CHARLOTTE — Over the past two days, you could have mistaken the atmosphere at The Westin Hotel Charlotte with that of Christmas and Halloween beingrolled up into one, at least to a number of college football-starved fans in the South.
The reason for that is because college football season is indeed just around the corner, as evidenced by the 2017 ACC Football Kickoff, the annual meet-and-greet of the league’s coaches and best players with members of the media. For the second time, A Lot of Sports Talk had a spot on radio row and was able to speak with many of the players and coaches representing each of the 14 members in the league.
Part one of our coverage on radio row – with editor-in-chief Adesina O. Koiki and senior reporter Lauren Foti covering the event and asking all of the tough (and facetious) questions – dealt with the Atlantic Division, as the Clemson Tigers come back in 2017 as the top dog in the conference as well as the defending national champion after defeating Alabama in that epic national championship game this past January in Tampa. We hear from senior offensive lineman Tyrone Crowder of the Tigers, as Lauren and Adesina talk to him, among other things, about that final hectic minute against the Crimson Tide as well as how close he was to deciding to go pro after last season.
While the Tigers are the current kings of the college football mountain, many suspect Florida State, recent holders of that throne, to claim the conference in 2017, as they return a host of talented players to Tallahassee this season, including impressive sophomore quarterback Deondre Francois, who threw for 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns (compared to seven interceptions) as a freshman in 2016.
Oh, and we’ve yet to mention that the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is in the league as well, with Lamar Jackson looking to join Ohio State great Archie Griffin as the only player to win the Heisman Trophy in back-to-back seasons. NC State, Syracuse, Boston College and Wake Forest round out the discussions in the division, with the Wolfpack, Eagles and Demon Deacons all coming off winning seasons while the Orange return a host of players to an offense which ranked 11th in the FBS last season in pass offense.
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Interview Order: Intro (0:00 – 8:36); Cam Serigne – Wake Forest (8:39 – 16:00); Jaylen Samuels – NC State (16:02 – 27:40); Harold Landry – Boston College (27:41 – 32:33); Jon Baker – Boston College (32:34 – 38:56); Dino Babers – Syracuse Head Coach (38:57 – 45:48); Bobby Petrino – Louisville head coach (45:50 – 56:41); Dave Doeren – North Carolina State (56:41 – 1:06:31); Tyrone Crowder – Clemson (1:06:32 – 1:22:51);