The all-time All-ACC college football team

Who’s a best quarterback in ACC football history? Go ahead, we’ll give we a few minutes. It’s no easy charge squeezing down 7 decades of QBs — from Norm Snead to Trevor Lawrence — to a singular player. But that’s what we attempted to do this summer. To contend there were clever disagreements would be a immeasurable understatement. This was tough.

As tough as it was to find one QB, it might’ve been harder to land on usually dual using backs. How do we select between Warrick Dunn and Dalvin Cook? Even Florida State fans wouldn’t wish to make that call. Or how about defensive end, where Mario Williams, Vic Beasley and Bradley Chubb couldn’t moment a first-team selections?

The indicate is, a ACC has a ridiculously abounding story of talent given a pregnancy in 1953, and that bequest takes another large step brazen today, with a launch of a ACC Network. As we spin a page to a new chapter, it was usually wise that we make some tough choices, run by a numbers, disagree for a few weeks and come adult with a all-time All-ACC team.

A few caveats: We usually deliberate seasons in that a players were members of a ACC, so no Deion Sanders or Michael Vick or anyone from a 2001 Miami Hurricanes. Secondly, we attempted to cruise a era, too. QB stats in 1970 don’t make for an apples-to-apples comparison with those from 2018. The idea was a illustration of all a good eras of ACC football, so numbers weren’t a usually metric used. Lastly, some résumés are still being written, so Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Bryce Hall and Andre Szmyt competence good finish adult among a ACC’s greats, yet until their careers are over, we’re not prepared to supplement their names to a story books.

With all that in mind, here’s what we came adult with. We’re certain you’ll determine with any pick. — Andrea Adelson, David M. Hale and Chris Low


QB: Deshaun Watson, Clemson

In his 3 seasons during Clemson, Watson altered a whole notice of a program. As a freshman, he threw for 6 touchdowns in his initial start and finished a five-game losing strain to opposition South Carolina while personification with a ripped ACL. Finally healthy as a sophomore, Watson finished third in Heisman voting, accounted for 47 touchdowns and took Clemson to within a exhale of winning a inhabitant title. A year later, he finished a task, environment an ACC record with 4,593 flitting yards and 41 touchdowns, nothing bigger than his final chuck to Hunter Renfrow in a finish section to win a inhabitant championship. In his career, Watson was a two-time Heisman finalist, a two-time Davey O’Brien and Manning endowment personality and an ACC Player of a Year, and he mislaid usually 3 games as a Clemson starting QB.

RB: Warrick Dunn, Florida State

At usually 5-foot-9, Dunn was never an commanding earthy participation in a backfield, yet underestimating his ability was a mistake. The New Orleans local detonate onto a deteriorate as a loyal freshman, assisting Florida State to a inhabitant pretension in 1993 with 10 touchdowns and scarcely 900 yards. He rushed for some-more than 1,000 yards in any of his final 3 seasons with a Seminoles, finishing his career with 3,959 rushing yards, good for 10th all time in a ACC, and 5,273 struggle yards, a league’s third-best mark. He was a three-time All-ACC selection, and his career normal of 6.9 yards per rush stays a best by any ACC curtain with during slightest 350 career attempts.

RB: Ted Brown, NC State

Records are done to be broken, nonetheless Brown still binds a ACC’s all-time career rushing yard record of 4,602, set between 1975 and ’78, a truly strange fulfilment when we cruise that any other vital ACC descent record has been reset given then. A 2013 inductee into a College Football Hall of Fame, Brown was a initial actor in joining story to acquire first-team All-ACC eminence all 4 years and was a accord All-American in 1978. His 27 100-yard games arrange No. 1 in ACC history, and his 49 career rushing touchdowns arrange No. 3.

WR: Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech

To simply repeat Johnson’s stats wouldn’t do probity to a actor he was. You had to see Johnson during work to conclude his impact. At 6-foot-5, he was a winning earthy participation able of annoying any dilemma tasked with guarding him. In probably any diversion he played, he was a best actor on a field. He finished his collegiate career as Georgia Tech’s all-time personality in receiving yards (2,927), receiving touchdowns (28) and 100-yard receiving games (13), including racking adult 9 catches for 186 yards and dual touchdowns in his final entrance in a Yellow Jackets uniform in a 2007 Gator Bowl. Johnson was an All-American as both a sophomore and junior, and in 2006, he won a Biletnikoff Award as a nation’s tip receiver.

