Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday for Football


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

Welcome to National Banana Day!

National Banana Day is centered in Ireland, where it was first celebrated in 2017. It is promoted by Fyffes, a fresh produce and fruit importing company, and has been acknowledged by other fruit companies such as Dole Food Company and Chiquita Brands International. It supports a national drive to encourage healthy eating, especially for children, and reminds shoppers to think of bananas as a nutritious and natural food that they can add to meals or eat as convenience food. It also highlights how the banana is fun and versatile.

The banana is the most popular fruit in the United States and around the world. The average person eats about 100 of them a year, which comes out to about 25 to 33 pounds worth. They are the cheapest fruit and are also one of the most perishable. They may appear to grow on trees, but they actually grow on plants that have 10 to 20 feet high trunks. The banana plant is an herb—the largest herb plant, actually—and bananas are its fruit. The plant grows in the tropics.

SU News

Notre Dame transfer Clarence Lewis commits to Syracuse football (; McAllister)

Syracuse football has added another high profile transfer for the 2024 season. Notre Dame graduate transfer cornerback Clarence Lewis has committed to Syracuse. He entered the transfer portal on March 29th and has now pledged to join the Orange for next season in his last year or collegiate eligibility. Lewis started 23 games during his career with the Fighting Irish, including six during his freshman season when Notre Dame made the College Football Playoff. Over four seasons with the Irish, Lewis recorded 104 tackles, 18 pass deflections, three interceptions, one sack and one forced fumble.

One of the best games of his career came in 2020 during his freshman season, ironically against Syracuse. He recorded 12 tackles, had one pass breakup and one forced fumble in a 45-21 win over the Orange. That performance resulted in him being named ACC Defensive Back of the Week.

Lewis, listed at 6-0, 200 pounds on Notre Dame Athletics' website, played his high school ball at Mater Dei in California. He is originally from New Jersey, however. As a recruit, Lewis was rated a three star prospect and ranked the 56th best cornerback and 18th best player in New Jersey by the 247Sports Composite Ranking. He signed with Notre Dame over offers from Boston College, Duke, Kentucky, Minnesota, NC State, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and others.

After a coaching change that saw Fran Brown hired as the new head coach, Syracuse football has brought in a lot of talent through the transfer portal. That includes offensive lineman Codie Hornsby from Grambling, defensive back Duce Chestnut from LSU, defensive lineman Dion 'Tank' Wilson from New Mexico State, offensive lineman Da'Metrius Weatherspoon from Howard, offensive lineman Joshua Miller from Georgia, wide receiver Zeed Haynes fro, Georgia, defensive back Devin Grant from Buffalo, linebacker James Heard from West Virginia, defensive lineman Isaiah Hastings from Alabama, defensive lineman Fadil Diggs from Texas A&M, wide receiver Jackson Meeks from Georgia and quarterback Kyle McCord from Ohio State.

Notre Dame Football star gets new team on transfer portal opening day (; Vandervoort)

The first Notre Dame Football move in the transfer portal might be a bit of a relief for Irish fans. So far, no guys weren’t expected to be in the portal on this opening day. Instead, a player who announced he planned to transfer last week has found his new home.

Clarence Lewis has had one foot out the door for a while now and on Tuesday, he took a full step into the portal. It turns out that he will be heading to a Notre Dame Football ACC rival, even though the two schools won’t be facing off in 2024.

On Tuesday morning, Lewis announced he will play his final season of college football for the Syracuse Orange. It’s another addition to a roster that new head coach Fran Brown has worked hard to reshape and rebuild quickly.

Clarence Lewis started 23 games during his career with Notre Dame Football, including six during his freshman season when the Golden Domers made the College Football Playoff.

— Clarence Lewis (@lewisclarence11) April 16, 2024

Over four seasons with Notre Dame, the defensive back recorded 104 tackles, 18 pass deflections, three interceptions, one sack, and one forced fumble. Lewis is a grad transfer who surprised several of his Irish teammates when he decided to leave this spring.

Ex-Notre Dame Football star lands at Syracuse

Lewis is the first official Irish player to leave on the first day of the transfer portal, but there’s a decent chance there could be a few more before it closes in a couple of weeks. However, with the Blue-Gold Game taking place this Saturday, anyone looking to leave will likely wait until after that game.

It’s possible guys like Steve Angeli and Kenny Minchey could depart once they see where they are sitting on the depth chart once spring practice closes.

Offseason work paying off for Syracuse football (; MacWilliam)

As Spring Football starts to wrap up, there’s been one noticeable area of improvement in the offseason: strength and conditioning.

Players are looking bigger and faster, showing that their hard work in the offseason has paid off.

