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3 Names to Know: 2010 ACC Football
From Harlon Jordan, ACC Blitz.
Every year, teams lose a star player and it presents an opportunity for the next guy in line to show what he’s got. I’ve narrowed my list down to the top three players that bring the most to the table. If these guys were stocks, I’d be screaming BUY, BUY, BUY.
1)Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech
2009 Stats: 64-618 YDS, 9.7 AVG, 6 TD
Who he replaces: Jonathan Dwyer
Allen will have a tough act to follow in his first year as starter. Dwyer was a two-time recipient of an All-ACC selection, garnered All-America status in 2008 and finished his career with over 3,000 yards and 35 TD’s.
But Allen isn’t your typical backup player. Before transferring to Tech, he rushed for 1,102 yards and scored 23 TD’s at Louisville. In 2009, we saw flashes of that talent. Most notably the 82-yard TD run against Clemson. Despite being in a backup role, he topped 100-yards twice. Even more impressive was his average of nearly ten yards per rush.
2)Sean Renfree, Duke
2009 Stats: 34-50 (68.0%), 330 YDS, 4 TD, 2 INT
Who he replaces: Thaddeus Lewis
Renfree has some big shoes to fill this year. Lewis was a key factor in Dukes recent trend upward from doormat to respectable. He was a four-year starter and set school records in passing yards (10,065), passing TD’s (67) and completions (877).
But Duke fans relax. You won’t be returning to a pushover anytime soon. Enter Renfree. As a freshman last season, he got his first action against Army when Coach Cutcliffe called him in to replace Lewis. How did the freshman respond? Completed his first career college pass for a 17-Yard TD. He went on to complete seven of eight passes for 106 yards and two TD’s, leading the Blue Devils to a 35-19 win. With a solid receiving corp back in 2010, don’t be surprised to see him put up numbers similar to Lewis.
(Renfree highlights around the 2:00 and 3:30 mark)
3)Andre Ellington, Clemson
2009 Stats: 68-491 YDS, 7.2 AVG, 4 TD
Who he replaces: CJ Spiller
Ellington has my vote for toughest job in America. How do you replace a once in a lifetime player? The 2009 season saw Spiller set school record after school record, on his way to leading Clemson to their first Atlantic Division Title, and first trip to the ACC Championship Game.
But anyone who got a chance to take in any Tiger games in 2009 saw what Andre is capable of. At times, you had to double-take because it looked like a smaller version of CJ was tearing up the field. He has blistering speed, and amazing agility. If he sees an inch of daylight, he can take it to the house. Prime example was his 55-Yard scamper against Coastal Carolina.
But only if…..
Finally, I’m going to go ahead and throw a couple of guys in playing the ‘if’ game. They have the potential for a breakout season, but need a chip or two to fall in the right direction.
1)Damien Berry, Miami
If factor: The health of starting stud-RB Graig Cooper. He severely injured his knee in the bowl game against Wisconsin, and if he isn’t a go, or is limited for the most part, the Hurricanes could have their first 1000-yard rusher since 2002 in the speedy Berry.
2)Dwayne Allen, Clemson
If factor: The return of QB Kyle Parker. In 2009, the Clemson offense utilized TE Michael Palmer in a big way. He finished the season as their No.2 receiver with 507 yards receiving and 4 TD’s. If Parker returns, you can almost guarantee he will use the 6’3″ Allen in the same way he did Palmer.
- Harlon Jordan