro (center) beat Fabian France of Bergen Catholic to win the boys 100 meter dash at the 2022 NJSIAA Track & Field Meet of Champions on Saturday, June 18, 2022 in Somerset, N.J. James’ winning time was 10.54.Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for

SU football signs an unexpected addition to 2024 class: A track star from Jersey (PS; Mink)

Syracuse football added another member to its 2024 recruiting class Wednesday night.

Burlington City (New Jersey) High School athlete Malachi James signed with the Orange, the team said.

James, listed at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, is unrated by the national recruiting services, but he’s got an elite trait: He’s fast.

In a memorable performance last fall, James scored on a 64-yard run, a 16-yard pass and a 95-yard pass for Burlington City in a 41-7 road win at Bordentown. James, who can play receiver and cornerback, also snagged an interception.

In nine games last season, James finished with 25 receptions for 609 yards and eight touchdowns. He also rushed for 479 yards and five touchdowns on 35 carries, according to

Air Force showed interest in James throughout his recruitment. Army, Temple and Monmouth also recruited James, according to Rivals.

James is a track star in New Jersey.

He won gold as a sophomore in the 100- and 200-meter dash at Willingboro High School in New Jersey at the 2022 NJSIAA Track and Field Meet of Champions. James clocked a 10.54 in the 100 and 21.73 in the 200.
... (SI; McAllister)
Syracuse football landed a surprise addition to its 2024 recruiting class on Wednesday when the program announced the signing of Burlington City (NJ) High athlete Malachi James.

"Syracuse was the right fit for me because the moment I stepped foot on the hotel grounds, they showed me and my family hospitality," James said. "Which is a huge green flag. Also, they are a great football team with great coaches."

By stepping foot on hotel grounds James means for an official visit. That took place last month during the weekend of January 12th. He was offered at the end of December and committed to the Orange following his visit. None of that was made public, however, as he waited until National Signing Day to make his intentions known.

"Coach Fran said he didn't want anybody in his business," James said. "He wanted to keep it a surprise until signing day. It was important for me to gain his trust right away. I think it was a test and I passed."
... (SI; McAllister)
Syracuse football is set to have its class of 2024 recruits sign their National Letters of Intent and officially join the program during the late period. Below is a running live blog of updates on players as they sign including current Orange commits and previously undecided targets. Bookmark this page and continue to refresh throughout the day.

Who is left to decide? We are monitoring the NLIs for two defensive lineman. That includes Deshon Dodson out of Neumann Goretti in Pennsylvania and Omar White out of Valdosta High in Georgia.

Note: While JUCO defensive tackle Michael Nwokocha did not sign during the early signing period, he did enroll at SU last month and therefore does not have to sign an NLI during the late period.


8:07 p.m.: Malachi James has signed with Syracuse. STORY.

8:03 a.m.: Ibn McDaniels has signed with Syracuse. NSD PROFILE.

... (SI; McAllister)

Syracuse football has added a surprise addition to its 2024 class in Burlington City (NJ) High athlete Malachi James. The speedy track star could play cornerback or wide receiver at the next level. During his senior season, he had 25 catches for 609 yards and eight touchdowns along with 35 rushes for 479 yards and five more scores. Defensively, the 5-11, 195 pounder had 38 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble.

James chose the Orange over offers from UAB, Wagner, Delaware State, Lehigh, Air Force and others. He previously committed to Air Force in August.

James is a blazing fast track star who runs the 100-meters in 10.54 seconds per his Twitter bio. That is roughly comparable to a 4.39 40 yard dash time. In other words, he has elite level speed.

Going into National Signing Day, Syracuse's involvement with James was not public. His speed is certainly not a question, and you can never have too much speed or explosiveness on offense. He projects as a potential slot receiver and return specialist if he sticks on offense. Should he find a permanent home on defense, he likely plays corner while still being a return specialist.

He is the second player to be announced by Syracuse on National Signing day, joining Ibn McDaniels.

Ibn McDaniel of Elizabeth answers questions during the Big Central Football Conference Media Day at Iron Peak Sports & Events in Hillsborough, NJ on Tuesday, August 15, 2023.Tom Horak | For NJ Advance Media

Syracuse football’s Ibn McDaniels officially joins Orange on National Signing Day (PS; $; Carlson)

New Jersey prospect Ibn McDaniels signed his National Letter of Intent with Syracuse on Wednesday, officially joining the Orange football program.