WR: Peter Warrick, Florida State

One of a many energetic players in propagandize history, Warrick dazzled with his implausible ability to make plays from anywhere on a field. His skills as a pass-catcher are obvious, yet he was also a Seminoles’ go-to actor for pretence plays and a inclusive punt returner. He was a three-time All-ACC preference from 1997 to ’99 and MVP of a 2000 Sugar Bowl, and he still binds a propagandize record for career touchdown receptions (32). A member of a ACC’s 50-year anniversary team, he was inducted into a school’s gymnasium of celebrity in 2010 and had his No. 9 jersey late in 2018.

TE: Greg Olsen, Miami

The Hurricanes have constructed some chosen parsimonious ends over a years. But in a ACC era, nobody during a parsimonious finish position compares to Olsen, who’s still personification in a NFL with a Carolina Panthers. He held 6 touchdown passes during his three-year career during The U from 2004-2006. He indeed started his college career during Notre Dame before transferring to Miami.

OT: D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Virginia

It’s singular to commend descent linemen for environment records, yet Ferguson did usually that during his career during Virginia. As solid, unchanging and widespread as they come, Ferguson started all 4 years, not usually apropos a initial loyal beginner to start on a descent line yet also environment a propagandize record for starts by a beginner with 14 in 2002. He finished adult starting 49 true games, violation Ray Roberts’ symbol for uninterrupted starts by an descent lineman. Ferguson warranted first-team All-ACC honors in 2004 and 2005 and became a school’s initial All-American tackle given Roberts his comparison season.

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  • OG: Joe Bostic, Clemson

    Bostic started all 4 seasons between 1975 and ’78, earning All-ACC first-team honors in 1977 and ’78. In 1977, he won a ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given annually to a best blocker in a joining and dynamic by a conduct coaches. In 1996, he was named to Clemson’s Centennial group and inducted into a Clemson Hall of Fame. In 2002, he was named to a ACC’s 50-year anniversary team, and he was comparison as an ACC Legend in 2018.

    C: Clay Shiver, Florida State

    A three-time All-ACC selection, Shiver was usually a sophomore when his shotgun snaps to Charlie Ward helped Florida State to a inhabitant pretension in 1993. He was an chosen pass-blocker from a core position, permitting usually half a pouch over some-more than 700 snaps that season. But a best was to come. In both of his subsequent dual years with a Seminoles, he was a second-team All-American and won a Jacobs Award as a ACC’s tip descent lineman.

    OG: Jim Ritcher, NC State

    Ritcher was twice a accord All-American during NC State and became a initial core to win a Outland Trophy as a tip interior linemen in college football in 1979, when a Wolfpack prisoner a ACC championship. He helped open many of a holes Ted Brown ran by on his approach to an ACC-record 4,602 rushing yards. Ritcher, a College Football Hall of Fame selection, changed to core in a NFL, where he played 16 seasons.

    OT: Walter Jones, Florida State

    Prior to being comparison to 9 Pro Bowls in a NFL, Jones done a name for himself as one of a many widespread tackles to play for Bobby Bowden during Florida State. Granted, Jones played usually one deteriorate for a Seminoles after entrance from youth college and redshirting his initial deteriorate in Tallahassee, yet he fast grown into one of a tip descent linemen in college football and authorised usually one pouch in 1996. He went No. 6 altogether in a subsequent NFL draft.

    AP: C.J. Spiller, Clemson

    Spiller’s preference to spurn Florida and Florida State and attend Clemson in 2006 helped open a floodgates for a Tigers to go on a recruiting debauch that continues to this day. A rapid using behind out of a Sunshine State, Spiller finished his career with 3,547 rushing yards, 1,420 receiving yards and 51 touchdowns. He ranked initial on Clemson’s career list with 7,588 all-purpose yards.


    DE: Julius Peppers, North Carolina

    It’s wise that, during UNC, one of a school’s all-time good football players was also well-developed on a basketball court. Peppers played both sports for dual seasons in Chapel Hill, going to a Final Four as a haven on a 1999-2000 team. It was on a gridiron, however, that he done his box as one of a ACC’s all-time good pass-rushers. Peppers was a first-team All-ACC preference in 2000 and ’01, when he won a Lombardi Award and Bednarik Award and was a finalist for a Nagurski Trophy. He led a republic in sacks in 2000 (15) and was a unanimous first-team All-American following a 2001 campaign. He stays second in propagandize story in sacks (30.5) and tackles for detriment (53).

