Friday, July 31, 2015

Wake Forest Demon Deacons Season Preview

Wake returns 37 lettermen and 15 of them starters, including PK Weaver and P Kinal...Six starters return on off ense, including three members of the off ensive line in C A’lique Terry, G Josh Harris and T Dylan Intemann, though three redshirt freshmen emerged in the spring as starters in Ts Phil Haynes and Justin Herron and C Ryan Anderson... Improving Wake’s ground attack is a prime priority, as the Deacons managed to rush for just 479 yards a year ago...RB’s Isaiah Robinson and Dezmond Worthan are capable, and improved line play will allow them to be more productive... Wolford will also benefi t from an improved line, and improved playmakers around him, but he too will have competition in the in the fall from January enrollee QB Kendall Hinton...WRs Jared Crump (32 catches) and Jonathan Williams both return while redshirt freshman Cortez Lewis and January enrollee Tabari Hines head to the fall in the lead, along with Crump, for starting honors at the three WR positions...Th ey are joined by Serigne, who will be among the ACC’s best TEs this fall...Defensively, Wake returns seven starters from a unit that was 18th nationally in tackles for a loss (7.2)... DE Dunn and DTs Banks and Harris all return to the defensive line where they combined for 18.5 TFLs last year...Sophomore Duke Ejiofor ended spring ahead of redshirt freshman Chris Stewart at the other DE with DT Zeek Rodney pushing Harris for playing time...Th e top three tacklers return in SS Ryan Janvion (115 tackles. 7.0 TFLs) and LBs Marquel Lee (101 tackles, 12.0 TFLs) and Brandon Chubb (109 tackles)... Janvion anchors a rebuilt secondary that will be looking for replacements at cornerback but has rover Hunter Williams returning...S Th omas Brown didn’t start last year, but saw enough action to make 50 tackles, and Josh Okonye, at fi eld corner, and Brad Watson, at boundary CB came out of spring in the lead for starting honors.

Syracuse Orangemen Season Preview

Shafer will welcome back 45 lettermen, though only 11 starters...Spring priorities on off ense will be to develop some playmakers and rebuild an off ensive line that loses a pair of key starters...Starting QB Terrel Hunt returns aft er missing the fi nal seven games last fall with injury...A dual threat to run or pass, Hunt completed 57 percent of his passes and also ran for 6 TDs...In his absence, sophomore QB AJ Long impressed (935 yards passing, 4 TDs), at least until he too, was hampered by injuries.... Having both back healthy is a good beginning...Ts Ivan Foy and Omari Palmer, C Rob Trudo and G Nick Robinson return to lead the off ensive line with redshirt freshman Aaron Roberts fi lling the remaining guard position... RBs George Morris, II and Devante McFarlane also return and both have seen playing time...Ishmael (27 catches, 15.4 avg.) and Lewis (24 catches), who has moved to H-Back, will lead a promising receiver corps that also includes WRs Brisly Estime and Alvin Cornelius, H-backs Ashton Broyld and Philips, as well as TE Josh Parris...Defensively, the Orange will have to replace eight starters who combined for 203 starts... WLB Marqez Hodge (38 tackles) and MLB Zaire Franklin (44 tackles) are a good start...Soph Parris Bennett came out of spring as the starter at SLB ahead of Jonathan Th omas and Oliver Vigille...DE Ron Th ompson is the only returning starter upfront but senior DE Ronnie Simmons claimed the other spot in spring with junior DE Luke Arcienega competing for playing time...Redshirt freshman NT Kayton Samuels and senior DT John Raymon emerged inside as starters...In the secondary, only CB Julian Whigham (28 tackles, 1 Int.) returns, but Antwan Cordy (10 tackles, 1 Int.) Corey Winfi eld (14 tackles) and Wayne Morgan and Chauncey Scissum all saw action as reserves...Whigham and redshirt freshman Cordell Hudson will compete for one CB berth while Morgan and Winfi eld will battle for the other...Cordy came out of spring as the starter at SS with Scissum and redshirt freshman Rodney Williams competing at FS.