What You Need To Know

  • Offseason workouts have been taken seriously for the Syracuse football team
  • Players are looking noticably bigger, faster and stronger
  • The goal is to bully other teams this coming season

Coming from the University of Georgia, Jackson Meeks knew what hard work is. But he was surprised to find out the work is even tougher at Syracuse.
“When I came up here, I had the thoughts that, OK, it's not going to be Georgia, it's not going to be that hard," Meeks said. "But I got smacked in the face. First workout, I was breathing hard. I was sweating, I'm like hanging like, OK, I see how we come. We really trying to hold a standard and get better.”
Led by Chad Smith, the strength and conditioning staff is getting creative. Mixing high-intensity workouts with Olympic and power lifting. With safety in mind and testing the workouts beforehand, they’re pushing the players to their limits.
“Can you take any physical, mental or emotional pain and use it as a powerful tool to overcome your breaking point?" Smith said of the approach to offseason workouts. "So we had to take them to that point. And a lot of guys are scared to do that. A lot of coaches are afraid to train their players, but we can't do that because you can't find out who somebody is until you put them in a hard situation.”
It’s been met with open arms and staggering results. Players have transformed their bodies with the goal of dominating other teams this fall.
“We all just walk different now," defensive back Alijah Clark said. "Everybody looks a little taller, a little broader, walking with their chest out. It's pretty much builds a lot of confidence."
“I believe big people beat up little people," head coach Fran Brown said. "So we just try to get bigger. We want to have big guys. You want to be able to compete, especially up front in the trenches, you know, and if you can get bigger guys and the skill wise, they're bigger than the other guys. There's a reason LeBron James is one of the best athletes in the world, he's that big and he can move like he was a little guy. So, you know, just trying to get bigger guys that can do athletic things.”

Where does Syracuse's depth chart stand leaving spring ball? (projection) (PS; Leiker)

Syracuse football winds down its spring practice slate this week and concludes it with the spring game 7 p.m. Saturday in the JMA Wireless Dome.

Some positions return starters who retained jobs through Fran Brown’s takeover of the program. They’re recognizable names like Marlowe Wax, Justin Barron, Dan Villari and LeQuint Allen.

There are also new faces who have made their way to the top of the lineup.

Quarterback Kyle McCord and edge rusher Fadil Diggs were brought in from Ohio State and Texas A&M, respectively, to be immediate starters and have proven why through their on-field talents and overall leadership.

Other players who transferred in or enrolled early as true freshmen and are poised to be potential impact contributors include wide receivers Jackson Meeks and Yazeed Haynes, offensive lineman Da’Metrius Weatherspoon and cornerback Marcellus Barnes Jr.

Oronde Gadsden II, Meeks and David Wohlabaugh are included in the depth chart but will not play in the spring game. They’re each continuing recoveries on injuries from last season and were either only partial participants in spring ball or did not participate at all.

With the Orange set to add several more players this summer — it just added a new transfer from Notre Dame on Tuesday morning — this is far from a final depth chart for the 2024 season, and several first-string spots will likely still be considered up for grabs come fall camp.

That said, here’s our full depth chart projection leaving spring practice.

5 Transfer Portal Landing Spots for Justus Ross-Simmons (CFN; Mellor)
The spring transfer portal window is as high-flying as ever, especially since now-former Colorado State WR Justus Ross-Simmons entered. With a slew of talented players entering the portal on the morning of Tuesday, April 16, Ross-Simmons’ name flew up the transfer portal rankings because of the immense talent he’s shown with the Rams.

You better believe that any team needing an alpha receiver hit the phones to contact Ross-Simmons.

Landing Spots for Justus Ross-Simmons
Ross-Simmons, originally from Rochester, New York, transferred to Inglewood High School in California and was a lightly recruited athlete in the class of 2021. However, his recruitment in the transfer portal this spring should see that change.

Trust me — you want Justus Ross-Simmons on your favorite college football
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) April 16, 2024

He torched defenses in consecutive seasons with the Rams, putting up 1,148 receiving yards and six touchdowns over the past two years combined. His height and frame make him a true No. 1 option for an offense that needs an outside threat.

Syracuse Orange

The first school that comes to mind to be able to lure Ross-Simmons away is Syracuse. The Orange, under the new leadership of Fran Brown, have had an incredible offseason bringing in new talent and fresh faces to improve their standing in the ACC.

Brown has been no stranger to the portal and has proven to be able to land big-time talent. The fact that Rochester is just an hour away via I-90 is a massive plus if he would like to return to his hometown roots.

USC Trojans

The Trojans have the allure of the Big Ten and the big city of Los Angeles if Ross-Simmons wants to change his lifestyle from Fort Collins. They also have a potential big-time quarterback in Miller Moss and a need for top-tier receivers on the outside, given their recent losses to the NFL Draft.

Syracuse football pursuing offensive tackle transfer from Colorado (PS; Carlson)
Savion Washington, a transfer offensive tackle from Colorado University, said that the Syracuse football program offered him a scholarship within his first 48 hours in the transfer portal.

