Clemson was tapped by the media as the preseason favorite to win the ACC title, so it’s not surprising that the Tigers have fared well individually as well.
The ACC released its preseason all-conference team Thursday morning, with Clemson leading the way with five players landing on the first and only team. Deshaun Watson was voted as the preseason Player of the Year, and received the expected All-ACC nod as well as 100 of the 163 voters selected the true sophomore as their first-team quarterback. The next quarterback, Georgia Tech’s Justin Thomas, was named on 33 ballots.
Watson wasn’t the leading vote-getter, though, as that nod belongs to Pittsburgh running back James Connor, who received 148 of a possible 163 votes. Others receiving the most votes at their position include one of Connor’s teammates, wide receiver Tyler Boyd (141), and one of the top placekickers in the history of the game, Florida State’s Robert Aguayo (141).
After Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech were next up with four players each selected. Three of the 14 ACC teams went without representation: Boston College, Miami and Syracuse. The interesting school in the latter group is, of course, The U.
Not only did the Hurricanes get shut out of the first team, the closest they got to landing a player on the squad was Deon Bush, whose 20 votes left him fourth amongst the safeties. Other than Bush, Stacey Coley (21 votes, eight amongst wide receivers) Rafael Kirby (19, eighth amongst linebackers) Danny Isidora (18, ninth amongst offensive guards) KC McDermott (12, seventh amongst offensive tackles) and Brad Kaaya (10, fourth amongst quarterbacks) were the Hurricanes receiving double-digit votes.
It’s that lack of talent, or perception thereof, that will have Al Golden heading into the 2015 season on one of the hottest coaching seats in America.
2015 All-ACC Preseason Football Team
WR – Tyler Boyd, Jr., Pitt
WR – Mike Williams, Jr., Clemson
WR – Artavis Scott, So. Clemson
TE – Bucky Hodges, r-So., Virginia Tech
OT – Roderick Johnson, So., Florida State
OT – Adam Bisnowaty, r-Jr., Pitt
OG – Landon Turner, r-Sr., North Carolina
OG – Eric Mac Lain, Gr., Clemson
C – Matt Skura, r-Sr., Duke
QB – Deshaun Watson, So., Clemson
RB – James Conner, Jr., Pitt
RB – Shadrach Thornton, Sr., NC State
DE – Dadi Lhomme Nicolas. r-Sr., Virginia Tech
DE – Shaq Lawson, Jr., Clemson
DE – Sheldon Rankins, Sr., Louisville
DT – Adam Gotsis, Sr., Georgia Tech
DT – Luther Maddy, r-Sr., Virginia Tech
LB – Terrance Smith, r-Sr., Florida State
LB – Brandon Chubb, r-Sr., Wake Forest
LB – James Burgess, Sr., Louisville
CB – Jalen Ramsey, Jr., Florida State
CB – Kendall Fuller, Jr., Virginia Tech
S – Jeremy Cash, r-Sr., Duke
S – Quin Blanding, So., Virginia
PK – Roberto Aguayo, r-Jr., Florida State
P – Alex Kinal, r-Sr., Wake Forest
KR – Ryan Switzer, So., North Carolina