NCST Wolfpack Season Preview

With 14 returning starters--six on off ense and eight on defense--the Wolfpack should continue their improvement from a year ago...Brissett established himself as one of the best playmakers in the ACC last fall and should contend for national honors this time around...State will have to replace both tackles on the off ensive line, but four linemen return who saw starting time last year in Joe Th uney, Alex Barr, Tony Adams and C Quinton Schooley...Th uney and Adams emerged from spring at guard, while Barr and redshirt freshmen Tyler Jones are the leaders at tackle... TE David Grinnage (27 catches, 5 TDs) was on the Mackey Watch List last fall...He and WRs Bra’Lon Cherry (27 catches), Jonathan Alston (21 catches) and Jumichael Ramos lead a receiver corps that also includes Stephen Louis and TE/FB Jaylen Samuels...Th ornton leads a cadre of RBs that also includes the versatile Dayes, January enrollee Reggie Gallapsy II and Dakwa Nichols...Defensively, State doesn’t have as many holes to fi ll, but each of the three departing starters were key players... DE Mike Rose (15.0 TFLs) and DT B.J. Hill (7.5 TFLs) return to anchor the line, where they will be joined by DEs Bradley Chubb and Pharoah McKever as well as DTs Kentavius Street (23 tackles), Kenton Gibbs and Justin Jones...Fernandez leads a linebacker corps that includes Airius Moore (37 tackles), Ernie Robinson, III, Ford Howell, M.J. Salahuddin and January enrollee Riley Nicholson...CB Jack Tocho (40 tackles, 11 PBUs) leads a fi ve-man secondary that has all of its starters returning in CB Juston Burris (29 tackles), Ss Hakim Jones (80 tackles) and Josh Jones (56 tackles, 4 INTs) and hybrid S-LB Dravious Wright (57 tackles, 5 TFLs)... Th ere is also depth available here with eight other players who saw enough action in 2014 to earn letters.

Louisville Cardinals Season Preview

Key off ensive priorities include determining a starting quarterback, rebuilding a line that loses three starters and fi nding playmakers in its receiving corps...Sophomore QB Reggie Bonnafon, who started fi ve games aft er starter Will Gardner went down with an injury, enters fall in a competition with Gardner and sophomore Kyle Bolin for starting honors... Th is trio combined to throw for 3,249 yards and 21 TDs...Gardner and Bolin are more classic drop-back passers, while Bonnafon is a threat to run or pass...Running back will be handled by junior Brandon Radcliff (737 yds, 12 TDs) and sophomores L.J. Scott and Jeremy Smith...C Tobijah Hughley and T Aaron Epps fi gure to anchor the reconstructed line with Pedro Sibiea, Kelby Johnson, Skylar Lacy, Lukayus McNeil and JUCO transfers Khalil Hunter and Kiola Mahoni...At WR, junior James Quick (36 catches), Texas A&M transfer Ja’Quay Savage (formerly Williams) and UAB transfer Jamari Staples emerged from the spring the leaders, with former TE Charles Standberry, Alphonso Carter, Gio Pascascio, Dontez Byrd and Traveon Samuel also in the mix.....Defensively, Louisville returns fi ve of its front seven, including all-star candidate DE Sheldon Rankins (13.5 TFLs, 8 sacks), DT DeAngelo Brown, DE Pio Vatuvei and LBs Keith Kelsey (87 tackles) and James Burgess (10 TFLs)...Joining Burgess and Kelsey is junior Keith Brown, JUCO transfer Devante Fields and sophomore Henry Famurewa ...Th e secondary is the main concern, where only S Jermaine Reve returns...Redshirt freshman Cornelius Strughill and sophomores Shaq Wiggins, Trumaine Washington and Jaire Alexander will compete at CB while Reve, Georgia transfer Josh Harvey Clemons and sophomore Chucky Williams and Zykesis Canon will battle for the safety positions.

