July 21, 2014
Hokies at the #ACCkickoff
UPDATED: 8:30 p.m. - News, notes, tweets and videos from Greensboro

Main ACC Kickoff page: http://theacc.co/14ACCkickoff
Live Press Conference Coverage: http://theacc.co/14ACCkickoff
VT Football Twitter: @VT_Football
Willie Byrn on Storify
Luther Maddy on Storify
Frank Beamer on Storify

Welcome to the 2014 ACC Kickoff here at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina. A record-number of media (around 450) have converged upon central North Carolina to hear players and coaches from the 14 conference teams talk about their upcoming season.

Hokiesports.com will be there the entire way following our two player representatives, Willie Byrn and Luther Maddy, today as well as head coach Frank Beamer on Monday.

The action kicks off at noon on Sunday with a group picture of all 28 players, including 2013 Heisman winner Jameis Winston of the national champion Florida State Seminoles, and the interviews begin at 1:30 p.m. We’ll be posting tweets on the official Twitter handle of Virginia Tech Football, @VT_Football, as well as pictures, lots of videos, blogs and news nuggets as they happen.

You can also find several links above to live coverage provided by the ACC, including the press conference room, which the Tech players will be in on Sunday from 4:11-4:25 p.m. Coach Beamer will be in the live room on Monday at 5:25 p.m.

So check back often both here and on Twitter for all the latest from Greensboro!

Our final video of the weekend courtesy of our awesome video department is a behind-the-scenes look at Coach Beamer's day in Greensboro.

Monday - 5:30 p.m.

That concludes our two-day coverage from Greensboro at the ACC Kickoff comes to a close. As you saw earlier, the Hokies are picked third in the Coastal Division behind Miami and Duke, and right ahead of North Carolina. With the unknowns Tech has on offense, coupled with replacing such productive players on defense from last year’s unit, not everyone is sold on the Hokies.

Coach Beamer ran the gauntlet of the media on Monday after playing golf in the morning. He opened with an hour with the radios and moved upstairs for the TV guys before wrapping up with the writers and ESPN. Predictably, he got many of the same questions the players got yesterday, centering on the same topics:

• uncertainty of the quarterback position
• the return of Trey Edmunds from his leg injury
• trying to get back to the special teams play of last decade
• his longevity in the coaching business
• the benefit of the ACC having a national champion
• the looming changes in NCAA governance

The media also voted on the preseason all-conference team and it will be released on Wednesday. This week, Coach Beamer will be on the road a lot as several kickoff banquets will take place around the Commonwealth, including tomorrow night in Roanoke and Wednesday in Richmond. Next week, he’ll head to Bristol, Connecticut, for the ESPN Car Wash, so stay tuned for that schedule.

Thanks for following along with us these past two days and we’ll see you in two weeks when camp opens up. Go Hokies!

Monday - 4:30 p.m.

After an hour with the radios and another hour with the TVs, we're now in with the writers for the next hour. We'll finish up with the press conference room and then the ESPN bus outside, so look for that interview later on.

Bill and Mike wrap up their time in Greensboro as we look forward to camp opening two weeks from today.

Monday - 1:15 p.m.

Defending National Champion Florida State Leads ACC Preseason Football Poll
Miami selected as likely Coastal Division winner; FSU’s Winston voted preseason Player of the Year

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Defending national champion Florida State is the consensus choice to repeat as Atlantic Division champion and defeat Miami in the 10th annual Dr Pepper Atlantic Coast Conference Football Championship Game, according to a poll of media members in attendance at the 2014 ACC Football Kickoff at Grandover Resort.

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner and Walter Camp National Player of the Year Jameis Winston, who led the Seminoles to an unbeaten season and their third national title as a redshirt freshman in 2013, was chosen to repeat as ACC Player of the Year.