Washington noted on X (previously Twitter) that two schools are already pursuing him, Syracuse and Baylor. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

@CuseFootball offered!
— Savion Washington (@SavionWash) April 16, 2024

@BUFootball offered!
— Savion Washington (@SavionWash) April 16, 2024

Washington was listed by Colorado last year at 6-foot-8 and 320 pounds.

He played in 10 games last year for Colorado, starting nine. He is listed by as the No. 13 option at offensive tackle among transfers.

Colorado’s offensive line struggled last year, with head coach Deion Sanders saying in the middle of last season that he intended to replace them. Only one team in the country allowed more sacks.

Before playing for Colorado last season, Washington played three seasons at Kent State. He was a starter for one of them.

Washington was listed by Pro Football Focus as having the fifth-best grade of offensive linemen who played for Colorado last season. He allowed 20 pressures and three sacks in 10 games.

Despite returning most of its offensive line depth, Syracuse has sought to create competition among the unit this spring under first-year coach Fran Brown. The unit was considered a weakness last season

The Orange returns last year’s starters in Enrique Cruz and Mark Petry, along with a potential starter in David Wohlabaugh Jr..

Syracuse added Da’Metrius Weatherspoon, a transfer from Howard, who has received positive reviews from his teammates this spring. Georgia transfer Josh Miller has also played some offensive tackle during spring practices.

Adding Washington to the mix would give Syracuse another option with starting experience at a high-level of Division I football.

Brown said on Tuesday that he is always mindful of opportunities for Syracuse football to add talent via transfers. He declined to specify if the Orange was looking to upgrade any particular position.

Top 50 overall prospect Javion Wilson to visit Syracuse football (; McAllister)
Syracuse football will host one of the nation's best prospects this weekend for an unofficial visit. Class of 2025 Cocoa (FL) High edge Javion Hilson will be on campus and attend the spring game. Hilson is listed at 6-4, 225 pounds, is rated a four star prospect and ranked the 41st best player overall by 247Sports. He is also ranked the third best edge prospect in the class and fifth best player in Florida regardless of position. The 247Sports Composite, which takes into account all of the major recruiting services, ranks Hilson 32nd overall, the number one edge in the class and fifth best player in Florida. Hilson is currently committed to Florida State.

Hilson is an elite prospect who gave a verbal to the in-state Seminoles back in January. He picked Florida State over an impressive offer list that includes Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracusem Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M and many more.

Our Andrew Ivins provides the following scouting report on Hilson.

Intriguing edge prospect who looks to have plenty of growth potential. Appears to be able to eventually carry 265 or so. Can play a bit rigid at times, but covers a ton of ground and builds up plenty of momentum as he works his way into the backfield. Naturally upright, but can change directions. View as more of a run defender than a pass rusher long-term, but production shows versatility and all-situations competency. Combination of physical traits, testing data, and functional athleticism suggest ample long-term upside. Could become a high-major impact player with NFL Draft upside.

Spring Football Notebook 2024: Special teams, Justin Barron’s return (DO; O'Brien)
To set up an interview with Fran Brown, new Syracuse special teams coordinator James Vollono had to talk to some of his contacts to find Brown’s phone number. Eventually he got a hold of it before cold calling the newly hired head coach.

“I saw this opportunity open up and I said, ‘Hey, coach. I know we don’t really know each other. But I’d love to talk to you if you have a few minutes,’” Vollono said. “And he said, ‘You interview tonight. Let’s go.’”

Vollono said the two coaches had a lengthy interview process. But Vollono still took the opportunity even though he was coming off two seasons at Troy where it won 24 games..

Now at SU, Vollono described himself as Brown’s “Paul Revere,” echoing any message the head coach wants to convey. In terms of the position group he coaches, Vollono said he wants to see more unity within the team and achieve that with special teams. Vollono cited Marlowe Wax’s and Justin Barron’s presence as special teams players.

“You’re gonna see guys in a lot of places that are premier guys,” Vollono said. “And not only are they helping their draft stock, they’re helping our team.”

Here are some more observations from SU’s latest spring practice:

Justin Barron returning

Last week, Syracuse football posted a video titled “I’m Back | Justin Barron.” The defensive back and captain said when he first talked to Brown, the conversation was about entering the transfer portal.

Today, Barron added that he was as close as one could be to going into the portal. He had the papers signed. But in the video, Barron said all Brown asked for was a chance to meet. The rover safety cited how the “system changing” would be a reason to remain in central New York. Barron specified that under the old regime, there would be a certain system where Barron was still left in a “box,” unable to play entirely in space. Now, that’s different.

“It allows me to do what I do best,” Barron said. “For me, that’s being in space, being able to plan the perimeter and make plays.”