Florida State Seminoles Season Preview

Off ensive priorities will include replacing a quarterback, wide receiver and tight end who were among the best in school history, as well as four threeyear starters on the off ensive line...Redshirt junior QB Sean Maguire emerged from spring as the front-runner, but will face a fall competition with graduate transfer Everett Golson, who led Notre Dame to the 2012 BCS title game and was last seen in Tallahassee throwing for 313 yards and 3 TDs against the Seminoles last Oct. 18...Sophomore T Roderick Johnson, who started the fi nal fi ve games last year, anchors a rebuilt line that will include a pair of JUCO transfers who have been in the program a year in T Chad Mavety and G Kareem Are...Whomever does emerge at QB, they will have some weapons at their disposal in RBs Dalvin Cook, Mario Pender and January enrollee Jacques Patrick. Cook rushed for an FSU freshman record 1,008 yards, but his availability is in question aft er a July suspension...Pender has excellent speed, though, and Patrick is a good blend of speed and power...Despite the loss of Greene, the receiving corps should be solid with sophomores Travis Rudolph (38 catches), Ermon Lane, Ja’Vonn Harrison and junior Jesus Wilson (42 catches) joined by talented freshman George Campbell ...Th e Noles also possess the nation’s best PK in Roberto Aguayo... On defense, DE DeMarcus Walker and DT Derrick Mitchell both return, as does NT Nile Lawrence-Stample...One of the areas targeted for improvement is FSU’s pass rush, which may come from a trio of sophomore DEs in Rick Leonard, Lorenzo Featherston and Jacob Pugh...Both starting linebackers return in Terrance Smith and Reggie Northup... In the secondary, All-American Jalen Ramsey moves to CB and heads a talented cast that includes FS Nate Andrews, SS Tyler Hunter, Star Trey Marshall and CB Marquez White

Clemson Tigers Season Preview

Off ensive priorities included replacing three members of the line and adjusting to the staff change of having off ensive co-coordinators with Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott fi lling those roles...Th at arrangement worked fi ne in the Tigers’ Russell Athletic Bowl domination of Oklahoma, and the return of QB Deshaun Watson and big-play WRs Artavis Scott (76 catches) and Mike Williams (57 catches, 18.1 avg.) should make that transition easier...Scott and Williams head a talented receiver corps that includes WRs Germone Hopper, Charone Peake and freshman Trevion Th ompson; as well as TEs Jordan Leggett and Stanton Seckinger...Watson completed 68 percent of his passes with an effi ciency rating (188.57) which would have led the nation had he played in enough games to qualify...In his spring absence, junior Nick Schuessler impressed in his bid for the backup QB role...Watson will have a talented running back corps to work with led by Wayne Gallman (789 yards) and including Tyshon Dye, C.J. Davidson and Zac Brooks...C Ryan Norton is the only returning starter on a rebuilt line that includes Gs Eric MacLain and Tyrone Crowder and T Joe Gore and possibly true freshman Mitch Hyatt...Defense is where some heavy lift ing will need to occur...Th ere is talent available with seven returning lettermen up front, including DEs Shaq Lawson (11.0 TFLs) and Kevin Dodd, and DTs D.J. Reader and Carlos Watkins as well as fi ve returning lettermen at linebacker... Ben Boulware (40 tackles), Korrin Wiggins (34 tackles) and B.J. Goodson (25 tackles) came out of spring as starters with Dorian O’Daniel (28 tackles) and T. J. Burrell pushing for playing time...Alexander and S Jayron Kearse key a secondary that includes SS Jadar Johnson and CB Cordrea Tankersly.