Florida State was picked as the likely overall ACC winner on 104 of 112 ballots cast. The Seminoles were picked to finish atop the Atlantic Division by 109 voters and amassed 780 total points. Clemson received the remaining three-first-place votes and placed second with 660. ACC newcomer Louisville placed third at 564, followed by Syracuse (368), NC State (326), Boston College (301) and Wake Forest (136).

Miami’s 26 first-place votes placed third among Coastal Division teams, but the Hurricanes’ 614 total points led overall. Defending division champion Duke received 33 first-place votes and finished with 597 points, followed by Virginia Tech with 571 points and 23 first-place votes. North Carolina was just behind in fourth place with 570 points and 27 first-place votes, followed by Georgia Tech (322 with one first place vote), Pitt (319 with two first-place votes) and Virginia (142).

Winston is one of 15 returning starters for Florida State, which seeks its third straight ACC title. The Seminoles own 14 ACC football championships in 23 seasons as a conference member, tying Clemson for most league titles all-time.

This marks the third time in four years that the Seminoles have led the ACC media preseason voting. Florida State was also voted first in 2011 and 2012, and in each of its first 14 seasons after joining the ACC (1992 through 2005).

Winston led the preseason ACC Player of the Year balloting with 99 votes, followed by Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley with six. Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder, Miami running back Duke Johnson and Virginia Tech quarterback Brenden Motley received one vote apiece.

Last season saw Winston, of Bessemer, Alabama, become the youngest player to win the Heisman Trophy (19 years, 342 days) and just the second freshman to receive the honor. A dazzling playmaker, he led the Seminoles to a 14-0 record and engineered the game-winning drive in a 34-31 win over Auburn in the 2013 VIZIO BCS National Championship Game.

Named the offensive MVP of the national title game, Winston also received the Davey O’Brien Award and the Manning Award as the nation’s best quarterback after setting national freshman records for passing yards (4,057) and touchdown passed (40) in 2013. His pass efficiency rating of 184.8 set an ACC record and led the nation.

ACC Championship Votes

1. Florida State - 104

2. Clemson - 2

3. Virginia Tech - 2

(4 voters made no selection)

Atlantic Division

(First place votes in parenthesis)

1. Florida State (109) - 670

2. Clemson (3) - 660

3. Louisville - 564

4. Syracuse - 368

5. NC State - 326

6. Boston College - 301

7. Wake Forest - 136

Coastal Division

(First place votes in parenthesis)

1. Miami (26) - 614

2. Duke (33) - 597

3. Virginia Tech (23) - 571

4. North Carolina (27) - 570

5. Georgia Tech (1) - 322

6. Pitt (2) -319

7. Virginia -142

ACC Player of the Year

1. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State - 99

2. Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson - 6

3. Duke Johnson, RB, Miami - 1

4. Jamison Crowder, WR, Duke - 1

5. Brenden Motley, QB, Virginia Tech -1

(4 voters made no selection)

It's time to shift the focus to the coaches as Bill Roth catches up with Frank Beamer before he makes the rounds with the media today.

Here's part 2 of our behind-the-scenes video with the players, including Willie's Go-Pro footage from with the print media and Coach Beamer going over punt coverage with former Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe.

Monday - 9:00 a.m.

Welcome back to Day 2 of the ACC Kickoff here in Greensboro. A majority of those in attendance are currently out on the golf course playing in the Skeeter Francis Memorial Tournament, but those who aren’t are getting some interviews with the head coaches who are not playing. Coach Beamer is out on the course, so there won’t be a lot to report until this afternoon when he makes the rounds. So be sure to join us this afternoon as we follow him around the Grandover.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video with the players ... Part I

Bill Roth chats with Kevin Jones about his role with the Hokies and his involvement at the ACC Kickoff.

Sunday - 7:00 p.m.

That’s a wrap from Day 1 of the ACC Kickoff here in Greensboro. Luther and Willie were both GREAT representatives of Virginia Tech and were widely praised for their efforts answering the media’s questions throughout the five-hour session. All that’s left tonight is dinner and a reception, and the players are going bowling.

