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July 1, 2012
ACC Atlantic Offensive Names To Know
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About ten days ago, we identified six offensive players from the Coastal Division to watch out for during the upcoming season. Today, we move to the other division and identify six from the Atlantic side.
Boston College - WR Colin Larmond
Larmond is a six foot three inch redshirt junior with plenty of experience who is looking to continue his development into a top playmaker within the BC offense. He played immediately upon arriving on campus in 2008 and had a breakout sophomore campaign in 2009 before tearing his ACL and missing the entire 2010 season. Larmond returned in 2011 and had a solid season, hauling in 34 passes (2nd on the team) for 528 yards (1st) and three touchdowns (T-1st). Without Montel Harris in the backfield, expect the Eagles and QB Chase Rettig to try to push the ball down the field through the air more often. If that is the case, Larmond will be a major beneficiary.
Clemson - TE Brandon Ford
Just about every Tiger offensive player returns in 2012, except for star tight end Dwayne Allen. Dabo Swinney and offensive coordinator Chad Morris held an open competition this spring to decide who will replace Allen and former wide receiver Ford came out on top. Ford has similar athleticism to Allen, which can be attributed to his time spent as a wide receiver during his earlier years at Clemson. He's a solid six foot four, 220 pounds, so look for him to emerge as a target in the passing game as the year progresses. Clemson was so good last year because defenses weren't allowed to focus on just one pass catcher, so Ford is going to be needed in a big way if the Tigers hope to replicate that success.
Florida State - WR Kelvin Benjamin
Benjamin is a tantalizing talent at receiver for the 'Noles, standing in at six foot six and 242 pounds with good athleticism and the speed to play on the perimeter. However, he came in a bit rough around the edges, which prompted the redshirt during the 2011 season. Now, 2012 is approaching and Benjamin is fresh off an impressive spring in which he established himself as someone who can definitely help the 'Noles offensively this season. At the very least, Benjamin looks like he could be a dynamite threat in the red zone.
NC State - WR Tobais Palmer
Palmer is a 5'11" redshirt senior who will enter the year as one of QB Mike Glennon's top targets offensively. With T.J. Graham gone, the Wolfpack need one of their receivers to step up into a starring role and Palmer might just be the guy. He had 37 receptions in 2011, the most of any returning Wolfpack player and also hauled in five touchdowns. Palmer's biggest game was a 7-catch, 96-yards, 1-touchdown effort early at Wake Forest and he will be looking to repeat those numbers more consistently over the course of the season.
Maryland - WR Stefon Diggs
Is there any doubt here? Diggs was lured to College Park late by offensive coordinator Mike Locksley and will arrive on campus ready to play from day one, and the Terps need him badly. He is the kind of playmaker at receiver the Terps haven't had since current Baltimore Ravens WR Torrey Smith left campus and is certainly an early candidate for ACC Freshman of the Year Honors. He will need a steady season from QB C.J. Brown to be successful, but by all indications, his athletic ability will be a huge weapon for the Terps.
Wake Forest - QB Tanner Price
Price had a big year last year, throwing for more than 3,000 yards with 20 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He has developed very nicely over the past couple of seasons in Winston-Salem and enters 2012 looking to become a top playmaker in the conference. The Deaconss were very competitive last year and came close to playing in the ACC Championship Game and if they hope to repeat that this season, Price will need to have a season similar to the one Riley Skinner had for Wake when they won the ACC in 2006.
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