ACC Football Kickoff: Winston, Beasley, Johnson among players making trip

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Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will face the media at the ACC Football Kickoff in Greensboro, North Carolina in two weeks. The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner is considered the star of the ACC’s media day player line-up, and for good reason. Winston won the Heisman Trophy, led Florida State to an ACC championship and then helped the Seminoles end the SEC’s streak in the BCS Championship Game with a national championship-clinching drive you would expect from a polished veteran. Winston has also been tied up in various legal issues which will surely pop up in the questioning from the media assembling in Greensboro later this month.

Each school in the ACC will make two players available for media availability at the annual ACC Football Kickoff. In addition to Winston, Florida State cornerback P.J. Williams will also be available. Some of the other big names making the trip include Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker, Miami running back Duke Johnson, North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams and Pittsburgh wide receiver Tyler Boyd.

Players generally speak with the media and make the media rounds on the first day of the event, while coaches make their rounds on the second day. Here is the full list of ACC players that will be scheduled to attend the ACC Football Kickoff, which is scheduled for July 20 and 21.

Boston College
*Andy Gallik, Center, 6-3, 304, Senior-R, Evergreen Park, Ill.
*Dominique Williams, Defensive Back, 6-0, 220, Senior-R, Brockton, Mass.

Clemson
Cole Stoudt, Quarterback, 6-1, 225, Senior, Dublin, Ohio
*Vic Beasley, Defensive End, 6-3, 230, Senior-R, Adairsville, Ga.

Duke
Laken Tomlinson, Offensive Guard, 6-3, 330, Senior-R, Chicago, Ill.
*Kelby Brown, Linebacker, 6-2, 230, Senior-R, Matthews, N.C.

Florida State
Jameis Winston, Quarterback, 6-4, 235, Sophomore-R, Bessemer, Ala.
P.J. Williams, Cornerback, 6-0, 196, Junior, Ocala, Fla.

Georgia Tech
Shaquille Mason, Offensive Guard, 6-1, 311, Senior, Columbia, Tenn.
Quayshawn Nealy, Linebacker, 6-1, 236, Senior-R, Lakeland, Fla.

Louisville
DeVante Parker, Wide Receiver, 6-3, 208, Senior, Louisville, Ky.
Lorenzo Mauldin, Defensive End, 6-4, 244, Senior, Atlanta, Ga.

Miami
Duke Johnson, Running Back, 5-9, 206, Junior, Miami, Fla.
Denzel Perryman, Linebacker, 6-0, 242, Senior, Coral Gables, Fla..

North Carolina
Marquise Williams, Quarterback, 6-2, 220, Junior, Charlotte, N.C.
Norkeithus Otis, Bandit, 6-1, 235, Senior, Gastonia, N.C.

North Carolina State
*Tony Creecy, Running Back, 5-11, 215, Senior-R, Durham, N.C.
*Art Norman, Defensive End, 6-0, 252, Senior-R, Stone Mountain, Ga.

Pitt
Tyler Boyd, Wide Receiver, 6-2, 190, Sophomore, Clairton, Pa.
*Ray Vinopal, Defensive Back, 5-10, 200, Senior-R, Youngstown, Ohio

Syracuse
Sean Hickey, Offensive Tackle, 6-5, 300, Senior, Murrysville, Pa.
Cameron Lynch, Linebacker, 5-11, 226, Senior, Lawrenceville, Ga.

Virginia
Kevin Parks, Running Backs, 5-8, 205, Senior, Salisbury, N.C.
Anthony Harris, Strong Safety, 6-1, 185, Senior, Chesterfield, Va.

Virginia Tech
*Willie Byrn, Wide Receiver, 5-10, 183, Senior-R, Virginia Beach, Va.
Luther Maddy, Defensive Tackle, 6-1, 291, Senior, Delray Beach, Fla.

Wake Forest
Jordan Garside, Fullback, 5-10, 230, Senior-R, Jacksonville, Fla.
Kevin Johnson, Cornerback, 6-1, 175, Senior-R, Clarksville, Md.

R-Denotes player was redshirted; * Denotes player has graduated or will graduate this August.

Five-star LB out for rest of Ohio State’s spring after shoulder surgery

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Some negative injury news comes with a bit of a silver lining for one of the highest-rated members of Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting class.

