"TOE MEETS LEATHER"...from the ACC Kickoff

July 20, 2008

By Wes Durham

Lake Oconee, Ga.– Greetings from the ACC Kickoff! This time it’s a “local call” for the Jackets at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation. Two players from each ACC school visited with the media today. Georgia Tech selected senior offensive tackle Andrew Gardner and senior defensive tackle Vance Walker. My exclusive interviews with each player are available here:

Andrew Gardner | Vance Walker

Pre-Season Pickin’

The schedule for the “Kickoff” has the coaches set to visit with the media tomorrow afternoon. The media in attendance received ballots today to select the pre-season polls in both divisions and the final champion of the league and the pre-season player of the year in the conference. Results will be released tomorrow, but it seems very likely that Virginia Tech and Clemson will be picked to finish at the top of their respective divisions. That should not be a big surprise, given that is the same position that most of the pre-season publications have slated the conference race.

One area of speculation concerns the Coastal Division, where it’s possible Duke will not be picked to finish last. There was plenty of discussion today that Virginia might be penciled in that spot. The Cavaliers, who lost two players in the top 15 of the NFL draft, also must contend with a team that only returns nine starters from last year’s 8-4 team. The Blue Devils of rookie head coach David Cutcliffe return 16 starters, including 10 on defense.

Georgia Tech will likely be picked to finish third or fourth in the Coastal. The Jackets are in a group of teams including Miami and North Carolina that folks just aren’t quite sure what to expect of this fall.

Sean Glennon’s Jersey Sill Missing

One of Virginia Tech’s players was returning quarterback Sean Glennon. In and out as the starter last season, Glennon dipped his toe into the NFL Draft for a possible move, but after being told he would likely be a late second-day pick, he elected to return for his final campaign in Blacksburg. Glennon fielded a lot of questions today about the Hokies and their chances, but still got plenty about the “missing jersey” from the Georgia Tech game last October in Atlanta.

“It was bizarre to say the least, but it’s pretty weird to still have people ask me about it,” Glennon said today. Jacket fans might think it’s weird that the jersey is now being displayed in a memorabilia area of the Hokies football offices. Glennon, who was heavily recruited by Georgia Tech, says that once the game happened, he has never heard another word about the jersey, in terms of its recovery.

“I guess its hanging in a dorm room or in a frat house,” he noted. “I saw a kid not long after the game that bought a Georgia Tech t-shirt and then had put my number and name on the back, and was wearing it to one of our games. It was funny because I had been recruited by them before selecting Virginia Tech, and I guess I finally got to wear one of their jerseys. The difference was that I got to win,” Glennon finished.

Glennon and the Hokies don’t have long to wait on the Jackets this fall. It will be Georgia Tech’s second straight road game and their third total, when they visit Blacksburg on September 13. Frank Beamer’s team opens with East Carolina in Charlotte, and Furman at Lane Stadium, before their ACC opener against Georgia Tech.

More tomorrow from Lake Oconee, including Paul Johnson’s first visit with the conference media.

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