Skip to main content

Vic Beasley, Cameron Erving lead ACC seniors to watch


Spring practice has started at universities across the country, and we're using the kickoff of spring drills to get you reacquainted with some of the top college players in the nation.

Specifically, we're taking a look at notable seniors on a league-by-league basis. Today, it's the ACC.

The league is home to Florida State, the defending national champion, and the Seminoles have a handful of the nation's top seniors, including players in the mix to be the best senior offensive tackle, the best senior guard, the best senior tight end and the best senior wide receiver.

Clemson has one of the nation's best pass rushers, albeit a guy who almost certainly will change positions at the next level, and league newcomer Louisville will have one of the nation's most athletic wide receivers.

Previously, we looked at the top seniors to watch from the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12. Friday, we'll look at the Big 12 and the other remaining leagues.

A reminder that this is a list of notable seniors who already are on the radar of NFL scouts. And by no means is this an all-inclusive list.

10 ACC seniors to watch

DE Vic Beasley, Clemson

Particulars: 6-foot-2, 235 pounds

Buzz: His size means he will move to linebacker in the NFL; his athleticism and pass-rush skills mean some team almost certainly will use an early pick on him in the 2015 draft to provide him an opportunity. Beasley led the ACC and was tied for third nationally with 13 sacks, giving him 21 in his career. He also had 23 tackles for loss in 2013, raising his career total to 31. He received a second-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board and decided to stay in school. He should be on every preseason All-American list this fall. Beasley is quick off the ball -- he was clocked at 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash in high school as a 215-pounder -- but he also has a nice spin move and a surprisingly effective bull rush. He also is adept at using his hands to keep opposing offensive linemen off his body. Beasley redshirted as a true freshman in 2010, barely played as an end in 2011 (16 snaps in nine games), served as a pass-rush specialist in 2012 and became an every-down end in 2013.

OT Cameron Erving, Florida State

Particulars: 6-6, 320

Buzz: He surprised some observers by returning for his senior season, but it was a good move. Rather than being one of the top six tackles in the 2014 draft, he should be one of the first two or three tackles off the board in the 2015 draft. He still is learning how to play tackle; he was a defensive lineman in high school and in his first season at FSU. He was moved to the offensive line in 2012 and was a revelation. He has a nasty streak and good feet. Erving has lapses in concentration and technique, but when he is at his best, there might not be a better tackle in the nation.

WR Rashad Greene, Florida State

Particulars: 6-0, 180

Buzz: This guy has been FSU's best receiver the past two seasons; he might not have the upside of former teammate Kelvin Benjamin, but he is far more polished and far more fluid. He should be one of the top three or four senior wide receivers nationally. Greene has 171 receptions in three seasons, and 22 have gone for TDs. He has good hands and runs good routes. He lacks elite speed but is fast enough and is advanced in terms of technique.

SS Anthony Harris, Virginia

Particulars: 6-1, 185

Buzz: Meet the nation's leader in interceptions in 2013. He had eight after coming up with only one in his first two seasons. This fall, he needs to show 2013 wasn't a fluke. He also had eight pass breakups and was third on the team with 80 tackles, showing a willingness to make some hits in run support. Harris has good speed for a strong safety and thrived in new coordinator Jon Tenuta's aggressive scheme last fall. He will head into the season as one of the nation's top three or four strong safeties.

OT Sean Hickey, Syracuse

Particulars: 6-5, 291

Buzz: He didn't play at all as a redshirt freshman in 2011 but has started every game since. He was the Orange's right tackle in 2012, then moved to the left side last fall to replace New York Giants first-rounder Justin Pugh and played at a high level. Hickey thought about turning pro but decided to stay in school; in doing so, he gave himself a chance to go in the first round of the 2015 draft. Hickey is athletic and proved last fall he has the needed physical tools to play left tackle despite battling a high ankle sprain late in the season. Hickey also has great strength: He has benched as much as 525 pounds, and during offseason drills last winter, he did 41 reps at 225 pounds. (Only one player did as many reps at this year's NFL Scouting Combine; North Carolina center Russell Bodine did 42.)

G Tre Jackson, Florida State

Particulars: 6-4, 330

Buzz: Jackson toyed with the idea of turning pro after his junior season but wisely decided to remain in school. He has a chance to be the first guard off the board in the 2015 draft. He is a physical run blocker who can get to the second level easily. He could become more consistent in pass protection, but he showed improvement in that area in 2013. He and Erving are the best players in what should be one of the nation's top two or three offensive lines this fall.

TE Nick O'Leary, Florida State

Particulars: 6-3, 248

Buzz: Let's get the obligatory "O'Leary is Jack Nicklaus' grandson" reference out of the way. O'Leary is not the biggest or the fastest tight end around, but he has good hands, runs good routes and has the necessary speed to split the seam and get deep. He is not an elite athlete, but he does understand how to play tight end and find open spaces, and those traits can't be overlooked. He is one of the top three seniors at his position.

Here are college football's top 20 most valuable programs, according to Forbes.

WR DeVante Parker, Louisville

Particulars: 6-3, 209

Buzz: Parker is an athletic marvel. New Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino tweeted that Parker runs a 4.34 40, and his vertical jump has been measured at 41 inches. Parker has excellent size, is quick as well as fast and can get off press coverage. He has become more adept at using his size and is a big-time weapon in the red zone. Parker and the other Cardinals receivers will have to get used to life without Teddy Bridgewater, and his stats could suffer a bit. But he remains a top prospect because of his size and athleticism.

LB Denzel Perryman, Miami

Particulars: 6-0, 240

Buzz: Perryman is a tough, physical guy whose lack of height is going to be a concern for some teams; he probably isn't even as tall as his listed height. Perryman has been a key defender for Miami since he stepped on campus. He has been moved to middle linebacker for spring practice and should thrive in his new role. He moves well laterally and brings the wood. Perryman has a high football IQ and 240 career tackles. He also has the necessary quickness to be effective in coverage, though he could use more consistency in that area. If he adjusts well to his move inside this spring -- and there's no reason to think he won't -- he should be one of the nation's top five inside linebackers in 2014.

RB Karlos Williams, Florida State

Particulars: 6-1, 223

Buzz: What's this -- another FSU player? Williams is one of the more intriguing prospects at any position nationally. He was a national top-10 recruit out of high school near Orlando and played safety in his two first seasons with the Seminoles. But while he is an excellent athlete, he didn't have the necessary instincts to start at that position, so he was moved to tailback early in the 2013 season. He runs with a nasty disposition and -- despite his weight -- possesses breakaway speed. He needs to improve his blocking and receiving ability, but his upside is enormous if he can master the nuances of the position.

Five other seniors to watch: LB Stephone Anthony (6-2, 245), Clemson; LB Dyshawn Davis (6-2, 220), Syracuse; CB Demetrious Nicholson (5-11, 185), Virginia; G Laken Tomlinson (6-3, 320), Duke; TE Clive Walford (6-4, 259), Miami.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content