Virginia junior Blanding among the All-ACC preseason team selections
Defending league champion Clemson leads all schools with 10 selections to the 2016 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Football Team announced on Wednesday.
The team was selected by a vote of 191 media members who were credentialed for last week’s ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte.
Clemson junior quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was voted to repeat as ACC Preseason Player of the Year by the Kickoff media, is joined on the All-ACC offensive preseason team by Tiger wide receiver Artavis Scott, tight end Jordan Leggett, offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, offensive guard Tyrone Crowder, center Jay Guillermo and placekicker Greg Huegel. Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, linebacker Ben Boulware and cornerback Cordrea Tankersely are Clemson’s defensive selections.
Florida State placed five student-athletes on the 2016 All-ACC preseason team, while Louisville and North Carolina each had three selected.
Watson, who in 2015 became the first player in FBS history to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 more, is joined in the preseason All-ACC backfield by Florida State junior Dalvin Cook and North Carolina junior Elijah Hood.
FSU’s Cook was the 2015 recipient of the Jim Brown Award – given to the nation’s top running back by the Touchdown Club of Columbus – after setting school single-season records for rushing yards (1,691) and all-purpose yards (1,935). UNC’s Hood rushed for 1,463 yards and 17 touchdowns as a sophomore last season. His single-season rushing total was the second-highest ever by a Tar Heel.
Clemson’s Scott is joined on the preseason All-ACC wide receiving corps by fellow juniors Isaiah Ford of Virginia Tech and Travis Rudolph of Florida State. The trio combined for 227 catches, 2,981 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2015.
Preseason All-ACC tight end recognition goes to Clemson’s Leggett, who was a John Mackey Award finalist last season with 40 catches for 525 yards and eight touchdowns. He is joined on the offensive line by Florida State’s Roderick Johnson and Clemson teammate Hyatt at tackle. Clemson’s Tyrone Crowder and Pitt’s Dorian Johnson man the offensive guard spots, while the Tigers’ Guillermo was selected at the center position.
Florida State senior DeMarcus Walker and Pitt redshirt senior Ejuan Price were the choices at defensive end, while Clemson’s Watkins and Louisville’s DeAngelo Brown received nods at defensive tackle. Price led the ACC and ranked eighth nationally with 0.88 quarterback sacks per game (11.5 total) last season.
Clemson’s Boulware and the Louisville senior duo of Keith Kelsey and Devonte Fields fill the linebacker slots. Fields led the NCAA last season in tackles for loss per game (1.73), and Kelsey ranked among the ACC leaders in total tackles with 107.
The secondary features a pair of senior cornerbacks in Clemson’s Tankersley and North Carolina Des Lawrence. Florida State safety Derwin James is joined at safety by Virginia junior Quin Blanding, the 2014 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. Tankersley’s five interceptions last season tied for second in the conference, and Blanding ranked second in tackles per game with 9.6.
The special teams include Clemson’s Huegel, a redshirt sophomore. Miami senior Justin Vogel earned the spot at punter, while North Carolina senior Ryan Switzer is a repeat choice as return specialist. Switzer enters his final season with an ACC-record seven punt returns for touchdowns and is one shy of the NCAA mark.
Watson led the overall voting, being chosen by 188 of the 191 media members casting ballots. Florida State’s Cook was named by 184 voters, and the Seminoles’ Johnson was named on 153 ballots.
Others reaching or topping the century mark were Clemson’s Boulware (149), Florida State’s Walker (142), Clemson’s Watkins (132), Guillermo (124), Tankersley (115) and Scott (112), Virginia Tech’s Ford (112), Florida State’s James (112), North Carolina’s Switzer (112), Virginia’s Blanding (107), Pitt’s Johnson (107) and Price (102), and Miami’s Vogel (100).
Watson, Scott, Roderick Johnson, Blanding and Switzer are repeat selections from the 2015 All-ACC preseason team.