Welcome home, @ibnmcdaniels1 @FranBrownCuse x #Commit2Cuse
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) February 7, 2024

McDaniels verbally committed to Syracuse in January, but those commitments are not binding until after an athlete signs a National Letter of Intent.

A 6-foot-3 and 195-pound cornerback, McDaniels is the only signature that Syracuse is known to be expecting on Wednesday, the latter of two National Signing Days.

Any other additions would come as a pleasant surprise. Fan Nation’s Mike McAllister has listed Pennsylvania product Deshon Dodson and George recruit Omar White as two potential recruits to watch.

McDaniels is one of 20 incoming freshman who have signed NLIs with Syracuse. The Orange’s freshman class is currently ranked No. 38 in the country in 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings.

Brown Named National Recruiter of the Year - Syracuse University Athletics (

Head Coach Fran Brown was named 247Sports' National Recruiter of the Year on Wednesday.

Brown, who took over as head coach in December, was responsible for recruiting seven players in Georgia's No. 1 ranked class before taking over at 'Cuse. He has made an immediate impact on Syracuse in his first 60 days on the job.

Brown has Syracuse as the No. 34 overall incoming class in this year's 247Sports rankings, which considers transfers and recruits. It's the highest the Orange have ever been ranked since the start of recruiting services.

Three of the eight highest ranked recruits in program history have signed with 'Cuse in this cycle.

Orange Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Elijah Robinson was the 2022 recipient of the award.

Syracuse football’s spring game could look different under Fran Brown: ‘You want to see hitting?’ (PS; $; Carlson)

Syracuse football coach Fran Brown indicated that the team’s spring game will have a more serious approach during his first year, a departure from previous seasons under Scott Shafer and Dino Babers when it often took on the vibe of a public practice.

“You want to see contact? You want to see people hitting? You want to see touchdowns, interceptions, sacks, things of that nature? We’re going to play football,” Brown said about the spring game on ESPN Radio Syracuse. “We’re going to compete. Guys are competing for jobs. ... No one’s penciled in. We just had only six guys get their number. You have to earn your number here. It’s all work. There’s no entitlement. We’re trying to eliminate entitlement so that everything you get in life is earned. How do you win a national championship? Work. How do you become a millionaire? Work.”

Syracuse’s spring game is scheduled for April 20.

It was one of a handful of subjects that Brown touched on during a radio conversation on National Signing Day.

Defensive coordinator Elijah Robinson was also interviewed, answering a question about the team’s base defense by saying the Orange will be “multiple.”

Brown answered a question about Ohio State transfer quarterback Kyle McCord by noting he’s done a good job fostering a spirit of competition among potential backup Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and younger signal-callers.

Since being hired late last year, Brown has shown an ability to elevate Syracuse’s high school recruiting and its ability to bring in top talent via the transfer portal, landing the school’s highest-ranked recruiting class of the rankings era and a transfer class ranked among the Top 25 nationally.

Most of those transfers seem likely to come in and fill starting roles immediately for Syracuse.

LISTEN: Hear from the new SU football coach (; radio; Orange Nation)

The new head coach of the SU Football team, Fran Brown, appeared on Orange Nation radio Wednesday afternoon, February 7, 2024.

Brown has been very busy since taking the helm, getting ready to take the Orange football team in a new direction this upcoming season.

Read more about Orange Nation
Among the things talked about is the coaching staff he is assembling around him.

Brown also talked about why he went after transfer QB Kyle McCord in the portal and why McCord is the right fit for SU.

What are the expectations for year one of the Brown head coach regime, and how the spring game on April 20 will be an actual game this year were discussed as well.

Defensive Coordinator Elijah Robinson also stopped by and talked about his strong ties to Fran Brown as well as his defensive philosophies.

The Fran Brown Era at Syracuse could see early success (usatoday; Moreno)
Syracuse football could be on the brink of a seismic shift. Taking the reins for the Orange this season is none other than Kyle McCord, the former commander of the Ohio State offense. This transfer was a headline-grabber and a shock to many. McCord’s leap to Syracuse, mixed with a schedule that seems almost handpicked for success, tees up the Orange for what could be a banner year.