Boston College Eagles Season Preview

For the second straight year Boston College will have to rebuild its offensive line and find a starting quarterback...This fall, those will be BC’s main priorities as well as replacing three starters in its defensive secondary...Sophomore dual threat QB Darius Wade emerged from the spring, as the leader to be the starter...He will have some weapons at his disposal in Hilliman, who should be a candidate for national honors this year, sophomore RB Marcus Outlaw, junior RB Myles Willis and WR’s Sherman Alston and Charlie Callinan, who impressed in the spring and could have a breakout season...Fifthyear senior G Harris Williams, who started 10 games in 2013 but missed all of last year with injury, Frank Taylor, Dave Bowen and Jim Cashman are all candidates for the rebuilt OLine...Defensively, CB Justin Simmons (76) and LB Steven Daniels (72) were the team leaders in tackles a year ago...They are joined by All-ACC NT Connor Wujciak, DE KenvinKavalec (10.5 TFLs), DT Truman Gutapfel and LB Mike Strizak (43 tackles) as returning starters...Coordinator Don Brown’s unit was 2nd nationally in defense against the run, allowing 94.5 yards per game...DBs John Johnson (25 tackles), Kamrin Moore (22 tackles), Matt Milano (20 tackles) and Isaac Yiadom (13 tackles) all saw significant playing time last fall and are candidates for the open secondary positions

Trade Deadline Recap 2015

Heading into Thursday we already saw big names moved.  Cole Hamels went to the Rangers, Jonathan Papelbon went to the Nationals, Troy Tulowitzki went to the Blue Jays, Scott Kazmir went to the Houston, and Aramis Ramirez went to the Pirates.  More moves had been made yesterday and today and I'll let you know everything that has happened yesterday and today.

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired David Price from the Detroit Tigers for Matt Boyde, Daniel Norris, and Jario Labourt.  The ST Louis Cardinals acquired Brandon Moss from the Cleveland Indians for Rob Kaminsky.  There was a three team trade involving the Dodgers, the Marlins, and the Braves.  The Dodgers acquired Matt Latos, Michael Morse, Alex Wood, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan, Bronson Arroyo, and Jose Peraza, the Braves acquired Hector Olivera, Zachary Bird, Paco Rodriguez, and a draft pick from the Marlins, and the Marlins acquired Jeff Brigham, Victor Arauo, and Kevin Guzman.  The Yankees acquired Dustin Ackley from the Mariners for Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez.  The White Sox acquired Justin Sellers for a player to be named.  The Astros acquired Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers, and the 76th international signing slot from the Brewers for Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana, Josh Hader, and Adrian Houser.  The Pirates acquired Joakin Soria from the Tigers for JaCoby Jones.

Today being the trade deadline was busy as expected.  The Giants acquired Mike Leake from the Reds for Adam Duvail and Keury Mella.  The Cardinals acquired Jonathan Broxton and cash considerations from the Brewers for Malik Collymore.  The Orioles acquired Gerado Parra from the Brewers for Zach Davies.  The Blue Jays acquired Mark Lowe from the Mariners for Nick Wells, Jacob Brentz, and Rob Rasmussen.  The Cubs acquired Dan Haren from the Marlins for Ivan Pineyro and Elliot Soto.  The Twins acquired Kevin Jepsen from the Rays for Chih Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia.  The Blue Jays acquired Ben Revera from the Phillies for Jimmy Cordero and Alberto Tirado.  The Mets acquired Yoenis Cespedes from the Tigers for Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.  The Cubs acquired Tommy Hunter from the Orioles for Junior Lakes.  The Pirates acquired JA Happ from the Mariners for Adrian Sampson.  The A's acquired Felix Doubront from the Blue Jays for cash considerations.  The Rangers acquired Sam Dyson from the Marlins for Tomas Telis and Cody Ege.  The Pirates acquired Marc Rzepcynski from the Indians for Abraham Almonte.  The Padres acquired Michael Morse from the Dodgers for Jose Tabata.

I like what the Astros did this week by adding pitching and hitting, I also liked what the Mets were able to bring in this week as well considering that they were near the bottom in hitting coming into the week.  Now the Mets should have a better offense as they try and push towards the playoffs.  If you look at what the Pirates did you'll see that they were able to add depth in their lineup and depth in their bull pen.  Toronto also showed that they're going all in this week by bring in Tulo and Price.  They also added Ben Revera and Mark Lowe so that's added depth in their outfield and rotation.  One thing that did surprise me were the Padres.  They were rumored to become sellers this week and they didn't make one big trade at all.