Urban Meyer confirmed Tuesday that true freshman linebacker Baron Browning will miss the remainder of spring practice because of an injury.  The early enrollee underwent surgery Tuesday morning to repair an unspecified issue in his shoulder.  The Buckeyes head coach declined to reveal the details surrounding the issue that led to the medical procedure, although one report indicated it’s a torn labrum.

The good news for OSU is that Browning should be able to return to football activities at some pint in June.  Barring a setback, he’s expected to be a full participant in summer camp at the start of August.

A five-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2017 recruiting class, Browning was rated as the No. 1 outside linebacker in the country; the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 11 player on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Only two signees in an OSU class that ranked second nationally were rated higher than Browning (.9936) — cornerback Jeffrey Okudah (.9954) and defensive end Chase Young (.9953).

Browning is expected to contribute immediately as a true freshman this season.

Kentucky transfer WR Jeff Badet moves on to Oklahoma

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Jeff Badet may have left Kentucky, but he hasn’t climbed out from underneath the Stoops coaching umbrella.

On his personal Twitter account Tuesday morning, Badet revealed that he will continue his collegiate playing career at Oklahoma.  The Sooners, of course, are coached by Bob Stoops; the wide receiver’s former program, the Wildcats, are coached by Mark Stoops.

Badet chose OU over another Big 12 school, West Virginia.  The receiver had paid a visit to Morgantown late last month.

In mid-January, the Wildcats announced that Badet had decided to transfer out of the UK football program.  Badet is on schedule to graduate in May, meaning he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2017 for the Sooners.

A three-star member of the Wildcats’ 2013 recruiting class, Badet was third on the team in receptions and receiving yards as a true freshman.  A leg injury in spring practice the following year — a tennis ball to the eye didn’t help either — led Badet to miss the 2014 season.  Returning in 2015, he was third in receiving (29-430); in 2016, he led the team in receiving yards (670) and yards per catch (21.6).

That latter number was tops in the SEC and sixth nationally.

Rutgers grad transfer tight end moves on to Pitt

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Matt Flanagan has officially moved on from one former Big East program to another.

In a missive posted to his personal Twitter account Monday, Flanagan revealed that he will enroll at Pittsburgh in short order and continue his collegiate playing career with the Panthers.  The tight end is expected to graduate in May from Rutgers, meaning he’ll be eligible to play immediately for his new team during the 2017 season.

This will be Flanagan’s final season of eligibility.

The past three seasons, Flanagan played in 33 games for the Scarlet Knights. In that time, he caught 18 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns.

Flanagan also takes the student part of the student-athlete moniker very seriously. From nj.com:

The former Rutgers tight end told NJ Advance Media last November that his goal was to find a master’s program in a research-based science discipline. At the time, he called his decision “purely academic.”

At Rutgers, Flanagan is part of a select group of Rutgers students studying at the Aresty Research Center. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Flanagan spent three years researching with the hopes of publishing findings on the effects of Creatine — the same supplement made famous by MLB sluggers like Mark McGwire — and how it impacts the cells that synthesize bone.

At his new program, he’ll join a squad that doesn’t return any tight ends who have caught a pass at the collegiate level.

Syracuse makes hiring of D-II Coach of the Year official

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Dino Babers‘ second coaching staff is whole once again.

Following up on reports that first surfaced late last week, Syracuse confirmed in a press release that Justin Lustig (pictured, left) has left his job as the head coach at Div. II Edinboro (Pa.) College to take over as Babers’ running backs coach.  Additionally, Lustig will serve as special teams coordinator for the Orange.

Lustig replaces Mike Hart, who left earlier this month to take the running backs coach job at Indiana.

“The job Justin did as a first-time head coach was fantastic,” Babers said in a statement. “He’s also been a highly-successful assistant coach. The running backs he has coached have performed extremely well, and his special teams units have consistently ranked among the nation’s best. We’re very excited to welcome Justin and his family to Syracuse.”

Hired in January of last year, Lustig took over an Edinboro team that finished 0-11 in 2015 and turned them into a 9-2 squad one year later.  For that turnaround, he was named the Div. II Coach of the Year.

Lustig’s last job at the FBS level came at Ball State, where he served as running backs coach/special teams coordinator from 2011-15.  He also earned the title of assistant head coach prior to the start of the 2015 season.

This will mark Lustig’s first job of any kind at a Power Five program.

“My family and I are excited, honored and grateful for the opportunity to come to Syracuse and join Coach Babers’ staff,” Lustig said. “He is building a championship program there. The future of Syracuse football is very bright and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”