In the morning Willie and Coach Beamer are going to golf and Luther tells me he’s sleeping in. Join us tomorrow as we find out the media’s preseason prediction of finish in both divisions, and the coaches make the rounds with the media.

We’ll have some more videos tonight, so be sure to check back for those as our video guys have been hard at work. See you tomorrow!

Mike Burnop catches up with DT Luther Maddy

Sunday - 5:00 p.m.

We're in the home stretch now as all of the TV interviews are over and the guys are now with the print media. Those guys have waited patiently for Willie and Luther all day and now have them for an hour. There's a good-sized group of writers crowded around both guys with the popular topics, not surprisngly, covering:

• The quarterback battle
• Replacing three starters on the defensive line
• Getting back to the upper echelon of the ACC
• Tech's outstanding secondary
• Trey Edmunds returning from his injury and how the RB situation is going to shake out

Coach Beamer is in the house and is currently in the head coaches' meeting where they will go over some administrative stuff that we aren't privy to! After that, he'll start his media portion with a few interviews and will play gold in the morning before hitting the full circuit of interviews on Monday.

We'll have a full wrap-up from here tonight with more videos and tweets, so keep checking back. Go Hokies!

Mike Burnop catches up with WR Willie Byrn before Sunday's Media Day.

We are officially an hour into the festivities here in Greensboro and Willie and Luther are really just getting started. As you can see from the tweets below, they’ve done a lot of television and radio interviews so far. The duo started with the group photo at noon and then had a cheese steak lunch. After cooling off and getting some last-minute instructions, everyone split up and scattered throughout the Grandover Hotel.

The Hokies got started with ESPN Gameday, which is notorious for asking some off-the-wall questions. The Worldwide Leader didn’t disappoint, asking Luther what the bottom of a football pile smells like and who’s the best dressed player coming off the bus. The two went to the ACC Network and then to Regional Sports Network and is now in the middle of a 10-interview, 80-minute Radio Row segment.

Right after this is the ice cream social, where Luther promises to put a show on. We’ll then do a few more TV interviews and then will be live in the TV and Radio Press Conference Room at 4:11, where you can watch the guys online at the link at the top of the page.

We’ll check back in later as we roll along here in Greensboro. Go Hokies!

Sunday - 12:55 p.m.

You want to know what the players are going through today? Here’s Willie and Luther’s full schedule for the day, including the important ice cream social! Don’t forget, you can watch them live in the TV and radio press conference at 4:11 p.m. through the link above.

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM: Player Photo Shoot
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM: Lunch
1:30 PM – 1:44 PM: ESPN Gameday
1:45 PM - 1:59 PM: ACC Network
2:00 PM – 2:14 PM: Regional Sports Networks
2:15 PM – 3:39 PM: Radio Row-Live Talk
3:40 PM – 3:55 PM: Ice Cream Social
3:56 PM - 4:10 PM: ACC Digital Network,
4:11 PM – 4:25 PM: TV & Radio Press Conference (LIve)
4:26PM - 4:40 PM: Fox Sports 1
4:41 PM – 6:00 PM: Writers
6:01 PM - 6:15 PM: ESPN Photo Shoot
6:16 PM - 6:30 PM: CBS Sports

Sunday - 11:30 a.m.

ACC Football Student-Athletes Take Part In Symposium
Personal development, group interaction strengthen ACC Football Kickoff experience

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff officially begins later today, but student-athletes have already enjoyed a memorable experience.


The ACC Digital Network takes you behind the scenes of ACC Kickoff as we join players in the student-athlete symposium. ACC Commissioner John Swofford and Freddie Scott, II, Founder of Unlock the Champion, speak to the players about the opportunity they have in front of them this season and a look at life in the future both on and off the playing field.

Saturday evening brought the opportunity to enhance personal awareness and leadership skills through forums and panel discussions, followed by group activities that included dinner and bowling.

A highlight came during Saturday afternoon’s Personal Development Session, conducted by former college and professional football player Freddie Scott II and centered on the theme “Discover Your Why.”

