By Zac Ellis
Conference media days are a chance for players and coaches to offer their perspectives on the upcoming season, and the 2013 ACC Kickoff in Greensboro, N.C. was no exception. Here's a roundup of the best soundbites from the unofficial start to the ACC season:
- UNC QB Brynn Renner on the Tar Heels' season-opening matchup against South Carolina: "I wish we could do it today."
- Miami QB Stephen Morris on attending the Manning Passing Academy: "It was a great opportunity to meet guys and branch out. Big Ten, SEC, everyone was there. It was a great camp overall."
- Morris on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel's Manning camp saga: "I wasn't his roommate. I have no idea what happened.
- Morris on an NFL.com analyst calling him perhaps the most talented quarterback in the country: "It goes to the back of the book, just like when I see everyone writing how bad I am."
- Morris on the group of quarterbacks in the ACC: "It's the best in the nation, if you really look at it."
- Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, responding to Jadeveon Clowney's claims that Boyd is "scared" when the teams play: "I'm not scared of anybody. It's not in my nature."
- Boyd on having pride in the ACC: "It's like video games. In NCAA Football, you have conference prestige and whatnot. It's like that in real life, too."
- Boyd on returning to Clemson for his senior season: "It was a pretty tough decision at first ... [But] once you make a decision, you ride with it. You don't regret it."
- Florida State WR Rashad Greene on ACC newcomer Pitt. The Seminoles and Panthers face off in both teams' 2013 season opener: "I know they're a new addition to the ACC, and I know we're the team that needs to give them the right welcome."
- Pitt WR Devin Street on the opener against Florida State "It's going to be a hostile atmosphere, that's for sure. The whole Pitt community is ready."
- Syracuse C Macky MacPherson, on the Orange's first season in the ACC: "We're going to try our best to impose our will on the ACC's teams. We want a knock-down, drag-out fight."
- MacPherson on the ACC: "We know all those teams. This is one of the best conferences in college football, if not the best."
- Thomas on Virginia Tech's spring game, in which he completed 16-of-29 passes for 214 yards but also threw three interceptions: "It was frustrating. But everyone within the program knows we made great strides."
- Thomas on this year's group of ACC quarterbacks: "I think we are the strongest group of quarterbacks in the country. From myself, Tajh, Brynn, [Boston College's Chase] Rettig, it's a great group. We can put up some numbers."
- Thomas on Virginia Tech's struggles in 2012: "I don't think we brought enough energy and want to the practice field."
- Thomas on his individual improvement during the offseason: "It all started at the end of last year. Y'all probably noticed I'm not all smiles like I used to be. I'm out on a mission."
- Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on the upcoming College Football Playoff: "I don't know why they didn't use the BCS formula and take the top four teams from that."
- Swinney on his preference for an eight-game conference schedule: "That gives us that flexibility for an outside flavor."
- Miami coach Al Golden, on the impending sanctions from the NCAA's investigation into the Hurricanes: "I just hope they aren't as inaccurate as they were a year ago."
- Golden, on the perception of Miami's program: "I would put our brand against anybody's."
- Golden, on the debate over player safety when facing an up-tempo offense: "I don't think there's any question that a tired player is more susceptible to injury than one who isn't tired."
- Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson on containing Tajh Boyd and Clemson's offense: "Tajh Boyd lit us up pretty good last year, but he lit up a lot of folks."
- Pitt coach Paul Chryst, when told receiver Devin Street described a new-look offense from the Panthers this season: "I don't know. Y'all will have to ask Devin [Street] what the hell he's talking about. It sounds good, though."
- Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, on QB Logan Thomas bouncing back from a down year: "He's made out of the right stuff. He's exactly what you want. I have every confidence Logan's going to be just fine."
- Beamer on including stipends in player scholarships: "I'm all for it. But figuring it all out is another issue."
- Syracuse coach Scott Shafer on moving from the Big East to the ACC: "There are a lot of things that are comparable. Clemson is like the West Virginia teams we used to play. It's all different, but it's all the same. It's the same game."
- Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, on the impact of eight- and nine-game conference schedules in a playoff: "Whatever it may be, the selection process will be critical ... We're the only sport that picks a champion where not everyone is [using] the same format. That makes no sense."
- Fisher on competition with the SEC in the Southeast: "I hear it all the time: 'We have better players." Well, we had 11 drafted [in 2013]. We had more than any of y'all."