A gem from the 247Sports Composite, McCord’s five-star status isn’t just for show. His pivot to Syracuse, sealed during an official campus visit, cranks up the Orange’s offensive dial. Steering the Buckeyes to an 11-1 finish last season, McCord’s stats speak volumes: 3,170 yards, 24 TDs, and a 65.8% completion rate. Numbers like these placed him in the conversation for the top of the FBS quarterback heap.

At the helm for Syracuse is Fran Brown, the newly minted head coach. Brown’s not just about X’s and O’s; his recruiting prowess and deep Northeast roots are part of his DNA.

Brown’s coaching odyssey began at Paul VI Catholic High School. He swiftly moved through the ranks at Temple, where he first showcased his knack for transforming defensive backfields and his magnetic pull in recruiting circles.

His journey with Matt Rhule from Temple to Baylor only amplified his reputation as a top-tier recruiter and a defensive strategist. Returning to Temple, this time with added responsibilities as co-defensive coordinator, Brown further cemented his status in the coaching fraternity, even as head coaching opportunities teasingly danced around the edges.

During his tenure with Greg Schiano at Rutgers, Fran Brown experienced a transformative leap forward, setting the stage for his subsequent ascent into the national spotlight at Georgia. In this high-profile role, Brown’s recruiting skills and strategic coaching brilliance reached their zenith, ultimately contributing to a resounding National Championship triumph. This period of his career reached a pinnacle with Brown being honored as the nation’s premier recruiter by 247Sports, a testament to his profound impact on the field.

Brown is considered by many as one of the nation’s premier recruiters, possessing a unique talent for forging authentic connections with high school athletes and their families.

Syracuse NFL mock draft: Will any former Oranges get picked this year? (itlh; Fariss)
With just two players entered into the 2024 NFL Draft, the odds aren’t high for the Syracuse Orange to hear players’ names called in April.

Offensive linebacker Stefon Thompson and defensive lineman Caleb Okechukwu spent a collective 10 years with Syracuse.

Thompson was a highly-rated player coming out of high school and turned into a four-year starter for the Orange. Okechukwu didn’t start in his first four seasons but was in the starting lineup for every game of his final two years.

I sadly don’t think that Okechukwu or Thompson will be picked during the NFL Draft.

With dozens of talented players at both positions entering their name this year, the two former Syracuse teammates will likely get bumped from the seven-round draft.

This isn’t to say that they’ll never be on an NFL 53-man roster. They could easily be picked up from free agency and signed following the draft, I just think it may take a bit more patience than waiting through the 224 picks.

ACC News

ACC football recruiting: 17 thoughts on 17 teams to wrap up Class of 2024 (; $; Raynor)

The early signing period in December has made it such that February signing day — at one time the only signing day — no longer has much significance on the calendar. Wednesday was again proof of that, with little activity and nothing unexpected happening.

Starting now, coaches can officially close the door on the Class of 2024 and get moving on the Class of 2025, which should be an intriguing group to follow with conference realignment in full swing. The ACC is no exception. Cal, Stanford and SMU will look to compete with other league members for recruits. Clemson and Florida State will continue to jockey for the top spot in the conference standings. As we wrap up the 2024 class, let’s check in on the league with one thought for each team.

Note: All rankings are from the 247Sports Composite.

Boston College

Things recently got interesting at Boston College. About six weeks after the Eagles signed the majority of their class, head coach Jeff Hafley left the program to become the defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. The move makes sense for Hafley — Boston College is a difficult place to win at, and he left on his own terms — but the timing is far from ideal for the program’s 12 signees. Even if the Class of 2024 recruits were interested in entering the transfer portal, it’s so late in the process that it would be difficult for them to find a new school. The best plan for this group — and the team — is to go through spring practice with the new staff and then determine if they want to stay at Boston College or pursue a transfer.