Second scrimmage recap

The Orange held their second scrimmage of spring ball last Saturday. Barron noted that the intensity improved between the two scrimmages, with players now knowing their assignments and where to go on certain plays. Barron couldn’t pick out a single moment during the scrimmage, but just noticed the general intensity on display.

“You just see it all around the field,” Barron said. “Each side of the ball is gonna have their plays. There’s gonna be explosives, we’re gonna have takeaways, they’re gonna have big plays, it’s just how the game goes.”

Days following the first scrimmage, Brown said his team had to get “tougher.” Brown further echoed a sentiment of improvement, starting with him, but he also noted that players that were competing got better. Linebacker Wax said he saw many of the younger players improving as well.

“I feel like everybody’s just taking a step forward together,” Wax said. “Everybody moving together. From the first group, third group, second group, everybody’s doing really good.”

Brady Denaburg, Jack Stonehouse

Vollono said every day, kicker Brady Denaburg, punter Jack Stonehouse and long snapper Tom Callahan are focused on making incremental progress as the specialists practice on the soccer and lacrosse fields adjacent to the rest of practice.

Vollono said it comes down to focusing on one detail at a time with Denaburg, who finished with the lowest field goal percentage among qualified Atlantic Coast Conference kickers.

“You can’t eat the whole elephant, right?” Vollono said.

New Syracuse special teams coach James Vollono almost tried too hard to get hired by Fran Brown (PS; Carlson)
Syracuse football coach Fran Brown didn’t find the Orange’s new special teams coach.

James Vollono found him instead.

Vollono wanted a job on Brown’s staff so badly that he unleashed a tsunami of phone calls on the Syracuse head coach.

Vollono, the last piece of Brown’s on-field coaching staff hired this offseason, detailed their one-sided courtship on Tuesday. He was a replacement for Bob Ligashesky, who was briefly kept on by Brown before eventually taking a job at the University of Minnesota.

Vollono was a member of Jon Sumrall’s staff at Troy last year. When Sumrall took a job with Tulane after winning a pair of Sun Belt titles, the head coach’s move injected uncertainty into Vollono’s life and inspired his own job search.

He made his move toward Syracuse as soon as the Ligashesky news became common knowledge.

Vollono said he knew of Brown’s reputation as a budding young coach because they had mutual acquaintances at Georgia. The special teams coach had worked with the Bulldog staff as a special teams analyst in 2016. Brown joined Georgia for 2022 and 2023.

Still, there were enough overlapping co-workers that they knew of each other and Vollono was able to secure a cell phone number.

“I’ll be honest, I cold-called him,” Vollono said. “He answered. We had a lengthy interview process. ... I said, ‘Hey coach, I know we don’t really know each other but I’d love to talk if you have a few minutes. He said, ‘You interview tonight, let’s go.’ ”
Axe: Building SU football depth chart; Who’s standing out this spring? (podcast) (PS; $; Axe)
As The Syracuse football spring game approaches on Saturday at the JMA Wireless Dome, we decided to take a shot at constructing Fran Brown’s first depth chart.

On the latest episode of Syracuse Sports, Brent Axe and Emily Leiker discuss that plus how the SU roster could shift with the latest transfer portal window open from now to the end of April.

You’ll also hear from Syracuse head coach Fran Brown and new special teams coordinator James Vollono.

Our Syracuse Sports Insiders helped shape the conversation with their questions and opinions on Syracuse football.

Braylen Ingraham "The 315" 4-16-24 (; radio; The 315)

Syracuse football defensive lineman Braylen Ingraham joins Brian Higgins to discuss how Fran Brown's coaching style is similar to what he experienced at Alabama, the process of transitioning from Coach Babers to Coach Brown, and more.

SAE | Let's Talk with Football (youtube; podcast; SAE)
Nurielle Auguste with Syracuse's Student Athlete Engagement team sits down with 'Cuse Football's Jackson Meeks and LeQuint Allen.
Why Cornerback Clarence Lewis is a Solid Addition for Syracuse Football | Syracuse Orange Podcast (youtube; podcast; Locked on Syracuse
Syracuse Football picked up three-star Notre Dame cornerback Clarence Lewis in the NCAA's second transfer portal wave. Head Coach Fran Brown's squad now has plenty of experienced defensive backs like Lews, Justin Barron, Alijah Clark, and Duce Chestnut.
It’s EDSBS Charity Bowl Time (TNIAAM; Wall)
Every year Syracuse Orange fans get to join college sports fans around the globe to raise money for New American Pathways.

The annual fundraising effort to help new refugees is designed to give fans the opportunity to remind their rivals of their inferior status. While we don’t expect to knock off the Michigan Wolverines, we do need to beat Georgetown.

