Here are 14 players to watch next season across the Atlantic Coast Conference

Thu, Apr 25, 2024

Here are 14 players to watch next season across the Atlantic Coast Conference

A look at football players in the Atlantic Coast Conference this spring who are poised to have breakout seasons this fall, when the league will also add SMU, Cal and Stanford:

BOSTON COLLEGE: DB Ryan Turner came to the Eagles from Ohio State, where he played very little in two seasons. The 5-foot-11, 189 pound third-year sophomore has made an early impression with his new team. He broke up a pass and had the hit of the spring game in disrupting a screen pass.

CLEMSON: WR Bryant Wesco is a five-star freshman who enrolled early and is drawing comparisons to some of the program's top wideouts like Sammy Watkins and Tee Higgins. Wesco, at 6-2, could be the stretch-the-field receiver Clemson's been seeking the past few seasons.

DUKE: QB Maalik Murphy, the Texas transfer, got the start at the spring game and knows he's got work ahead if he hopes to make a winning impression with the Blue Devils. He connected with Jordan Moore on a touchdown and said the game was a good way to help his timing with his new receivers.

FLORIDA STATE: RB Roydell Williams is an Alabama transfer who ran for 560 yards and five touchdowns last season. He has looked good in the spring for a team that saw its leading rusher, Trey Benson, head to the NFL this season.

READ MORE ACC Spring Wrap: League champ Florida State and ACC deal with quarterback changes Here are 14 players to watch next season across the Big Ten Conference Michigan's QB battle among many in Big Ten that started in spring and will ramp up again in the fall

GEORGIA TECH: WR Chris Elko is a redshirt freshman who had two touchdown catches to highlight a five-reception, 143-yard performance in the spring game. Elko, at 6-1, was redshirted last season. He has shown confidence to be a strong target for returning passer Haynes King.

LOUISVILLE: QB Tyler Shough looks like he will get a chance to take over for Jack Plummer, who helped the surprising Cardinals to their first-ever ACC title game berth. Slough is a grad transfer who threw for 2,922 yards and 20 touchdowns in three seasons at Texas Tech.

MIAMI: LB Raul Aguirre Jr. enters his second season with a chance for more playing time after a strong spring, according to coach Mario Cristobal. Aguirre saw action in all 13 games as a freshman and will look to work his way into the rotation this season.

NORTH CAROLINA: WR Jordan Shipp is the Tar Heels' highest-ranked recruit and played like someone who can make an immediate impact this season. He had a 16-yard TD catch in the final spring scrimmage.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE: TE Justin Joly should be a big help to new quarterback Grayson McCall this season. Joly is a 6-3, 235-pound junior transfer from UConn, who has not yet played up to expectations. Coach Dave Doeren is confident Joly can do that in this offense.

PITTSBURGH: LB Rasheem Biles tied a program record with three blocked kicks as a freshman last year. This season, Biles is hoping to get into the defensive mix and showed that with a spring game-best seven tackles, two for loss including a sack and a pass breakup.

SYRACUSE: QB Kyle McCord is an Ohio State transfer who figures to have the chance to light things up in the offense of first-year coach Fran Brown. McCord went 11-1 as a starter with the Buckeyes and has looked polished throughout the spring.

VIRGINIA: DE Chico Bennett Jr. enters his sixth year as healthy as he was two years ago when he led the Cavaliers with seven sacks. Bennett was slowed last season by shoulder problems, but was dominant in the spring game with seven tackles and three tackles for loss, including two sacks.

VIRGINIA TECH : DL Keyshawn Burgos is a 6-5 junior who took some steps forward as he made six starts. The Hokies believe he can be better this season and was a disrupter throughout spring. He forced an interception in the spring scrimmage.

WAKE FOREST: WR Horatio Fields could finally be ready for a breakout season as a fourth-year junior. The 6-3 Fields led the Demon Deacons with three catches including a 46-yard TD catch.


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