Cal’s 2024 class is concerning. The Golden Bears have just one blue-chipper — four-star receiver Trevor Rogers out of Northern California — and have signed just three blue-chippers in the last three cycles. This after signing six in the Class of 2021 alone. But did the Golden Bears tip their hand this cycle and show us how they might beef up recruiting in the future? Cal signed a combined three players from Texas from 2021 through 2023. This year, the staff signed a whopping nine prospects from the Lone Star State, compared to five from California and one each from Florida, Kansas, North Carolina and Washington. Georgia has become an important state for ACC schools to get into given its deep pool of talent and proximity to most of the league’s programs. But will Texas become that state for Cal? And will it make a difference? It’s too early to tell but certainly something to keep an eye on.


Clemson’s offense has struggled the past three seasons, in large part due to a lack of playmakers at wide receiver. The Tigers believe they have addressed that issue in the 2024 class. Clemson signed two top-50 receivers in December: five-star TJ Moore out of Tampa (Fla.) Catholic and four-star Bryant Wesco out of Midlothian (Texas) High. Moore is the nation’s No. 23 prospect, and Wesco comes in at No. 48. Dabo Swinney will be under a microscope in 2024 to see if he can get his program back among the elite in the sport. If the offense gets rolling again, don’t be surprised if these two receivers play a crucial role.


Manny Diaz has his work cut out for him. In June, Duke was on pace to sign a top-35 class for just the second time in program history thanks to the work of Mike Elko and his staff. After the coaching change and a host of defections, the Blue Devils’ final ranking is No. 62. Among the notable losses were four-star quarterback Tyler Cherry, who signed with Indiana, and four-star offensive tackle Robert Bourdon, who is following Elko to Texas A&M. The Blue Devils landed former Texas quarterback Maalik Murphy out of the transfer portal in December but have no high school quarterback in the 2024 class. It will be interesting to see whether Diaz — who was previously the head coach at Miami and attended Florida State — targets the state of Florida. Duke has signed just six players from the state over the last six cycles.

Florida State

Florida State lost five-star safety KJ Bolden to Georgia and five-star edge Armondo Blount to Miami during the early signing period, which knocked the Seminoles out of the top 10. But don’t be mistaken: This is still a strong class with some outstanding playmakers. Florida State’s average player rating of 90.90 is good for 12th nationally and is the program’s highest mark since the Class of 2018. In a year when competition was stiff in the Sunshine State, with Florida and Miami finishing No. 7 and No. 11, respectively, in average player rating, Florida State hung in despite its late losses. This is a program with a lot of momentum.

Georgia Tech

Georgia is one of the most talent-rich states in the country. That’s good (a lot of players) and bad (a lot of competition) for the Yellow Jackets. There were 57 blue-chip prospects in Georgia in the 2024 cycle, and the Yellow Jackets landed only two of them: wide receiver Isiah Canion out of Warner Robins High and tight end Luke Harpring out of the Marist School in Atlanta. Still, it was a solid class for Brent Key and his staff. Georgia Tech’s average player rating of 87.39 was a big improvement from the 85.86 mark in the 2023 cycle and the first time since 2020 the program topped 87. In addition to Canion, the Jackets signed two other four-star prospects: running back Anthony Carrie and cornerback Troy Stevenson.


Louisville emerged as the darling of the ACC in 2023 thanks in large part to its work in the transfer portal. Quarterback Jack Plummer came to Louisville from Cal, wide receiver Jamari Thrash transferred from Georgia State and running back Jawhar Jordan had previously played at Syracuse before transferring to Louisville in 2021. Relying heavily on the portal seems to be the plan, too. Louisville signed just 14 high school players in December. By contrast, the Cardinals are bringing in 26 players via the portal, according to 247Sports. Jeff Brohm, a Louisville grad, signed just one player from Kentucky: three-star wide receiver Shaun Boykins Jr. Will Brohm and his staff make recruiting in-state talent more of a priority?


Say what you will about Mario Cristobal’s game management, but Miami’s head coach has done his part on the recruiting trail. This class is stacked. The Hurricanes finished with the nation’s No. 4 class, featuring 14 blue-chippers and three five-star prospects. Defensive lineman Justin Scott, defensive end Armondo Blount and edge Marquise Lightfoot are the headliners of a class that has seven (!) top-100 prospects and an average player rating of 91.01. Now it’s time for this success on the recruiting trail to translate to success on the field. After going 5-7 in 2022 and 7-6 in 2023, there are no more excuses.