Your 2024 #CharitibundiBowl Top 100, Day 1:
— NewAmericanPathways (@newampaths) April 15, 2024

If you don’t want to give $44, then here are some suggestions and we can start with the pettiness first:

  • 80.68 for Syracuse’s win over Georgetown
  • 28.13/81.73/72.59/63.53/69.58 for the Orange’s wins over Pittsburgh in football or basketball
  • 34.03 for Dyaisha Fair’s career points total.
  • 20.03 to celebrate Syracuse’s National Title win
If you want to stick with just Syracuse football numbers, here’s some ideas:
  • 68.30 for Dan Villari’s total offense
  • 20 for Marlowe Wax and Justin Barron’s tackles
  • 30.60 for Syracuse’s points scored in 2023
  • 41.55 for Dino Babers’ career Syracuse record
Donations can be made here. Be sure that you select Syracuse if you donate.

ACC News

Miami QB Cam Ward Gives Great First Impression At Spring Game (youtube; podcast; ACC DN)

The Miami Hurricanes 2024 spring football games was the first chance for many Hurricanes fans to see new starting quarterback Cam Ward throw passes in a Miami uniform. The Washington State transfer outperformed what even optimistic 'Canes could have hoped for. According to the ESPN broadcast, Ward completed 19 of 24 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns. Watch the highlights from Cam Ward's spring game performance for the Hurricanes right here!

Hayes enters transfer portal due to state of Pitt football: ‘I don’t believe we can win now’ (PS; TMS)

Dayon Hayes, the fifth-year senior Pitt defensive end who entered the transfer portal Monday evening, has informed the Post-Gazette the reason for his departure.

While his decision wasn’t because of any malice between him and the team in their recent dealings during spring practices, it did stem from his outlook on the Panthers’ chances to be a serious contender in 2024.

“It’s just that I don’t believe we can win now,” Hayes told the Post-Gazette. “I believe we [were going to] win games, but I believe we are [in] a developmental stage. And I just can’t do that right now.”

A source close to the situation informed the Post-Gazette that the Pitt collective, Alliance 412, signed Hayes to one of the highest-paying NIL deals on the team for the 2024 season. The collective reportedly did that as a show of commitment to Hayes that the collective and program saw Hayes as one of the top returning players for the Panthers. A source said Hayes told teammates his biggest reason for entering the portal was the state of Pitt’s offense. New coordinator Kade Bell was hired out of Western Carolina to fix that side of the ball, but it’s no secret the Panthers struggled mightily in 2023 as they finished last in almost every meaningful offensive statistic in the ACC.

Hayes, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive end, was entering his fifth year with the Panthers after being a four-star 2020 local recruit out of Westinghouse. He started 11 of Pitt’s 12 games in 2023, which was the first year he was a consistent starter for the program. The Panthers finished 3-9 in 2023, the worst record during Pat Narduzzi’s nine-year tenure as head coach for the program.
... (CFN; Fiutak)
There are still transfers to come, feelings to be hurt, and NIL things to be offered.

Depth charts mean next to nothing now - at least officially. No coaching staff wants to fully commit to anything in a transfer portal world, but for now we know most of the ACC quarterback depth charts.

Below are the projected starters, likely backups, and starting quarterback situations for every ACC team - and we include Notre Dame - going into the summer.

2024 ACC Quarterback Depth Charts: Post-Spring

Boston College Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Thomas Castellanos, Jr.
Projected Backup: Grayson James (FIU), Jr.
Freshman/New Recruit: Johnathan Montague

Starter Situation: Castellanos a dangerous veteran runner. James a solid backup option, at worst.

Cal Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Fernando Mendoza, Soph.
Projected Backup: Chandler Rogers (North Texas), Sr.
Freshman/New Recruit: EJ Caminong

Starter Situation: Rogers will get every shot after throwing for over 7,000 yards at ULM and North Texas. Mendoza will be challenged.

Clemson Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Cade Klubnick, Jr.
Projected Backup: Christopher Vizzina, RFr.
Freshman/New Recruit: None

Starter Situation: Make-or-break year for former super-recruit Klubnick. It's his team, his season.

Duke Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Maalik Murphy (Texas), Soph.
Projected Backup: Grayson Loftis, Soph OR Henry Belin IV, Soph.
Freshman/New Recruit: None
Transfers Lost: Riley Leonard (Notre Dame)

Starter Situation: Murphy a massive transfer get for new head coach Manny Diaz. He's the star of the program.

Florida State Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: DJ Uiagalelei (Oregon State), Sr.
Projected Backup: Brock Glenn, RFr. OR Luke Kromenhoek, Fr.
Freshman/New Recruit: Kromenhoek
Transfers Lost: AJ Duffy (San Diego State), Tate Rodemaker (Southern Miss)

Starter Situation: Uiagalelei has all the talent to be a top draft pick, and now he's loaded with experience. Kromenhoek a fantastic recruit who should lock in at the 2.