2016 All-ACC Preseason Football Team
WR – Artavis Scott, Jr., Clemson
WR – Isaiah Ford, Jr., Virginia Tech
WR – Travis Rudolph, Jr. Florida State
TE – Jordan Leggett, Sr., Clemson
OT – Roderick Johnson, Jr., Florida State
OT – Mitch Hyatt, So., Clemson
OG – Dorian Johnson, Sr., Pitt
OG – Tyrone Crowder, Jr., Clemson
C – Jay Guillermo, r-Sr., Clemson
QB – Deshaun Watson, Jr., Clemson
RB – Dalvin Cook, Jr., Florida State
RB – Elijah Hood, Jr., North Carolina
DE – DeMarcus Walker, Sr., Florida State
DE – Ejuan Price, r-Sr., Pitt
DT – Carlos Watkins, r-Sr., Clemson
DT – DeAngelo Brown, Sr., Louisville
LB – Ben Boulware, Sr., Clemson
LB – Keith Kelsey, Sr., Louisville
LB – Devonte Fields, Sr., Louisville
CB – Cordrea Tankersley, Sr., Clemson
CB – Des Lawrence, Sr., North Carolina
S – Derwin James, So., Florida State
S – Quin Blanding, Jr., Virginia
PK – Greg Huegel, r-So., Clemson
P – Justin Vogel, Sr., Miami
SP – Ryan Switzer, So., North Carolina
2016 All-ACC Preseason Team Voting
Deshaun Watson, Clemson 188; Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina 1; Brad Kaaya, Miami 1; Lamar Jackson, Louisville 1.
Dalvin Cook, Florida State 184; Elijah Hood, North Carolina 97; Wayne Gallman, Clemson 70; Matthew Dayes, NC State 8; Taquan Mizzell, Virginia 7; Travon McMillian, Virginia Tech 4; Qadree Ollison, Pitt 3; Joe Yearby, Miami 3; Jon Hilliman, Boston College 3; Mark Walton, Miami 1; Marcus Marshall, Georgia Tech 1; Brandon Ratcliff, Louisville 1.
Artavis Scott, Clemson 112; Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech 112; Travis Rudolph, Florida State 94; Mike Williams, Clemson 80; Ryan Switzer, North Carolina 42; Mack Hollins, North Carolina 27; James Quick, Louisville 23; Stacy Coley, Miami 23; Kermit Whitefield, Florida State 15; Jamari Staples, Louisville 13; Bug Howard, North Carolina 11; Jesus Wilson, Florida State 6; Bra’Lon Cherry, NC State 5; Tabari Hines, Wake Forest 3; Anthony Nash, Duke 2; Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech 2; Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia 1; Steve Ishmael, Syracuse 1; T.J. Rahming, Duke 1.
Jordan Leggett, Clemson 89; Jaylen Samuels, NC State 41; Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech 34; Cam Serigne, Wake Forest 7; Ryan Izzo, Florida State 6; David Njoku, Miami 4; Cole Hikutini, Louisville 4; Brandon Fritts, North Carolina 3; Daniel Helm, Duke 2; Scott Orndoff, Pitt 1.
Roderick Johnson, Florida State 153; Mitch Hyatt, Clemson 82; Adam Bisnowaty, Pitt 70; Jon Heck, North Carolina 39; Trevor Darling, Miami 13; Casey Blaser, Duke 8; Eric Smith, Virginia 5; Jonathan McLaughlin, Virginia Tech 4; Geron Christian, Louisville 3; Yosuah Nijman, Virginia Tech 2; Bentley Spain, North Carolina 1; Gabe Brandner, Duke 1; Justin Herron, Wake Forest 1.
Dorian Johnson, Pitt 107; Tyrone Crowder, Clemson 82; Caleb Peterson, North Carolina 77; Kareem Are, Florida State 32; Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech 13; Danny Isidora, Miami 13; Tony Adams, NC State 12; Wilson Bell, Florida State 12; Tanner Stone, Duke 11; KC McDermott, Miami 11; Augie Conte, Virginia Tech 8; Omari Palmer, Syracuse 4.