NC State

The Wolfpack need some stability at the quarterback position, and they might have found the future face of their program in four-star prospect Cedrick Bailey out of Hollywood, Fla. Coastal Carolina transfer Grayson McCall will likely run the show in 2024, but keep an eye on Bailey for the future. In high school, his top two targets were Ohio State signee Jeremiah Smith, the No. 1 prospect in the nation, and four-star prospect Joshisa Trader, who stayed home to play for the Miami Hurricanes. The 6-foot-6 Bailey isn’t necessarily a flashy recruit, but this feels like a good get for Dave Doeren, who held off Miami, among others, down the stretch.

North Carolina

North Carolina has featured one of the most explosive offenses in the country since Mack Brown returned to Chapel Hill, which is why it was so puzzling that the Tar Heels didn’t sign a blue-chip quarterback in the Class of 2024. After producing Sam Howell and Drake Maye — who is expected to be a top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft — you’d think the Tar Heels would have been able to land an elite QB prospect. Instead, UNC signed former Texas A&M and LSU quarterback Max Johnson via the transfer portal and three-star prospect Michael Merdinger out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Merdinger could end up being a diamond in the rough if offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey’s evaluation is correct, and the Tar Heels already have a four-star quarterback committed for 2025 in Kernersville, N.C., native Bryce Baker.


For as much as Pitt struggled in 2023, going 3-9 for the program’s first losing season since 2017, the Panthers didn’t see a dip in their recruiting this cycle — a credit to Pat Narduzzi and his staff. The Panthers’ 86.93 average player rating is the program’s highest since the 2021 cycle, and four-star offensive lineman Caleb Holmes out of Fairburn, Ga., is the third-highest-ranked interior offensive lineman to sign with an ACC school in this class. The Panthers didn’t sign a top-10 in-state player and have only one blue-chipper in Holmes. But given the way the 2023 season went, Pitt’s class easily could have fallen apart.


SMU’s 2024 class checks in at No. 104 overall and last in the ACC. Part of that is a product of the small numbers (only 10 signees), and part is because the class was put together while the program competed in the Group of 5 ranks. The current group includes only one top-500 recruit (four-star running back Derrick McFall), but the Mustangs already have three top-500 prospects in their 2025 class. Rhett Lashlee has SMU well positioned to significantly upgrade its talent in the next few years.


Of all the top prospects ACC schools signed this year, it’ll be hard to find a more captivating recruit than Stanford’s Benedict Umeh. Umeh, a four-star defensive lineman and the headliner of the Cardinal’s class, missed his entire senior season while fighting stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma. He was declared to be in remission in November and enrolled early at Stanford, where he continues to work his way back into playing shape. Keep an eye out for him in the coming years. Despite getting a late start to football, the 6-foot-5 native of Canada dominated opposing offensive linemen at Avon Old Farms (Conn.) School and enters Stanford as the nation’s No. 22 defensive lineman.


Mark it down: Syracuse’s Fran Brown is going to be a problem for other coaches in the league who are not used to having to compete with Syracuse on the recruiting trail. Brown, the former defensive backs coach at Georgia who was named as 247Sports’ top recruiter this year, is already getting things done with the Orange. Syracuse’s 2024 class includes four four-star prospects — four more than the program signed in the last four cycles combined — and three of the four committed after the coaching change. Brown also got work done in the portal, most notably signing former Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord. There is a new energy around the program.

NSD 2024 Feb 7 (RX; HM)

NSD 2024 Feb 7

What are the team recruiting rankings after National Signing Day? Here you go (from 247Sports):

56Ohio State2241431
910Notre Dame2301670
1214Florida State2301670
1513Penn State25015100
1918Texas A&M1711510
2122Ole Miss22011101
2223South Carolina162950
2425Texas Tech2115150
2628North Carolina2706210
2726NC State2405190
2830Mississippi St2507162
3333Georgia Tech2304190
4444Brigham Young2602240
4557Virginia Tech1604120
4635Michigan State2003170
4741West Virginia2201210
4948Arizona State1901180
5251Wake Forest2100210
5349Iowa State2200220
5656Oklahoma State1800171
5759Kansas State1502130
6462Washington St2600215
9275Oregon State1701115
93103Boston College1300130

Did the ACC pick the wrong Pac2 Teams? (RX; HM)

Did the ACC pick the wrong Pac2 Teams?