Georgia Tech Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Haynes King, Jr.
Projected Backup: Zach Pyron, Soph.
Freshman/New Recruit: Aaron Philo

Starter Situation: Pyron can step in and produce if needed, but former Texas A&M transfer King took over and grabbed the gig last year.

Louisville Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Tyler Shough (Texas Tech), Jr.
Projected Backup: Brady Allen, Soph. OR Pierce Clarkson, RFr.
Freshman/New Recruit: Deuce Adams

Starter Situation: Shough has No. 1 overall draft pick talent, but he's had zero injury luck. He should dominate if he stays in one piece.

Miami Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Cam Ward (Washington State), Sr.
Projected Backup: Jacurri Brown, Soph. OR Emory Williams, Soph.
Freshman/New Recruit: Judd Anderson

Starter Situation: Ward is the quarterback the program has been waiting a long time for.

NC State Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina), Sr.
Projected Backup: CJ Bailey, Fr. OR Lex Thomas, RFr.
Freshman/New Recruit: Bailey
Transfers Lost: MJ Morris (Maryland)

QB Situation: McCall a really, really nice get from Coastal Carolina. The backups are battling for next year.

North Carolina Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Max Johnson (Texas A&M), Sr.
Projected Backup: Conner Harrell, Soph.
Freshman/New Recruit: Michael Merdinger

Starter Situation: Johnson started at LSU and spent the last two seasons at Texas A&M. It's his starting job, but Harrell has dangerous upside.

Notre Dame Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Riley Leonard (Duke), Sr.
Projected Backup: Steve Angeli, Soph.
Freshman/New Recruit: CJ Carr

Starter Situation: Leonard has NFL starting talent - he was hurting last year late at Duke. Carr is a big-time recruit.

Pitt Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Nate Yarnell, Jr.
Projected Backup: Eli Holstein (Alabama), Fr.
Freshman/New Recruit: Julian Dugger

Starter Situation: It'll be an interesting fall camp - there's room for a good transfer to come in and make a late push. Yarnell had moments last year, but this might be the least locked down QB situation in the ACC.

SMU Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Preston Stone, Jr.
Projected Backup: Kevin Jennings, Soph. OR Keldric Luster, RFr.
Freshman/New Recruit: Tyler Aronson

Starter Situation: Stone threw for almost 3,200 yards last year and 28 TDs. It's his team to run for the next two years.

Stanford Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Ashton Daniels, Jr.
Projected Backup: Justin Lamson, Jr.
Freshman/New Recruit: Elijah Brown

Starter Situation: The Cardinal have a decent veteran in Daniels, but Brown is a good enough recruit to make a push in August.

Syracuse Quarterback Depth Chart

Projected Starter: Kyle McCord (Ohio State), Sr.
Projected Backup: Carlos Del-Rio-Wilson, Jr.
Freshman/New Recruit: None
Transfers Lost: Luke MacPhail (Utah Tech)

Starter Situation: Landing McCord from Ohio State was one of the bigger surprises of the transfer offseason. He's everything to the first year of the Fran Brown era.

2024 NFL Draft Top 100 (Yahoo!) (RX; HM)

2024 NFL Draft Top 100 (Yahoo!)

From Yahoo's 2024 NFL Draft: Top 100 big board by Contributing NFL writer Nate Ticem, here are the 100 players along with comments about the ACC alumni...

1. Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
2. Caleb Williams, QB, USC
Maye is an excellent combination of age, size, athleticism and arm talent, with more feel in the pocket and creativity to his game than I think he’s gotten credit for... Both of these players show the ability to work from the pocket (when it was clean enough to), mitigate sacks, push the ball and create big plays with their arms and legs; these are all the prerequisites for upper-echelon modern quarterback play.

Both have plenty to work on — Maye with slowing down his heat checks and tightening up some footwork, and Williams with trying not to press, and both with cutting their sacks down a bit — but they are true prizes in a draft group with the upside to contend for MVPs in their careers.

3. Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

4. Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

5. Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

6. Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

7. Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
I look at Fashanu and Alt as essentially tied. Alt kept ascending throughout his last season and Fashanu had some uneven games, particularly against Ohio State, where he looked like an outright negative player at times...

Alt is, somehow, someway, close to Fashanu as a prospect. A smooth operator in his pass sets, Alt shows off his tight end background with excellent footwork and quickness and never seems to get out of whack. He improved on his hand usage this season, especially with bringing more initial pop with his blocks, which let him stun defensive linemen as a pass protector and also at the point of attack in the run game.

Alt’s mix of size, length and athleticism, his measurables and his testing numbers closely resemble Jonathan Ogden, with a rapidly improving game that makes him another elite prospect on the offensive side of the ball at the top of the draft. He will need to continue to add to his play strength, as he doesn’t have the ideal shock to his hand strikes on initial blocks, but his youth and frame allows for a clean projection to continue to add strength at the next level. I think Alt can slot in at either side to start his career, with the high-end potential of a franchise blindside protector.

8. Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

9. JC Latham, OT, Alabama

10. Troy Fautanu, OT/OG, Washington

2024 Best Transfer Players (as of April 16th) (RX; HM)

2024 Best Transfer Players (as of April 16th)
Let's face it: most transfer players don't move the needle, and we probably shouldn't care as much as we often do. That said, there are a few impact players who make a difference. How many of them are ACC teams losing through the Portal, how many are they gaining, and what's the net difference?

From "College Football's Best Players in Transfer Portal" according to Athlon Sports, here are the ACC-related transfers...

Note: This list will be updated with the top names entering the portal during the spring transfer window.


Damien Alford, WR, Syracuse
Alford has been a big-play threat for Syracuse's offense over the last three seasons. In 42 appearances with the Orange, Alford averaged 19.3 yards per catch and scored seven times through the air. The Montreal native posted his best season in '23 with 33 catches for 610 yards.
Peny Boone, RB, Toledo/Louisville
Boone hit the transfer portal in the first window and opted to land at Louisville. However, after a semester with the Cardinals, Boone is back in the portal in search of a new landing spot for '24. In 40 career games, Boone has rushed for 2,097 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Dayon Hayes, DL, Pitt
Hayes thrived in his first full season as a starter in the Steel City last season, recording 45 tackles (10.5 for a loss) and four sacks. The 6-foot-3 end should attract plenty of power conference attention in the portal.
Branson Hickman, OL, SMU
Hickman started 33 games for the Mustangs over the last three years, including the last 26 center from 2022-23. He's expected to garner power conference interest in the portal.
Nyjalik Kelly, DL, Miami
Kelly was a four-star recruit in Miami's 2022 signing class and saw action in 16 contests over the last two seasons. The Florida native recorded 11 tackles and four sacks in limited snaps as a freshman but was limited to just eight stops in '23.
Henry Parrish Jr., RB, Miami
Parrish started his career at Ole Miss and posted two solid seasons of production before transferring to Miami. The Florida native led the 'Canes in rushing in each of the last two seasons, including a 625-yard campaign in '23.


Andrew Mukuba, S, Clemson (Committed to Texas)
Mukuba will be a high-level impact addition for a team searching for help in the secondary for '24. The former four-star prospect has recorded 143 stops and defended 17 passes during the last three years with the Tigers.
Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami (Committed to Wisconsin)
Van Dyke seemed poised to claim a place among the top quarterbacks in the nation after a strong finish to the '21 season (25 TDs to just six interceptions). However, a combination of injuries and questionable coordinator hires hindered Van Dyke's play over the last two seasons. In 11 appearances in '23, Van Dyke threw for 2,703 yards and 19 touchdowns and completed 65.8 percent of his throws.


Zeke Correll, OL, Notre Dame (Committed to NC State)
As a proven starter at the Power 5 level, Correll won't lack for suitors in the portal. The Ohio native made 23 starts at center over the last two seasons.
Maalik Murphy, QB, Texas (Committed to Duke)
Murphy played a key role in the Longhorns' 23 season, as he guided the team to two victories with starter Quinn Ewers sidelined due to injury. The California native showcased his potential by completing 40 of 71 throws for 477 yards and three touchdowns in that span. Murphy ranked as a top-200 prospect in the '22 signing class and is expected to attract interest from Power 5 teams. Although Murphy is a bit raw, there is a ton of upside for his next team to tap into in '24 and beyond.
Chris Tyree, WR, Notre Dame (Committed to Virginia)
Tyree - a converted running back - shifted to receiver prior to the '23 season and emerged as one of Notre Dame's top targets. The Virginia native grabbed 26 receptions for 484 yards and three scores in 12 contests this year.
Marvin Jones Jr., Edge, Georgia (Committed to Florida State)
Jones Jr. is the son of former Florida State standout and NFL linebacker Marvin Jones and is expected to attract interest from several high-level Power 5 teams for the '24 season. The Florida native played in 25 games over two years with the Bulldogs and accumulated 16 tackles (5.5 for a loss).
Tobias Merriweather, WR, Notre Dame (Committed to California)
Merriweather didn't have many opportunities (14 catches), but his talent was on display with the limited opportunities (20.3 yards per catch). The Washington native was one of the top receiver prospects in the '22 signing class.
Kris Mitchell, WR, FIU (Committed to Notre Dame)
Mitchell is expected to draw interest from Power 5 programs after catching 64 passes for 1,118 yards and seven touchdowns in '23 at FIU.
Thor Griffith, DL, Harvard (Committed to Louisville)
Griffith has been a disruptive force for Harvard in each of the last three years and is attracting plenty of Power 5 interest since entering the portal. The New Hampshire native recorded 33.5 tackles for a loss and 13.5 sacks in 30 games with the Crimson.
Clarence Lewis, DB, Notre Dame (Committed to Syracuse)
Lewis has been an extensive contributor to Notre Dame's secondary over the last four years. The New Jersey native recorded 104 tackles and also defended 21 passes in that span. Lewis collected one interception in each of the last three seasons.

