Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
1. Stepping up in the secondary. Cornerbacks Josh Bush and Kenny Okoro both looked impressive this spring while competing for Alphonso Smith's old position. They got a lot of reps with injured starter Brandon Ghee out and began to establish themselves as capable replacements.
2. Strength in numbers. Seven players with starting experience return to the offensive line and they have combined for 95 career starts. Russell Nenon, who moved to center after Trey Bailey broke his ankle last year, has solidified the position, and Jeff Griffin, who had been a starting tackle, is now comfortable at right guard. It will help tremendously to have Chris DeGeare back at left tackle, and Barrett McMillin returns at guard.
3. Better depth and speed at receiver. The Deacons have to replace D.J. Boldin, but they've got more options and more speed to do it this year. Chris Givens and Terence Davis, both redshirts last year, impressed the staff this spring. They'll team with Devon Brown, Marshall Williams and Jordan Williams.
1. Another loaded backfield. Like several other teams in the ACC, Wake has three capable tailbacks, and the staff will have to figure out how to distribute the carries. Josh Adams, Brandon Pendergrass and Kevin Harris each had a 100-yard game last year.
2. Healing power. Brandon Ghee sprained his knee on the first day of spring practice and did not return, and Boo Robinson has had some disc problems and didn't participate in any spring drills. Their absence didn't help a defense trying to replace seven starters. Aaron Curry is the kind of player who can't be "replaced," but four candidates will continue to try this fall.
3. Looking for No. 2. Backup quarterback Ryan McManus earned a slight lead as the No. 2 behind Riley Skinner -- so slight you might even call it a three-way tie -- but the coaches aren't ready to put it in ink yet. Skylar Jones and Ted Stachitas will continue to push McManus this fall.