Did the ACC make a mistake by inviting Cal instead of, say, Oregon State or Washington State? For that matter, was Stanford a mistake?

Ha... Memezone knows that nobody loves to tease Cal + Stanford friends more than me, but the data on attendance doesn't necessarily support that.

Remember, too, that WSU + OSU have stadiums that are only about half the size of Tech's
(...especially after recent downsizing)
— Tony Altimore (@TJAltimore) February 5, 2024
That first post is typical of videos you see nowadays which are designed to call into question the fan support at a rival school. However, if you look carefully, it really calls into question the integrity of the video itself! For one thing, there's no context provided: who are the Bears playing? Another question you might ask when you realize that the opposing team is not on the field yet: how long before kickoff was this video taken?
Tony Altimore is a USC Trojan, but even he felt obliged to chime in on this one. Look at his graph of average attendance by year. Cal is pretty steady and consistently above the other three in terms of number of fans in the stadium. Stanford is definitely down after years of bad football, but typically the Cardinal fans have filled about as many seats as Bear fans.

Oregon State had a great season which led to unusually-high attendance numbers for them - but still below Cal. Washington State also had a good season and an uptick in attendance, but the Cougars couldn't even get out of 4th place among this group.

BC Football Coach Search (RX; HM)

BC Football Coach Search

Boston College is still looking for a head coach to replace Jeff Haffley. It's looking like it will be Bill O'Brien, but it's not over until the ink is dry...

Here's a clip from PTI where they discuss which job is better: OC at Ohio State, or HC at Boston College?

“The ACC is winnable”

I completely agree

With the right coach and circumstances, almost any program could be No. 4, at worst, almost immediately. Look at Louisville in 2023

Clemson, FSU & Miami. Those are the three programs that should dominate the ACC CG spots. But will they?
— Kelley Ford (@KFordRatings) February 7, 2024

I agree - there are some compelling reasons why O'Brien might consider BC the better job. Certainly there are other factors, such as salary, but (a) having control, (b) having lower, more manageable expectations, and (c) coming home are all powerful incentives, too. (; Springgate)
The college football coaching carousel continues to rotate with Boston College’s former head coach Jeff Hafley leaving the program for the NFL. Hafley notably left college football as a whole due to his frustrations with coaching responsibilities that have extended beyond the scope of the game itself.

Recently hired Ohio State offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien might want to consider taking his Boston home off the market after leaving the New England Patriots organization for what might be a brief stay in Columbus. O’Brien is reportedly in the final two for the head coaching position at Boston College.

“Hearing Boston College is now down to two candidates in its head coaching search. Ohio State OC Bill O'Brien is one of them,” Fox’s Bruce Feldman reports.

O’Brien would bring a steady hand to balance the ship in the wake of Hafley’s departure. O’Brien took over a devastated Penn State program following the Jerry Sandusky debacle and helped set them up for success down the road. He’s also had his foot in the college football game in between his time in the NFL with the Houston Texans and the Pats.

Former Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Christ is also a name to consider according to Feldman.

ACC's contribution to Super Bowl LVIII's rosters (; Moreno)

As Super Bowl LVIII draws near, the spotlight intensifies not only on the competing teams and their marquee players but also on the paths that forged these athletes into today’s pros of the gridiron.

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) stands out with a notable presence; Georgia Tech, Miami, and Clemson each boast a pair of alumni, asserting the conference’s influence. Meanwhile, Duke, NC State, and Virginia Tech contribute one player apiece, bringing the ACC’s total representation to an impressive nine active players for the big game.

Leading the charge from the ACC is Joe Thuney, an NC State graduate, who anchors the offensive line for the Kansas City Chiefs with exceptional skill and consistency.

Deon Bush, a former Miami Hurricane whose college career was marked by consistent recognition, including multiple All-ACC honors. Both Thuney and Bush won a Super Bowl in 2022 with the Chiefs.

Joining Bush from the Chiefs is Jon Feliciano, another Miami product, whose massive presence on the offensive line was heralded during his time in the ACC.

