East Carolina football coach Skip Holtz will be the keynote speaker for the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet on Dec.7, the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers of America announced Tuesday.
“I'm certainly flattered and honored,” Holtz said. “The award is one of the most prestigious honors an individual can earn in college football today.”
Holtz's team has become a national darling after opening the season with back-to-back wins over Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
“We are very excited to have coach Holtz give this year's keynote address,” said Bronko Nagurski executive director John Rocco. “As one of college footballs great up-and-coming coaches, he is a perfect match for the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.”
The trophy is presented annually to the nation's most outstanding NCAA defensive football player. The Charlotte Touchdown Club also honors local college and high school football players and over the last decade has raised more than $900,000 for student athletic scholarships.
Banquet reservations can be made at 704-347-2918.
CLEMSON: The Tigers will likely start three freshmen on the offensive line against N.C. State Saturday, the first time that's happened since all juniors and seniors on the team were drafted to serve in World War II some 65 years ago. This time, it's due to a motor scooter accident.
Starting tackle Chris Hairston hurt his knee in the minor crash and will likely miss the game, which means that Landon Walker would join fellow redshirt freshmen Mason Cloy and David Smith in the starting lineup.
In the 45-17 win over The Citadel last Saturday, Cloy was at right guard, filling in for starter Barry Humphries, who was hurt in Clemson's opening-week loss to Alabama. Humphries had surgery last week.
NORTH CAROLINA: Connor Barth's shoes were huge, but his little brother Casey and fellow freshman Jay Wooten are trying to fill them. The two are sharing placekicking duties for the Tar Heels – Wooten on kickoffs and long field goals; Casey on extra points and short-range field goals.
Coach Butch Davis said on Tuesday that he was happy with the rotation. “They're still competing every single week to be the guy, and if we have to do it by committee, fine,” he said.
Wooten, of Scotland County High, averaged 65.3 yards on kickoffs in last week's win over McNeese State. Barth, who helped his (Wilmington) Hoggard team to a state title last year, was 5-for-5 on PATs, but missed a 37-yard field goal.
OHIO STATE: Tailback “Beanie” Wells has been cleared to play against Southern California on Saturday night. He injured a foot in the opener against Youngstown State and didn't play last weekend against Ohio University.
SOUTH CAROLINA: At home Saturday against No. 2 Georgia, coach Steve Spurrier said he expects to play both Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley at quarterback.
WAKE FOREST: With the Deacons idle this week, coach Jim Grobe spent Tuesday at ESPN's studios in Bristol, Conn., appearing on several shows including “First Take,” “College Football Overdrive” and “College Football Live.”
Ben Mauk, quarterback in 2003, lost an appeal of the NCAA's not allowing him a sixth season of eligibility. Mauk, who transferred to Cincinnati after his Deacon days, led the Bearcats to 10 wins last season. He had argued that he lost two seasons to injuries. He had been turned down five times by the NCAA.
SEC: All 17 games on CBS this season, including the conference championship, will be shown for free on CBSSports.com.