ACC Kickoff Notes: Whitehurst Refocused, Taylor Impressive

by - Correspondent -
Charlie Whitehurst is looking to improve on his 7 touchdowns and 17 interceptions from last season. (Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina)

HOT SPRINGS, Va — Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst told the media at Sunday’s 2005 ACC Football Kickoff, that he was too hard on himself last year during the Tigers’ 6-5 campaign.

“My dad told me to be careful and not to over analyze things, and that is exactly what I did,” he said. “When he told me that I was like, ‘OK,’ thinking to myself, ‘I’m not going to do that,’ but I did it and that had a lot to do with my struggles.”

Whitehurst said at times he got aggravated that he couldn’t move the offense so he tried to get the ball down field too much in an attempt to make things happen. Instead, by forcing the issue he threw a league worst 17 interceptions, while completing just seven touchdowns.

“I learned I have to relax more and let the offense come to me,” he said. “I’m just going to react. That is the formula for success I think.”

Impressive freshman.
Marlboro County freshman wide receiver Rendrick Taylor has made an impression on both Whitehurst and defensive back Tye Hill. At the Homestead, Sunday, both commented on Taylor’s physical size and strength.

“Rendrick is ready to play,” Whitehurst said. “He is the best physical specimen I have ever seen at 18 years old.”

Hill agreed.

“He is very strong,” said the senior corner. “He already can bench 385 pounds. Once he gets his routes down, he is going to be really good.”

A Superprep All-American, Taylor caught 24 passes for 550 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 1,001 yards as a senior at Marlboro County High School.

Whitehurst said fellow true freshman Tyler Grisham of Birmingham, Ala has also been impressive in skeleton drills and like Taylor will contribute this year.

Most asked question to Tye Hill Sunday.

“Do you feel that Charlie Whitehurst will bounce back?”

Stupidest question asked to Hill.

“Did you take money during the time you were being recruited by Clemson and other schools, and did they entice you with any girls?”

Glad I’m not going to Death Valley.
University of Virginia quarterback Marques Hagans said he isn’t at all sad that Virginia’s usual trip to Clemson’s Death Valley was interrupted because of the new ACC schedule format.

“I’m not going to miss it,” he said. “I hate that place. That tiger roaring the whole time. I hated that. No, I’m not going to miss it.”

Looking ahead.

Miami defensive end Thomas Carroll said he is excited about starting the season with road games to Florida State and Clemson.

“I got excited about it when I first saw the schedule,” Carroll said. “Florida State is a great place to play and I always look forward to that. From what I hear about Clemson and how great their fans are, I can’t wait to go there either.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in Death Valley. I’m ready to kick it off. I’m ready to go.”

No pressure.

Virginia Tech defensive end Darryl Trapp says the defending ACC Champion Hokies like having the target on their backs.

“There is no pressure. If we play the way we know we can play, then there is no reason why we can’t be right back there again come the end of the season,” he said.

Miracle in the Valley.

“I have never, never seen anything like that before. I guess it was in the cards. I don’t know how we won that game. I guess it was just our night.” — Georgia Tech linebacker Gerris Wilkinson about last year’s miracle victory at Clemson, in which the Jackets scored three touchdowns in the last five minutes.

Will Vandervort is the Sports Editor for the Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger.

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