Don't forget to get your ACC love letters in, guys. Until then, here's the regular weekly mailblog ...
Brian in New York, N.Y., writes: Since the rumor mill has a potential match-up between the Canes and FSU on Labor Day I wanted to ask you how big of an advantage, in your opinion, is it for Miami to play FSU and host OSU early in the season. While the faces and names on the field will be largely the same as 2010, the plays/schemes will be completely different and there will be little (and for FSU no) scouting tape available. Do you think this gives Miami a better shot at pulling off some early upsets?
HD: I understand what you're saying, and it could be a factor, should the schedule play out that way, but I think it would be better for Miami to play a few cupcakes first to get some of the kinks out. You almost always see mistakes and sloppy play in the first few games of the season -- even from programs that aren't going through a change in staff and philosophy.
Kendall in Sumter, S.C., writes: Like everyone else, I was shocked at how well Clemson was able to recruit this year. I hope all of the players turn out to be under-rated and Clemson has a banner few years ahead. But one thing still bugs me: Did Dabo not recruit a kicker? Clemson's kicking game contributed mightily to the losing season (the Auburn game is the first one that come to mind, followed closely by the game against FSU). Does Dabo know something that the rest of us don't or does he think someone already on the roster will finally step up? Just wondering if he's commented about it.
HD: He's done better than comment about it, Kendall. He recruited one. Ammon Lakip, from Alpharetta, Ga. He's rated No. 12 at his position by ESPN.com.
JT in Orlando, Fla., writes: Maryland's recruiting class seemed a little below average. I read that Edsall excels at taking average talent and getting the best out of it, similar to Gary Williams. What are your thoughts on this?Thanks,JT
HD: ESPN Recruiting gave it a C+, so it would seem to me it's slightly better than average. You're right, though, about Edsall's reputation as a recruiter. He won at UConn with mostly under-the-radar guys. He even went to Canada to get one. Edsall has blasted the star system before, and he's big on evaluating guys and developing them. They obviously did a good job, considering the Huskies made it to a BCS bowl last year, and developed four first- or second-round NFL draft picks two years ago. He never really got any of the big-name players in the state of Connecticut, especially in the Southern part, but he did get good players who didn't have egos. The Maryland/D.C./Virginia area is filled with talent, but with Virginia Tech, Virginia and Penn State all more than aware of it, Edsall will have his work cut out for him.
Robert in North Carolina writes: Hey, Heather... Looks like you missed Marshall Williams getting an invite to the NFL Combine. Last time I checked, Wake Forest was an ACC school. Come on.
HD: You're right. My bad.
Trevor in North Dakota writes: Hey Heather, what's the word on Storm Johnson? I was surprised they didnt redshirt him last year. He seemed to show flashes last year. Is he going to challenge Miller for the starting spot this year?
HD: Lamar Miller and Mike James have a proven track record and have to be considered the favorites for the starting spot. Miller is a very special player, and those within the program think he could be the next great Miami running back. James is consistent, a leader, smart and good in the passing game. Al Golden has said it's an open competition, though, and if Johnson proves to be the best back, he could earn the starting job. From a pure talent perspective, Miller and Johnson are the best on the roster.
Ben in Blacksburg, Va., writes: How long do you think it will be fore Torrian Gray is given a promotion at VT or finds a D-coordinator job at another school? He has been the defensive backs coach for a few years now and our secondary has been arguably the most consistent part of our team. He is also our best recruiter and has gotten off to a fast start in 2012. Who knows if Bud Foster will ever move from blacksburg, but Gray has got to be drawing some attention around the country.
HD: Great point, Ben, he's definitely made a name for himself there and should be considered an attractive candidate for the next step at another school. The secondary has become a strong tradition of the Hokies' defense, and he was responsible for the top two recruits already in the 2012 class. Hokies fans should hope he remains a secret.
Neil in Boston writes: Hi Heather,Since I'm routinely confused by who is/isn't required to sit out a year with this kind of transfer, can you educate on why Forcier (seemingly) won't be required to take a hiatus? Keep up the good work with the blog.
HD: Thanks, Neil, but Forcier will be required to sit out 2011. He'll have two years of eligibility remaining and can play in 2012.