Michigan gets 3 years of probation for football recruiting violations; case vs. Jim Harbaugh pending (; Russo)

Michigan was given three years of probation, fined and hit with recruiting limits by the NCAA on Tuesday after football coaches and staff had impermissible contact with recruits and players under then-coach Jim Harbaugh while access was restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCAA said it had reached a negotiated resolution with the school that has been approved by the committee on infractions involving five former and current coaches and staffers, but it did not include allegations that Harbaugh failed to cooperate with investigators. That is now a separate case.

“We are pleased to reach a resolution on this matter so that our student-athletes and our football program can move forward. We have no additional information and cannot comment further on other aspects of the NCAA’s inquiries,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in statement.

Harbaugh’s attorney, Tom Mars, said the coach was not invited to participate in the settlement process or aware that an agreement had been reached between the school on the NCAA. Harbaugh is now coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.

“I’m not saying he would have participated. That would have depended on what terms the NCAA wanted,” Mars told AP. “Seems odd they didn’t even give Jim the opportunity to participate or decline. What’s that say about the NCAA’s intentions?”

The recruiting case is also separate from the NCAA’s investigation into impermissible in-person scouting and sign stealing that roiled Michigan’s national championship season in 2023, and resulted in a three-game suspension of Harbaugh by the Big Ten.

The multiple cases could open up Michigan to being deemed a repeat violator by the NCAA, which could trigger harsher sanctions. The fine was not announced, though NCAA guidelines call for a fine of $5,000 for mitigated Level I violations.

After leading Michigan to its first national championship since 1997, Harbaugh left his alma mater earlier this year to become coach of the Chargers. The NCAA did not name him in Tuesday’s announcement.

“The negotiated resolution also involved the school’s agreement that the underlying violations demonstrated a head coach responsibility violation and the former football head coach failed to meet his responsibility to cooperate with the investigation,” the NCAA said. “The school also agreed that it failed to deter and detect the impermissible recruiting contacts and did not ensure that the football program adhered to rules for noncoaching staff members.”

VIDEO: Haynes King on All ACC (; video; ACC DN)
Tech QB recaps White and Gold Game with David Hale and Andre Adelson on ACC Network
SEC INSIDER Drops BOMBSHELL on Gators' Rival in ACC | FSU | Conference Realignment (youtube; podcast; Peek Inside Gators Football)

SEC INSIDER Drops BOMBSHELL on Gators' Rival in ACC | FSU | Conference Realignment


CNY Pizza Tour, stop #15: At Pies Guys, order this rogue chef’s off-the-menu pizza (PS; $; Miller)

It wasn’t until after he started cooking for a pizzeria that James Warner went rogue.

When he was cooking Chinese food at Wegmans, he stuck to the set menu. He played by the rules at Pastabilities, and he followed instructions at Coleman’s Irish Pub. That all changed when he started making pizzas at Valentine’s Pizza & Deli in Skaneateles.

“Pizza is my favorite thing to cook, so I’d make something crazy for a customer, and they’d fall in love with it,” James said. “They’d come back the following week and order the same thing. The problem was it wasn’t on the menu. The owners would then say, ‘C’mon, man. You’re killing us.’ No one else would know how to make it, and they wanted to keep the customers happy.”

He’s at it again, this time at Pies Guys Pub and Grub on Syracuse’s West End. He’s been at this Western Lights bar and restaurant for 1½ years and is now a manager. This is one of five Pies Guys in Central New York. Reis LaMontagne owns this shop and licenses the Pies Guys name and recipes to other owners. They all follow the same recipe for the crust and the sauce. Everything else is up to each owner.

“The pizza you’re going to try here is only available here,” Reis said. “It’s unusual, but it’s very good.“

I’ll be the judge of that, Reis. Let’s challenge my palate ...

Address: Pies Guys Pub & Grub, 4744 Onondaga Blvd., Syracuse. (315) 299-6499

Do they deliver: Yes

What I ate: The Bee Sting Pizza on the extra-large “New Yorker” crust

Why this pizza? This is one of James’ creations that’s not on the menu, at least not yet. He’ll make it for you if you ask politely.

RATINGS (out of 5)

3/5. Pies Guys makes dough every morning, and up to three times a day during football and basketball season. The recipe is a basic mix of flour, yeast, salt, semi-chilled water and oil. James will change the proportions depending on the size of pizza he’s making. They make four sizes, from a 6-ounce personal pizza to a extra-large New Yorker, James’ favorite. Regardless of the size, James lets the dough rise and ferment overnight.

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