The kicking game often flies under the radar but holds immense importance, as demonstrated by Harrison Butker, a Georgia Tech alumnus. Butker’s record-breaking career with the Yellow Jackets set the stage for his ascendancy in the NFL. Butker’s leg could very well be the deciding factor.

Not to be overshadowed, the San Francisco 49ers boast their own ACC talent with runningback Jordan Mason, a force to be reckoned with from Georgia Tech.

Chamarri Conner, hailing from Virginia Tech, brings tenacity and sharp defensive instincts to the Chiefs’ backfield. Noah Gray, a former Duke Blue Devil, adds depth and versatility to the 49ers’ offense. Gray is remembered by Duke fans for his reliable hands.

Justyn Ross and Ray-Ray McCloud III are both former Clemson standouts at wide receiver and are also both members of the 49ers.

The ACC’s influence on the grandest stage of American football continues to expand annually, showcasing the depth and talent within the conference. This year, however, it’s the SEC that dominates the roster representation with an impressive twenty-three players, claiming the top spot among conferences at the Super Bowl.

Kansas City Chiefs:

Deon Bush, DB – Miami
Harrison Butker, K – Georgia Tech
Chamarri Conner, DB – Virginia Tech
Noah Gray, TE – Duke
Derrick Nnadi, DT – Florida State (Injured Reserve)
Justyn Ross, WR – Clemson
Joe Thuney, G – NC State
Cornell Powell, WR – Clemson (Practice Squad)

San Francisco 49ers:

ACC 2024 Schedule Release Breakdown & Reaction | The College Football Experience (Ep. 1558) (sportsgamblingpodcast; podcast; College Football Experience)
The College Football Experience (@TCEonSGPN) on the Sports Gambling Podcast Network reacts to the recent ACC 2024 College Football Schedule being released. Pick Dundee aka (@TheColbyD), Patty C (@PattyC831) & NC Nick (@NC__NicK) break down all 17 ACC schools and key in on who has the best schedule heading into 2024 and perhaps what futures will be interesting plays when they drop. Will the Florida State Seminoles have a nice schedule set for a potential college football playoff run after an undefeated regular season in 2023? Will Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers take back the ACC and head to the brand new 12 team playoff in its first year of existence?

What should we expect from the new schools entering the ACC? Will the SMU Mustangs be a team to lookout for to get to the ACC Championship? Will Stanford and California both benefit from joining the Atlantic Coast Conference? Will Brent Pry and Virginia Tech take a step up in 2024 and compete for a ACC Championship? Will Jeff Brohm have the Louisville Cardinals back in the mix again in year 2 of his era with Louisville? Why does Georgia Tech always schedule so tough and what does that mean for the Yellow Jackets long term? Could the Syracuse Orangemen have a big time first year under first time coach Fran Brown? We talk it all and more on this 2024 ACC Schedule release episode of The College Football Experience.

National Signing Day Profile: Syracuse transfer DL Kevon Darton (; Combs)
The 2024 National Signing Day is upon us! The Arizona Wildcats welcomed numerous new players to the team on Wednesday.

One such player is Syracuse transfer defensive lineman Kevon Darton.

GOT EM’ @KCKD_0 is officially a Wildcat!
— Arizona Football (@ArizonaFBall) February 7, 2024
Read on below for his profile.

Position: Defensive lineman

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 271 lbs

High School: Worcester Academy

Previous College: Syracuse Orange

Hometown: Fitchburg, Massachusetts

247Sports Transfer Ranking: Unranked

Florida State wants dismissal of ACC lawsuit in North Carolina (; $; Baker)
Florida State has asked a North Carolina court to dismiss the ACC’s lawsuit against the university — the latest legal step as the Seminoles explore a potential exit from their conference.

The ACC originally filed this case in December, a day before FSU’s board of trustees approved their lawsuit against the conference. That timeline is a key part of one of the legal arguments FSU made in a motion to dismiss filed Wednesday in Mecklenburg County Superior Court.

