Day 1 of the 2017 ACC Football Media Day is a wrap. The Atlantic division took the podium and without a doubt my favorite quote of Thursday comes from the reigning champions Clemson Tiger’s head coach Dabo Swinney.
“It ain’t too far from the penthouse to the outhouse,” Swinney said as he described the parody in the conference.
The penthouse was the national championship the Tigers won last year and the outhouse being where Clemson’s football program has been before. Swinney joked about having to beg Tajh Boyd, the Tigers QB from ’10-’14, to let him in Boyd’s house on the recruiting trail. Clemson doesn’t have that recruiting problem these days but what they do have is a lot of questions on the offensive side of the ball. The Tigers lost 78 percent of its offensive production from last year. Swinney calls it a fair concern.
“That’s just that edge some of those guys need,” Swinney said. “Nobody is asking me about Deon Cain yet. He’s one of the best receivers in the country. By the end of the season we’re not going to be talking about those guys that aren’t here anymore.”
Rather, Swinney hopes we all talk about this year’s players and team as his “next man up” approach comes to fruition.
The other headline surrounding ACC football media day one is the other reigning hardware victor in Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson. The University of Louisville quarterback is coming off a monstrous year but a disappointing end of the 2016 season.
“Each and every game we’re trying to get a victory,” Jackson said. “I’m trying to win more games than last year. Our goal is a national championship.”
For that to happen, Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino knows he’ll have to diversify his offense and put less pressure on Jackson but the boy is still gonna eat.
“We do have a philosophy at the University of Louisville that we call F-T-S which means FEED THE STUDS,” Petrino said. “Obviously Lamar is one of our studs. Don’t think we’re not going to call quarterback run plays or zone read plays.”
If 2016 is any indication, Jackson won’t have much of an appetite.
There’s definitely a buzz down in Florida State as the Seminoles try to come back to ACC prominence. But right off the bat, standing right in their way, is the Alabama Crimson Tide–FSU’s first game of the season.
“I think it’s what college football is about,” Seminole coach Jimbo Fisher said. “I mean you get to walk into that atmosphere and environment. You’re talking about the two winning-est coaches in the last 7 years. I think it’s great for our leagues, I think it’s great for college football and I think we’ll find out where we’re at.”
Florida State is in a good place right now as Deondre Francois takes the quarterback reigns for the second year in a row.
“I feel like from red-shirt season to my red-shirt sophomore season the game has slowed down,” Francois. “It’s about realizing I’m not perfect, understanding I will make mistakes and then correct them to get better.”
On Friday, the Virginia Tech Hokies and UVA Wahoos will take the podium as the Coastal Division is up next.