    DT Randy White, Maryland

    Before a behemoth defensive tackles, there was a “Manster.” White was small for a defensive tackle yet was impossibly clever and had supernatural speed for a defensive lineman. As a comparison in 1974, he led a Terps to an ACC championship while winning both a Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award. White finished with 24 tackles for detriment that season, including 12 sacks.

    DT: William Fuller, North Carolina

    Fuller helped palliate a detriment of Lawrence Taylor, creation his vital in a hostile team’s backfield between 1981 and ’83. He still owns a propagandize record for career tackles for detriment with 57 and is one of usually 6 North Carolina players to acquire first-team All-America honors twice. He was a usually unanimous choice on a 1983 All-ACC group and is one of usually 3 defensive linemen to make a All-ACC group in 3 uninterrupted seasons. He finished his career with 225 tackles and 20 sacks (sixth in propagandize history).

    DE: Peter Boulware, Florida State

    Boulware’s youth deteriorate during Florida State was one for a ages. After a stellar sophomore debate in 1995 in that he available 10 sacks, Boulware blossomed into one of a many fearsome pass-rushers in propagandize history, heading a republic with 19 sacks in 1996 en track to ACC and inhabitant defensive actor of a year and accord All-America honors. He finished his FSU career with 34 sacks — usually bashful of a propagandize record, notwithstanding personification usually 3 seasons in Tallahassee — and was comparison fourth altogether in a 1997 NFL draft.

    LB: Derrick Brooks, Florida State

    Brooks arrived in Tallahassee as a heralded partisan during safety, yet after his beginner campaign, he changed to outward linebacker and blossomed into a superstar. His multiple of athleticism and physicality authorised him to cover receivers and retaliate runners, and he finished both his youth and comparison seasons as a finalist for a Butkus and Lombardi awards. He was a two-time accord All-American and a three-time All-ACC defender who went on to an shining NFL career with a Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    LB: Luke Kuechly, Boston College

    Where to start with a actor as flashy and widespread as Kuechly? How about his comparison year, when Kuechly led a republic in tackles for a second true season, was named ACC Defensive Player of a Year and won a Lombardi, Nagurski and Butkus awards. His ACC- and school-record 532 career tackles arrange second in NCAA history, and his career sum tackles per diversion symbol (14.0) ranks first. He available during slightest 10 tackles in 34 of 38 career games, including a strain of 33 true games from Oct. 3, 2009, to Nov. 19, 2011.

    LB: Lawrence Taylor, North Carolina

    The biggest actor in propagandize history, Taylor is one of 3 UNC players to be named a unanimous All-American, and he still binds a propagandize record for sacks in a deteriorate with 16. It was a switch to his adored outward linebacker position in 1979 that set Taylor off on his well-developed collegiate and NFL careers. In 1980, he was a ACC Player of a Year, usually a fourth defensive actor to win a honors. He done a ACC’s 50-year anniversary group in 2002.

    CB: Donnell Woolford, Clemson

    Woolford was a two-time All-American during Clemson and partial of 3 ACC championship teams. The summary of a cover cornerback, Woolford finished his career with 10 interceptions, and many tighten to a Clemson module cruise him a best dilemma to ever play for a Tigers. As a comparison in 1988, Woolford didn’t concede an hostile receiver to locate some-more than dual passes opposite him in a game.

    S: Terry Kinard, Clemson

    Pop quiz: Name a initial Clemson actor to acquire unanimous All-America honors. That eminence belongs to Kinard, who achieved it in 1982. One of a biggest players in propagandize history, Kinard was a two-time All-ACC preference and still ranks fifth in ACC story with 17 career interceptions. He was inducted into a College Football Hall of Fame in 2001, a same year he went into a school’s Ring of Honor.

    S: Ken Swilling, Georgia Tech

    One of a biggest players in Georgia Tech history, Swilling had a distance of a linebacker and strike like one, yet he also showcased a coverage skills to prevent 13 passes during his career. There’s a reason he was called “Captain America,” as there wasn’t many he couldn’t do on a football field. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Swilling was a centerpiece of a Yellow Jackets’ 1990 inhabitant championship team.

    CB: Dre Bly, North Carolina

    As a beginner in 1996, Bly set a new customary for what a first-year defensive behind could do. He finished a year with 11 interceptions and 13 pass breakups, apropos a initial beginner in ACC story to win accord All-America honors. His 11 picks led a republic and set an ACC record that stood for 15 years. As a sophomore, he was a finalist for a Nagurski Award as a nation’s tip defender and was twice named a accord All-American, a usually UNC actor with that honor. His 20 career interceptions are second in ACC history, and he was a member of a 2014 College Football Hall of Fame class.

