Cutcliffe on Miami and UNC, plus Bryon Fields’ favorite restaurant: ACC Kickoff Diary, Day 2


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Back for more for more in the Queen City. It’s Coastal Division day, too. Here are some of the highlights from this morning’s media availability; back with more later!


Daniel Jones, Duke

  • Jones enters the 2017 as one of the most hyped players in the ACC, but according to the quarterback, he doesn’t feel that much different from a year ago — physically, skill-wise.
  • Leadership role: Jones took it upon himself to organize team activities and workouts this summer
  • Jones believes that Duke has incredible depth at the skill positions, this is the most talented group he’s worked with since landing in Durham.


Bryon Fields Jr., Duke

  • As a fifth-year senior, Fields is working to be more vocal and share his wisdom with young players on the roster.
  • Fields was a freshman defensive back on the 2013 Coastal Division championship team; he showed up in Charlotte with his ice, baby

  • Speaking of the 2013 team, Fields mentioned he’s still very close with former Duke DB Ross Cockrell — now with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cockrell helped teach him the game, how to prepare when they were teammates.
  • According to Fields, he has one pregame ritual for every contest that he plays in: find his family in the crowd.
  • One of Fields’ favorite restaurants in Durham: Dame’s Chicken and Waffles (smart man)
  • Former Duke star Jamison Crowder is the most challenging cover of Fields’ career


David Cutcliffe, Duke

  • A point of emphasis for Duke this season will be to improve its kicking game — field goals and punts. Cutcliffe plans to take a hands-on approach to help ensure this: “They’re gonna see more more than they want to see me.”
  • Cutcliffe says winning in the ACC starts along the line of scrimmage — a belief I know former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe would approve of.
  • Duke opens its ACC schedule on a Saturday against UNC, then plays Miami six days later — the next Friday night. Cutcliffe says this will be a challenge — quality depth will be a necessity.


Bronco Mendenhall, UVA

  • Mendenhall stated that could tell early in Virginia’s first game last season that his team would struggle to bring stuff over from the practice field to game play.
  • When asked about his thoughts on the Coastal Division, Mendenhall claimed that he’s still too new to the league to make prediction; however, he knows that every coach in the division will have their teams ready to roll.

Quin Blanding, UVA

  • It’s been a rough few years for Virginia football — the team hasn’t gone to a bowl game since the 2011 season — but Blanding senses no doubt from the players in the program
  • Blanding could’ve departed for the NFL after the 2016 campaign, but decided to return for his senior season. According to Blanding, it was a 50-50 choice. Now that he’s back, though, Blanding is excited for 2017: “But to come back is just — I believe in the system. I trust the system. I trust the process. You know, why not go one more year and go out with a bang and increase the status of Virginia.”
  • If you need a movie review, Blanding is your guy, too. He’s a self-proclaimed movie buff, who will apparently watch any type of film. Blanding said he plans to go watch War for the Planet of the Apes when he leaves the event today.

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