Scott is the CEO of Legacy Builders, LLC and the founder of Unlock the Champion, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families. Since 2009, he has served as a national spokesperson for Tony Dungy’s organization, All Pro Dad.

Scott’s work has been acknowledged by the NFL Players Association, which awarded him the 2013 Kenny Washington Award, given to a player who exhibits courage and strong character to overcome adversity. Scott also serves as a transition coach for the NFL and conducts Champions @Home workshops for the NFL Players Association, seeking to give NFL players tools to be better husbands and fathers.

Scott is nationally certified in mental health first aid and suicide intervention, and travels the nation sharing practical keys to success in the areas of family, character development, leadership and conflict resolution. His book, “The Dad I Wish I Had” features a foreword by Dungy, and has also been featured on HLN, TBN, and Family Life Today Radio.

Saturday’s panelists included former Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner, former Virginia Tech running back Kevin Jones , former North Carolina fullback Michael Dulaney and former Miami running back Clinton Portis.

“I felt like it was a good opportunity to learn from guys who have been there and done that,” said Pitt senior defensive back Ray Vinopal. “They know about the traps that young guys can fall into, and what it takes to be successful after football. They know about the different resources that are available to us that we don’t necessarily utilize because we haven’t been aware of them.”

Skinner started at quarterback as a freshman on the 2006 Wake Forest team that captured the ACC Championship and played in the BCS Orange Bowl. As a freshman, he received the Jim Tatum Award as the top football student-athlete in the ACC. Skinner now works at Skinner Brothers Realty after spending three years as a loan originator with Capital Advisors Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Jones rushed for 3,475 yards in three seasons at Virginia Tech, including a then-school record 1,647 as a junior in 2003. After five seasons in the NFL, Jones fulfilled a promise he made to himself by returning to school at Virginia Tech in 2011. Jones received his BS degree in industrial design this past May while also earning a minor in art history. He was recently appointed Special Assistant to the Athletics Director at his alma mater.

Dulaney graduated from UNC in 1993, shortly after helping then-head coach Mack Brown to his first bowl game victory with the Tar Heels. Dulaney went on to play one season in the Arena Football League and four years in the NFL. He has worked in the medical device sales industry for the past 10 years and is currently a clinical account executive for Rubbermaid Health Care.

After starring at Miami, Portis spent nine seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, he rushed for 9,923 career yards before retiring at the end of the 2010 season. He now works as a commentator for the ACC Digital Network.

“It was fantastic getting to know all these guys,” Duke senior guard Laken Tomlinson said. “I had a lot of fun learning from them. We have guys here who have been through the NFL, and I certainly appreciated how real they were with us, and the things they were able to share.”

Sunday - 7:30 a.m.

Good morning! We have a full day on tap as the players will complete the gauntlet of print, television and radio this afternoon. We’ll be with you the entire way giving you insight from behind the scenes. Here’s our first video of the weekend as Bill Roth and Mike Burnop preview the weekend for us.


Before the festivities get underway Sunday at ACC Kickoff the attending players were able to spend some time letting loose while bowling at Spare Time in Greensboro.

Last night, the players went through a symposium designed to help them transition to life after football is over. Our own Kevin Jones was part of a panel that spoke to the group. You can see the release from the ACC on the event below. KJ intoduced himself as “Kevin Jones. Hokie for life” and was great with the guys. He stopped the main speaker just seconds into the speech to encourage the players to “not make the same mistakes I did, so grab the pen and paper at your seats and take notes” and was a standout on the discussion panel, representing Virginia Tech in a big way. We'll have the complete release from the ACC a little later, but that's a brief recap. After dinner, the group went bowling and then turned in early as they have a long day ahead of them today.

We’ll be back once the players get rolling in a few hours so be sure to check back then as we’ll have videos with the players, as well as behind the scenes video and information. Until, be sure to follow us on Twitter, @VT_Football for instant updates from here in Greensboro.

For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter

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