Football is Officially Here

<b>GREENSBORO, N.C.</b> – With the very first question posed to Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst from Charleston Post & Courier columnist Ken Burger around 1:30 p.m., Sunday at the Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Media Days, the start of the 2004 college football season officially got underway.

Each of the 11 ACC teams were represented by two players, one on offense and one of defense, to answer questions from roughly 150 reporters for about 90 minutes about the upcoming season.

On Monday, each of the 11 head coaches will take their turn answering questions.

But since players don't officially report to school until the first week of August, and with practice slated for a short time after, several players have different views of when football season actually starts.

Some players are starting to feel that itch to get on the field, while for others it won't hit them until nearly the first game.

"This helps a little bit," said Tigers quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. "But I watched that UnderArmour commercial with Maryland and that got my hair standing up a little bit."

Speaking of the Terps, offensive lineman C.J. Brooks said the season doesn't officially start for him for at least another week or so.

"It's definitely right at the beginning of camp when the pads come on for the first time after working out for the summer and not doing a lot of football," he said. "When you step in and start doing camp, that's when you know it's time to get ready to go."

The football season won't hit Duke tailback Cedric Dargan until the tough days of practice start.

"The first day of two-a-days, that's when it hits you," he said. "I don't know why, but I'm excited about getting into two-a-days. It really hits you those first couple of two-a-days. It's time to get focused; time to get ready to play football again."

Georgia Tech wide receiver Nate Curry feels as though his body tells him it's time for football when the entire student body arrives on campus, which is a short time following two-a-days.

"I think it's when it's the end of camp and school starts and all the students come back around and they start advertising for all the games, that's when I start feeling it," he said. "Nobody's excited about camp. But when camp's over and school starts, that's when you know it's time to get into that season-type practice mentality and game-time mentality. You want to get out of class and go watch films and stuff like that."

And finally, Clemson senior linebacker LeRoy Hill, the moment he realizes that football season is finally upon us comes at the very last minute.

"I think that Friday before the first game when we travel, I think I'll know then," he said. "I hate practice, I ain't going to lie. But I think that Friday when we load up the buses to go to the hotel, it's like it's time for football. That's when I get ready. But different people see it different ways."

For the media, however, the season got started Sunday with that first question by Mr. Burger.

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