JaySam, Lamar Jackson on playing against Clemson: ACC Kickoff Diary, Day 1


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s the the middle of July; the weather is sunny and very hot. This of course means it’s time to go to the beach, right? Well, maybe, but it’s also time to talk football. Welcome to the ACC Kickoff.

Droves of media descended on Charlotte, North Carolina for two days of interviews, breakout sessions and buffet-style lunches.

Here’s a rundown of some of what happened in Buzz City.


Jaylen Samuels, NC State

  • Samuels is less than concerned about how you define his position; he does, however, enjoy playing everywhere on the field for NC State.
  • The Clemson game is on high alert for Samuels and his teammates.
  • The senior has tried a little bit of everything on offense in Raleigh — save for kicking. He joked that he doesn’t think we’ll see him kick a ball anytime soon, though.
  • Samuels mentioned that he believes freshman defensive tackle Grant Gibson — another Charlotte product — could be a force in his debut season with the Wolfpack.


Bradley Chubb, NC State

  • Chubb knows that NC State’s defensive front will be a serious strength for the team: “The guys we have in the defensive line room are just phenomenal, B.J. Hill, Justin Jones, Kentavius Street, Tyrone Riley, Darian Roseboro, Eurndraus Bryant; the list could go on.”
  • The defensive end echoed Jaylen Samuels on Grant Gibson; Chubb believes the freshman is a “fluid” athlete.


Dave Doeren, NC State

  • NC State is excited to open with an SEC opponent — South Carolina. According to Doeren, prep for this game started immediately after the bowl win over Vanderbilt.
  • Doeren is fired up to play South Carolina, but would prefer to do so in a season when NCSU doesn’t have to play Notre Dame, too.
  • Doeren isn’t a fan of the new, early signing period for college football, which he referred to as “not good” for the game. NC State’s head coach says the team will work with it and make the best of it, but it changes the calendar around in ways that impact players and staff.


Jaire Alexander, Louisville

  • The second team All-ACC cornerback hails from Charlotte, but wasn’t offered a scholarship by any of the in-state ACC programs. Alexander knows Louisville is the perfect fit for him, but still says those games mean a lot to him now: “There’s a chip on my shoulder when I play those schools.”
  • Alexander claims he’s faster than is teammate Lamar Jackson, but is very impresses with his improvement this offseason. The DB says Jackson has more zip and accuracy on his passes.
  • The junior also doubles as Louisville’s punt returner; when asked, Alexander mentioned that he prefers returning a punt for a touchdown than intercepting a pass.


Lamar Jackson, Louisville

  • According to Jackson, there isn’t a better football conference in America than the ACC. He did, however, give praise to the SEC, too.
  • Jackson is excited for a rematch with Clemson (Sept. 16); however, he’s focused on the team’s first opponent — Purdue: “Can’t wait for Purdue right now.”
  • Louisville allowed more sacks than any ACC team in 2016 (47); Jackson says he didn’t wear down at the end of the season.
  • As for the whereabouts of his Heisman Trophy: well, it’s currently down in Florida. Jackson is still sort of in disbelief that he claimed the honor: “For it to actually happen is crazy.”
  • When you’re a Heisman winner, you carry some weight; here was the media contingent before Jackson arrived for his interview