The second day of the ACC Football Kickoff was all about the Coastal Division. That meant it was very confusing and full of dueling storylines. Here are some of the highlights from Radio Row:
Georgia Tech’s KeShun Freeman might have been the most polished interviewee we saw over the course of the two-day event. That includes the coaches. He was articulate, thoughtful, and engaging—a warm personality on a day in which we saw primarily shy or quiet types. The defensive end says he wants to be a doctor one day, and I believe him. He grew up a Georgia fan and really loves to beat the Bulldogs. I support the second part.
Freeman’s teammate, receiver Ricky Jeune, wasn’t quite as vocal. He was clearly nervous about being on air, which is certainly understandable. Much has been made of Paul Johnson’s comments concerning Tech’s receiving pipeline to the NFL, but Jeune said that’s a big reason why he picked the school in the first place.
Duke QB Daniel Jones grew up in a big family and has a slew of athletic siblings. That includes a brother who plays basketball at Davidson and a sister who is a goalkeeper in the United States’ U17 organization. Needless to say, his family gatherings often turn contentious. To relax, he mentioned playing golf with his dad and brothers.
Virginia Tech’s Cam Phillips won the fashion competition at the ACC Football Kickoff by leaps and bounds. He rocked a copper suit that glistened like the hue of a well-crafted statue, complete with a black button-down shirt and some shiny wrist jewelry. It was amazing, for real.
Virginia’s Quin Blanding—the best ACC player you’ve never heard of—bristled at season expectations for the Cavaliers, instead preferring the one-game-at-a-time approach. He says last year was about a massive culture change, so this year has been more about playing at a certain level for his team.
Speaking of culture changes, Mark Walton says many of his teammates were resistant to Mark Richt’s style as he tried to lay a strong foundation last year. He says they’d never seen anything like it before—a revealing acknowledgment—but that over the course of last season, they slowly began to buy into what Richt was selling. He also said he had a feeling that the Canes were about to do great things. I think I believe him.