2021 ACC Media Days takeaways: Miami QB D’Eriq King impresses, new commissioner calls for NCAA review

The nationwide media days schedule introduced our consideration to the ACC on Wednesday, as day one of many two-day occasion featured the coaches and gamers from the seven Coastal Division groups. Whereas the day featured star quarterbacks and two highly-touted groups anticipated to be the highest challengers to Clemson, a number of the most notable headlines got here from new commissioner Jim Phillips. 

Phillips opened the ACC Soccer Kickoff with the commissioner’s discussion board, a convention which may serve many functions relying on the convention and the commissioner however basically can function a “state of the union” with an prolonged question-and-answer alternative for reporters. After plowing by means of a gap assertion that spotlight the entire championships gained in the entire many sports activities the place the ACC competes and dominates, Phillips ultimately turned the main target to the matter at hand — the upcoming college football season. 

In contrast to the SEC and the Massive 12, the ACC just isn’t but able to decide to a stance on whether or not video games will likely be postponed due to COVID protocol or will likely be dominated as forfeits ought to a workforce not meet the requirements to play. Each SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and Massive 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby delivered agency messages to their constituents, whereas Phillips mentioned the league will wait just a few weeks to assemble extra info on the present state of COVID unfold earlier than making a ruling for the season. 

He additionally harassed that there will likely be no vaccine mandate throughout the ACC, as a substitute permitting the person faculties to make that call, noting that seven faculties have a COVID mandate to even be a pupil. So, the place to begin for the league is half the convention having a 100% vaccination price on the roster. A number of extra packages are “on the cusp” of assembly an 85% vaccinated threshold, Phillips mentioned, however there could be no ruling from the ACC requiring vaccinations with a purpose to compete in 2021. 

Phillips had a few line merchandise kind solutions for title, picture and likeness (“we’d like federal laws”), listening to criticism of the 12-team playoff proposal (gamers will likely be heard, however he needs to have extra discussions earlier than deciding on a league consensus) and Notre Dame’s future with the ACC (“they know the ACC’s curiosity, it has been lower than bashful”), however ears in Indianapolis certainly perked up when he known as for a wide-ranging assessment of the NCAA and what its function is in faculty sports activities. 

“That is the appropriate time to have an entire holistic assessment of the NCAA, management, construction, what will we need to do transferring ahead,” Phillips mentioned. “There’s been so many issues which have occurred in our house right here that the timing is correct. No predetermined outcomes. Let’s have a look.”

He went on to level out the variations between the 351 faculties in Division I and echoed the oft-repeated notion that there is extra variations than similarities within the current governance construction. Mark Emmert opened the door for these conversations together with his personal latest feedback, and now Phillips is becoming a member of his friends in calling for a re-thinking of how enterprise is completed in big-time faculty athletics.  

Now let’s take a look at another notable subjects of dialog from the Coastal Division day. 

D’Eriq King has a star high quality to him

King made headlines as one of many first faculty soccer gamers to actually money in on NIL as all the Miami (FL) soccer program has embraced the alternatives that will likely be afforded to them on this new period. He is been in faculty soccer a very long time and is an impressive participant, however his worth from a advertising perspective exceeds his on-field play. King seemed nice, gave nice perception into the expertise of a participant on this NIL period and did a ton to reaffirm followers’ hopes that he’ll be on the sphere when the Hurricanes open up the 2021 season in opposition to Alabama in Miami. 

“I believe the entire NIL factor, I believe it is actually good for school soccer,” King mentioned. “My factor was work with good corporations. You possibly can’t work with all people. You need to work with corporations that align along with your core values. You do not need to go on the market and work with that firm, that firm, that firm. My important objective is to assist as many teammates as I can to earn no matter they will earn.

“Not all about me. I need to be by my teammates, for these guys to make as a lot as attainable. Soccer remains to be the primary factor. Lots of people are anxious about the way it can have an effect on your play. For us, I do know the College of Miami, all my teammates, soccer is the primary objective. We’re not anxious concerning the NIL factor. We simply need to play soccer. Every time we now have time to cope with that stuff, we’ll cope with that sort of stuff.” 

King’s go well with had a terrific colour and sample, however provided that you bought shut or requested — as Wes Durham of the ACC Community did — whether or not you get to see the customized lining on the within of the jacket as properly. 

Tar Heels are media darlings

On multiple event, Mack Brown referred to the 2021 North Carolina soccer workforce because the “media darlings” for the ACC this season. Brown has proven Tar Heels followers the degrees that may be reached by this system earlier than, and coming off an Orange Bowl look with one of many high quarterbacks in faculty soccer main the best way, there’s perception that he is but once more on the cusp of one thing particular. However whereas Brown was driving house the acknowledgement of raised expectations, Sam Howell shared some perception right into a workforce that “has a chip on its shoulder.” 

Whereas Howell takes up a whole lot of air house as a star quarterback, any evaluation of the Tar Heels’ convention title possibilities in 2021 comes all the way down to changing the huge manufacturing gap left by the departures of working backs Javonte Williams and Michael Carter in addition to broad receivers Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome. Howell defined that the ability gamers able to reap the benefits of this new alternative really feel like they have been ignored for what their potential may very well be in the identical offense that produced so many yards and scores in 2020. 

Talking of latest ability gamers, Brown famous that top-of-the-line attributes that Tennessee switch Ty Chandler brings to the working again room is expertise that the workforce will want when it opens the season on a Friday night time in Lane Stadium in opposition to Virginia Tech. Chandler has performed in some big video games in opposition to nice groups, Brown mentioned, and that enables the coaches to belief him when “Enter Sandman” is blaring and so they want a working again who can maintain onto the ball.  

Virginia Tech needs ‘chemistry’

Justin Fuente is aware of it is robust to switch a again like Khalil Herbert and the manufacturing of Hendon Hooker, however he is enthusiastic about what the Hokies offense can do with Braxton Burmeister working the present. Fuente mentioned Burmeister is likely one of the finest athletes on the workforce and may contribute to that working sport, however what he is actually on the lookout for is robust chemistry with the broad receivers. The message from former offensive coordinator to quarterback has clearly been pushed house, as a result of because the energy of Virginia Tech’s ability positions shifts from the working backs to the broad receivers, Burmeister is specializing in the right way to be in lock-step together with his go catchers. 

“Positively getting extra snug with our receivers and constructing that chemistry, constructing timing,” Burmeister mentioned when requested about his greatest emphasis for the offseason. “We throw a whole lot of timing routes, a whole lot of fast outs, a whole lot of 10-yard outs. And feeling snug to actually rip these outs and throw them onerous and simply being on time with the blokes.”

It will be attention-grabbing to see how that offense runs as a result of the offensive line has a pair robust choices again from final yr, and Fuente is among the many few ACC coaches to enter the season with actual strain to win in 2021. In fact, we’ll get have a look at how all the Coastal Division is about to shake out when the Hokies host North Carolina in Week 1. | 2021 ACC Media Days takeaways: Miami QB D’Eriq King impresses, new commissioner requires NCAA assessment


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