Posted July 19, 2013

ACC media days primer: Key storylines

ACC, ACC Media Days
Tajh Boyd

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd will be one of the players in attendance at ACC media days. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

By Zac Ellis

Conference media days season is upon us, which means games aren’t too far behind. The ACC’s annual event will take place at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C., from July 21-22. Here are three storylines to watch:

1. New faces, new places. The ACC will be a little more crowded this season following the additions of Syracuse and Pitt from the Big East (now the American Athletic Conference), but don’t expect the two programs to make a big splash in their conference debuts. Both the Orange and Panthers face a host of questions heading into the fall, and their coaches might face just as many about their respective teams’ transitions to a new league. Pitt coach Paul Chryst will likely field plenty of queries about his team’s rushing attack, which is in flux after the transfer of tailback Rushel Shell — the team’s presumed starter — after spring practice. First-year Syracuse headman Scott Shafer will likely be asked about the Orange’s own offensive uncertainty; ‘Cuse must replace record-setting quarterback Ryan Nassib and its top two receivers.

2. Hurricane warning. When Miami self-imposed a second straight bowl ban in 2012 as a result of an ongoing NCAA investigation, it marked the first time since 1981-82 that the school went consecutive years without a bowl berth. It will be postseason eligible again in 2013, and with 10 offensive starters returning, coach Al Golden’s squad enters this fall as the Coastal Division favorite and an under-the-radar threat to Clemson and Florida State for the league title. While NCAA questions will undoubtedly loom over Miami’s appearance in Greensboro, the Hurricanes’ chances at the conference crown should produce plenty of football-driven questions for Golden and company.

3. Heisman hopeful. Clemson’s Tajh Boyd opted to return for his senior season, a decision that should keep the Tigers’ offense among the nation’s elite in 2013. The unit ranked first in the ACC in scoring, passing and total offense last season, and Boyd’s individual numbers were terrific: He threw for 3,896 yards and an ACC single-season record 36 touchdowns. Coming off a dominant outing against LSU in last season’s Chick-fil-A Bowl (36-of-50, 346 yards, three total touchdowns), the senior enters this fall as a Heisman candidate — a designation he’ll certainly be asked about at media days.

Players in attendance

Boston College
QB Chase Rettig
LB Steele Divitto

QB Tajh Boyd
LB Spencer Shuey

QB Anthony Boone
CB Ross Cockrell

Florida State
WR Rashad Greene
DB Lamarcus Joyner

Georgia Tech
OL Will Jackson
DE Jeremiah Attaochu

QB C.J. Brown
CB Dexter McDougle

QB Stephen Morris
DL Shayon Green

North Carolina
QB Bryn Renner
DE Kareem Martin

NC State
WR Rashard Smith
CB Dontae Johnson

WR Devin Street
DL Aaron Donald

C Macky MacPherson
DT Jay Bromley

OT Morgan Moses
DE Jake Snyder

Virginia Tech
QB Logan Thomas
LB Jack Tyler

Wake Forest
WR Michael Campanaro
LB Justin Jackson