Florida State called the ACC’s preemptive suit “an admitted ‘race to the courthouse’ to secure what it hoped would prove to be a more favorable forum.” FSU contends that legal race came at a cost: the ACC’s members never took the required vote to approve the suit against the ’Noles. In the motion and corresponding brief, FSU also said the ACC sued Florida State “before an actual or justiciable controversy arose” — it was all theoretical until FSU’s trustees approved and filed their suit in Leon County Circuit Court.

Florida State’s most interesting argument focuses on the ACC’s grant of rights — the document at the center of this potential half-a-billion-dollar dispute. The ACC contends that Florida State (and every other member) “knowingly and voluntarily” granted the “irrevocable” TV rights to their home games to the conference. The conference then sold them to ESPN and passed the funds back to FSU and its peers.

FSU’s latest filing argues that the school’s trustees never signed or approved the grant of rights; it was only signed by the university president. That’s important because, according to FSU, its board is the only entity with the legal authority to “contract and be contracted with.”

If the ACC’s North Carolina case is not dismissed, Florida State’s filing said it should be paused until the Seminoles’ suit is resolved. FSU rejects the idea that the ACC should have “any advantage for purposely filing its narrow lawsuit just a few hours before the Florida action in order to gain a perceived tactical advantage.” The Seminoles’ filing also said Florida is the “more appropriate forum” because the case deals with sovereign immunity and state laws that should be resolved by a state court.



NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps prepares for a spacewalk training session in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in 2016. Robert Markowitz, NASA

Astronaut Jeanette Epps’ message to Syracuse girls like her: ‘There’s absolutely no reason you can’t do this’ (PS; Eisenstadt)

Jeanette Epps was nine years old, living on Syracuse’s South Side, when the door to space first cracked open.

Her older brother was home at the family’s West Kennedy Street house, on a break from college. One day you can become an aerospace engineer, maybe even an astronaut, he told Epps and her twin, Janet, after seeing how good their grades were in science and math.

Jeanette Epps wasn’t sure what an aerospace engineer was, and an astronaut sounded close to impossible. But her eyes were forever open to the potential of a life bigger than Syracuse.

“That moment really stuck with me,” Epps said.

More than 40 years later, that little girl from West Kennedy Street is finally going to space.

Later this month, Epps will launch on a SpaceX-Crew 8 mission to the International Space Station. She will be a mission specialist, one of four astronauts on the Dragon spacecraft, and five astronauts who will be living on the station for six months. U.S. astronaut Tracy Dyson will be coming later on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Epps will be the second Black woman to live on the space station, and the sixth Black woman to fly into space.

Epps is Syracuse’s first astronaut. But at every opportunity she tells Syracuse kids they can be the next one.

“I am Syracuse, born and bred,” Epps said. “I love to tell the little girls, ‘Hey, look, if I’m doing this, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t do this’.”

Dozens of CNY companies could be on the hook for $100-million-plus Ley Creek cleanup (PS; $; Coin)

About 40 companies, large and small, could be forced to share in the more than $100 million cost to clean up Ley Creek in the town of Salina.

The companies had gotten off the hook two years ago, when a federal judge said the burden of the cleanup rested solely on a company spun out of the General Motors bankruptcy in 2009. From the 1950s to 1993, GM ran the Inland Fisher Guide plant, in Salina, that polluted the creek.

That company, RACER, in 2018 sued National Grid, Lockheed Martin and dozens of other companies saying they, too, had polluted the creek and should shoulder some of the cleanup costs. U.S. District Court Judge David Hurd, in Utica, said no: The original agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency made RACER the only company responsible, and that RACER had waited too long to sue anyway, Hurd said.

This week, however, an appeals court overturned Hurd’s decision and sent the case back to district court.

That opens all of those companies again to potential liability in the cleanup and likely extends the litigation for years. As RACER has found more extensive contamination over the past few years than originally believed, the cost of the potential cleanup has soared to well over $100 million. RACER says those other companies contributed to the pollution and should pay their fare.

That’s a common tactic at federal Superfund sites: The government sues a single polluter and that polluter has to try to recoup its losses by drawing other companies -- sometimes hundreds of them -- into the legal battle.

In the first phase of the cleanup, the EPA ordered RACER to dig up 15,000 cubic yards of soil along the creek, including in the back yards of 19 houses on Brookline Road. That was completed in 2018.
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