College Football: All-ACC team announced
Published 12:00 am Monday, December 1, 2008
RALEIGH ó No teams dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference during this football season. Appropriately, no schools dominated the all-ACC team, either.
Georgia Tech placed four players on the all-conference first team announced Monday by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
Four Atlantic Division schools ó Boston College, Florida State, Maryland and Wake Forest ó had three players selected by the 67 voting members of ACSMA. Clemson, Virginia and North Carolina landed two players apiece on the all-ACC team.
But no team placed more than two players on the offense or the defense.
The voting provided a fitting conclusion for an evenly played regular season in which each of the ACC’s 10 bowl-eligible teams finished at either 5-3 or 4-4 in league play, and four schools entered the final weekend still alive for the league championship game in Tampa, Fla. BC and Virginia Tech will rematch Saturday for a spot in the Orange Bowl.
North Carolina State’s Russell Wilson became the first freshman quarterback picked to the all-ACC first team, while Yellow Jackets running back Jonathan Dwyer and Demon Deacons cornerback Alphonso Smith were the only unanimous selections.
Dwyer, a sophomore who became the league’s only player to average at least 100 yards rushing, flourished in new coach Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense while leading the ACC with an average of 110 yards. Smith, a senior and second-time all-ACC first-teamer, had six interceptions this season and tied Dre’ Bly’s ACC record of 20 for his career.
Dwyer’s Georgia Tech teammates on the first team included a pair of first-teamers in 2007 ó offensive tackle Andrew Gardner and defensive tackle Vance Walker ó plus defensive end Michael Johnson. Smith was joined by linebacker Aaron Curry and receiver D.J. Boldin, the league leader with 6.4 receptions per game.
Florida State defensive end Everette Brown, the league leader in sacks and tackles for loss, was a near-unanimous pick after receiving 131 of a possible 134 voting points. He was joined by two fellow Seminoles: offensive guard Rodney Hudson and kicker Graham Gano.
Boston College’s three first-team selections were offensive guard Cliff Ramsey, linebacker Mark Herzlich and defensive tackle B.J. Raji. Maryland’s first-teamers include running back Da’Rel Scott, center Edwin Williams and punter Travis Baltz.
The ACC’s top three finishers in preseason player of the year voting were from Clemson, but only one made the end-of-season all-conference team: C.J. Spiller, who made it as a specialist. He was joined by Clemson teammate Michael Hamlin.
The rest of the first-team includes receiver Hakeem Nicks and safety Trimane Goddard of North Carolina, tight end John Phillips and offensive tackle Eugene Monroe of Virginia and Duke linebacker Michael Tauiliili.
Miami was the only school not represented on the all-ACC first team, though the Hurricanes’ Matt Bosher made the second team as both its kicker and punter.