    Special teams

    K: Sebastian Janikowski, Florida State

    Janikowski was a kicker manager Bobby Bowden had been watchful for all his life. A two-time Groza Award winner, Janikowski was famous for a implausible energy he delivered with his left leg, customarily sepulchral prolonged margin goals and promulgation kickoffs by a uprights. His splay build and bald conduct usually combined to his legend. In 3 seasons, he scored 324 sum points and was a unanimous All-American in 1999, and his 27 margin goals in 1998 are still tied for many in propagandize history.

    P: Ryan Plackemeier, Wake Forest

    A three-time All-ACC punter, Plackemeier finished his career with an normal punt of 45.3 yards, a second-best symbol in joining history. He led a joining in punting normal 3 times, and as a comparison in 2005, he averaged improved than 47 yards per punt en track to All-America honors. That season, Plackemeier won a Ray Guy endowment as a nation’s tip punter.

    RS: Ryan Switzer, North Carolina

    Switzer set propagandize annals for career receptions (244) and career receiving yards (2,907), yet it was in a lapse diversion where he was many electrifying for a Tar Heels. He took 7 punts behind for touchdowns and finished his career as one of usually 9 players in ACC story with some-more than 1,000 yards on punt returns. Five of his 7 punt earnings for touchdowns came when he was a beginner in 2013.

    Second/third teams

    Charlie Ward is a College Football Hall of Famer, a Heisman winner, a two-time ACC Player of a Year. Yet here he is, heading a all-time All-ACC second group and ideally illustrating a formidable choices we faced when creation a selections. Quarterback is a position we argued about a most, and it is protected to contend we did many of a arguing in preference of Ward being on a initial team. That is not a hit or slight on Watson yet a faith that one of a many iconic quarterbacks in college football story deserved a curtsy usually a small bit more. Maybe that has something to do with a epoch in that we grew up.

    I watched Ward renovate not usually a tangible position, as a initial dual-threat quarterback to win a Heisman, yet also Florida State itself. Before he became a starting quarterback, a Seminoles never won a championship, no matter how tough they tried, losing a wrong diversion during a wrong time any year. Quarterback wasn’t a usually position where we faced a tough choice, though. Here are some of a other players who narrowly missed out on first-team honors. — Andrea Adelson

    Second-team offense: QB Charlie Ward, Florida State; OT Jim Dombrowski, Virginia; OG Alex Barron, Florida State; C Bob Pellegrini, Maryland; OG Laken Tomlinson, Duke; OT William Thomas, Florida State; WR Torry Holt, NC State; WR Herman Moore, Virginia; TE Heath Miller, Virginia; RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State; RB Brian Piccolo, Wake Forest; AP Leon Johnson, North Carolina

    Second-team defense: DE Mario Williams, NC State; DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh; DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson; DE Chris Long, Virginia; LB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest; LB E.J. Henderson, Maryland; LB Jeff Davis, Clemson; S Derwin James, Florida State; S Brian Dawkins, Clemson; CB Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest; CB Ronde Barber, Virginia

    Second-team special teams: RS Eddie Royal, Virginia Tech; P Shawn Powell, Florida State; K Roberto Aguayo, Florida State

    Third-team offense: QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville; OT Ereck Flowers, Miami; OG Rodney Hudson, Florida State; C Garrett Bradbury, NC State; OG Mike McGee, Duke; OT Stan Jones, Maryland; WR Rashad Greene, Florida State; WR Jamison Crowder, Duke; TE Bennie Cunningham, Clemson; RB James Conner, Pitt; RB Amos Lawrence, North Carolina; AP Sammy Watkins, Clemson

    Third-team defense: DE Bradley Chubb, NC State; DT Michael Dean Perry, Clemson; DT B.J. Raji, Boston College; DE Vic Beasley, Clemson; LB Sam Cowart, Florida State; LB Ahmad Brooks, Virginia; LB Mark Herzlich; Boston College; S Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech; S Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State; CB Corey Sawyer, Florida State; CB Brandon Flowers, Virginia Tech

    Third-team special teams: RS Torrey Smith, Maryland; P Riley Dixon, Syracuse; K Nick Novak, Maryland

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