Jay Guillermo, Clemson 124; Lucas Crowley, North Carolina 13; Jackson Matteo, Virginia 11; Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech 10; Nick Linder, Miami 8; Alec Eberle, Florida State 8; Alex Officer, Pitt 5; Joe Sceflo, NC State 4; Jason Emerich, Syracuse 3; Jon Baker, Boston College 3; Eric Gallo, Virginia Tech 2.
DeMarcus Walker, Florida State 142; Ejuan Price, Pitt 102; Josh Sweat, Florida State 33; Ken Ekanem, Virginia Tech 23; Al-Quadin Muhammad, Miami 16; Harold Landry, Boston College 15; Bradley Chubb, NC State 12; KeShun Freeman, Georgia Tech 10; Mikey Bart, North Carolina 8; Kevin Kavalec, Boston College 6; Andrew Brown, Virginia 5; Dajaun Drennon, North Carolina 5; Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest 5.
Carlos Watkins, Clemson 132; DeAngelo Brown, Louisville 56; Derrick Nnadi, Florida State 48; Christian Wilkins, Clemson 41; Nazair Jones, North Carolina 31; Patrick Gamble, Georgia Tech 21; Demarcus Christmas, Florida State 15; Josh Banks, Wake Forest 8; Woody Baron, Virginia Tech 7; B.J. Hill, NC State 5; Mike Ramsay, Duke 5; Truman Gutapfel, Boston College 5; A.J. Wolf, Duke 4; Donte Wilkins, Virginia 4.
Ben Boulware, Clemson 149; Keith Kelsey, Louisville 99; Devonte Fields, Louisville 96; Micah Kiser, Virginia 84; Matt Milano, Boston College 49; Ro’Derrick Hoskins, Florida State 20; Zaire Franklin, Syracuse 13; Marquel Lee, Wake Forest 11; Connor Strachan, Boston College 9; P.J. Davis, Georgia Tech 9; Jermaine Grace, Miami 8; Matt Galambos, Pitt 7; Ben Humphreys, Duke 7; Mike Caprara, Pitt 5; Andrew Motuapuaka, Virginia Tech 3; Airius Moore, NC State 3; Brant Mitchell, Georgia Tech 1.
Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson 115; Des Lawrence, North Carolina 62; Marquez White, Florida State 54; DeVon Edwards, Duke 43; M.J. Stewart, North Carolina 33; Shaq Wiggins, Louisville 20; Corn Elder, Miami 19; Brad Watson, Wake Forest 10; Tim Harris, Virginia 7; Breon Borders, Duke 6; Jack Tocho, NC State 5; Avonte Maddox, Pitt 4; Sheldrick Redwine, Miami 4.
Derwin James, Florida State 112; Quin Blanding, Virginia 107; Jordan Whitehead, Pitt 51; Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville 37; Rayshawn Jenkins, Miami 18; Chuck Clark, Virginia Tech 11; Donnie Miles, North Carolina 10; John Johnson, Boston College 9; Trey Marshall, Florida State 8; Josh Jones, NC State 6; Ryan Janvion, Wake Forest 5; Deondre Singleton, Duke 4; A.J. Gray, Georgia Tech 2; Antwan Cody, Syracuse 2.
Greg Huegel, Clemson 63; Michael Badgley, Miami 41; Nick Weiler, North Carolina 39; Harrison Butker, Georgia Tech 16; Chris Blewitt, Pitt 12; Joey Slye, Virginia Tech 11; Mike Weaver, Wake Forest 7; Cole Murphy, Syracuse 2.
Justin Vogel, Miami 100; Nicholas Conte, Virginia 60; A.J. Cole III, NC State 20; Ryan Winslow, Pitt 11.
Ryan Switzer, North Carolina 112; DeVon Edwards, Duke 40; Kermit Whitfield, Florida State 16; Corn Elder, Miami 8; Brisly Estime, Syracuse 6; T.J. Logan, North Carolina 4; Nyheim Hines, NC State 3; Michael Walker, Boston College 1; Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia 1.