ACC Players Looking To Rebound In 2014
By Matt Phifer
Four players are looking at spring practice as the beginning of a rebound year for them in the ACC.
Syracuse running back Adonis Ameen-Moore is the only player on this list whose rough 2013 season was not due to injury. Ameen-Moore was a key part of Syracuse's "Tank" offense in 2012. As a large running back, Ameen-Moore used his size to bust through the center for tough yardage, especially in short-yardage situations. Ameen-Moore got lost deep in the depth chart in 2013 when George McDonald III and Devantae McFarlane entered the picture behind Jerome Smith and Prince Tyson-Gulley. Head coach Scott Schaefer told reporters he has liked what Ameen-Moore has shown so far in spring practice, so he may be making a spot for himself in the lineup in 2014.
Clemson wide receiver Charone Peake was off to a great start to 2013 when he tore his ACL after the first two games of the season. He already had eight catches for 84 yards and one touchdown, including five catches for 58 yards in Clemson's win vs. Georgia. The departure of Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant will leave an opportunity for Peake to shine.
Virginia cornerback Demetrious Nicholson made Phil Steele's midseason second-team All-ACC before he went down with an injury. In five starts, Nicholson had 20 tackles and broke up four passes. The year before, Nicholson was tied for the lead in the ACC in pass breakups with 15 and was fourth on the team in tackles with 56. Undoutedly, Nicholson's presence in 2014 can be a game-changer for the Cavaliers' defense.
North Carolina State wide receiver Byran Underwood missed the last five games of the season after breaking his collarbone vs. Florida State. Underwood had an impressive season until his injury, gaining 190 all-purpose-yards vs. Central Michigan, making 11 catches vs. Wake Forest and being the Wolfpack's leading rusher vs. Clemson. Underwood is tied for 10th in N.C. State history with 13 touchdown receptions. His presence on the field will be a key part of the Wolfpack's attempt to improve on 2013.
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