The Latest: Demon Deacons look to move on after ‘WakeyLeaks’
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Latest on ACC media days (all times local):
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are hoping a new season means they can officially put the ”WakeyLeaks” scandal behind them.
Wake Forest’s surprising 7-6 season under coach Dave Clawson that culminated with a bowl win against No. 23 Temple last December was overshadowed by the situation involving former assistant coach turned broadcaster Tommy Elrod. The school says he leaked, or attempted to leak, plays to opponents.
Senor tight end Cam Serigne says all he and his teammates can do is control the controllable. Serigne said Thursday that the scandal is in the past and the only thing the Demon Deacons can do is move on.
Serigne said there is no good that will come from Wake Forest looking back on it or harping on it. He said all they can do now is use it as motivation.
Elrod was fired from his position as the analyst for the team’s radio broadcasts.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher was asked Thursday if he’s ready for the regular season opener against perennial power Alabama on Sept. 2 at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
”I scheduled it, so I better be ready for it,” the fast-talking Fisher said with a laugh.
While he wouldn’t want to do it every year, Fisher said it’s a great way to kickoff the college season and believes the game will be a measuring stick for his team. The Seminoles, like Alabama, enter the season with realistic national championship aspirations.
”That is what college football is all about,” Fisher said at ACC media days in Charlotte. ”You get to walk into that atmosphere, that environment. You are talking about the two winningest teams in college football over the last seven years. That is great for our league and for college football.”
Linebacker Zaire Franklin knows the drill when it comes to ACC media days – when Syracuse enters the room, most of the media tends to find something else to do.
That is what happens when your program is struggling.
The three-year captain for the Orange said respect is something that has to be learned and ”we are no stranger to that fact. When you come to media day you can see the pecking order and there is no more motivation than that.”
Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungy added, ”Nobody is here for us. That fires me up. It makes me want to go back and start working and play with a chip on your shoulder.”
Coach Dino Babers left no doubt about how the Orange intend to play this season.
Babers said ”we want to play basketball on turf, play basketball on grass.”
He wants his team to play like the Golden State Warriors, or ”as fast as humanly possible.”
North Carolina State’s Jaylen Samuels has been so unique and so impressive the ACC has decided to name a new position after him – well, sort of.
The ACC announced this week that there will be a new position on the official All-ACC ballot this year that was inspired by Samuels called ”the all-purpose back.”
”It makes me feel very good,” Samuels said Thursday at the ACC media days. ”Just to add another position, that’s crazy to think about. But that is very special to me and I will keep working hard to prove people wrong.”
The versatile Samuels was used at multiple positions last season for the Wolfpack and proved to be extremely effective as a runner, receiver and returner.
The Atlantic has long been the power division in ACC football, with Clemson and Florida State combining to win six straight league titles.
But Commissioner John Swofford says he doesn’t see divisional realignment coming anytime soon.
Swofford said Thursday during his state-of-the-league forum to open Thursday’s interviews that the ACC ”will keep looking at it but I would anticipate any change in the near future.”
The last Coastal Division team to win the ACC title was Virginia Tech in 2010.
Swofford also addressed the long-running question of whether Notre Dame – a football independent but an ACC member in all other league sports – might join in football. Swofford said there is a contractual agreement for Notre Dame to join the ACC in football if it chooses to give up independence during the current TV contract running through 2036, but that it’s ”not a point of discussion” currently.
Swofford also declined to provide detailed updates on the ongoing work to launch the ACC’s TV channel in August 2019.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has opened its preseason football media days by touting its football success in 2016, from Clemson’s national championship to Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson winning the Heisman Trophy.
Both trophies were on display in Charlotte, though Commissioner John Swofford opened his state-of-the-league forum by noting: ”We also know you don’t live too long on last year’s laurels.”
Swofford’s forum was the first interview session of the day, which will feature Atlantic Division teams Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, Boston College, Syracuse, North Carolina State and Wake Forest.
The Atlantic Coast Conference won big in football in 2016. So it’s fitting the league starts its annual preseason media days by featuring reigning national champion Clemson and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville.
The league opens its two-day event in Charlotte on Thursday morning, beginning with a state-of-the-league forum from Commissioner John Swofford.
Coaches and players from the league’s seven Atlantic Division teams will be in attendance for Thursday’s interview sessions, with Dabo Swinney’s Tigers coming off the league’s second title in four seasons but facing significant losses that include star quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Jackson is trying to become only the second repeat Heisman winner, joining Ohio State’s Archie Griffin.
The day will also feature national-title contender Florida State. Coach Jimbo Fisher, quarterback Deondre Francois and defensive back Derwin James are scheduled to attend.
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