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December 10, 2009

Rivals.com 2009 All-ACC team

The ACC's balance of power clearly tilted to the Coastal Division all season.

Four of the six ACC teams to win at least eight games play in the Coastal. Division champion Georgia Tech went on to win the ACC title. And it should come as no surprise that Coastal teams also dominate the Rivals.com All-ACC team.

Eighteen of the 26 first-team selections play in the Coastal Division. The second team is much more balanced, with 13 players from the Atlantic and 13 from the Coastal.

Georgia Tech leads the way with seven All-ACC picks, including four first-team selections. Boston College, Clemson, Duke and Virginia Tech followed with six overall selections each.

Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech each ended up with four first-team performers. All four of North Carolina's first-teamers are from a defense that allowed the fewest yards in the conference.

ALL-ACC FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE
QB Josh Nesbitt, Georgia Tech
Particulars: 6-1/217, Jr. High school: Greensboro (Ga.) Greene County
Buzz: Nesbitt has rushed for 991 yards and 18 touchdowns while also throwing for 1,689 yards and 10 touchdowns with four interceptions. Nesbitt is the only person to rank among the ACC's top 10 in rushing and total offense. He is tied for sixth in the nation in rushing touchdown.
RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson
Particulars: 5-11/195, Sr. High school: Lake Butler (Fla.) Union County
Buzz: Arguably the most versatile playmaker in the nation, Spiller has scored 20 touchdowns (11 rushing, four receiving, four on kickoff returns and one on punt returns). He has rushed for 1,145 yards - including a 233-yard, four-touchdown performance in the ACC championship game - and has caught 33 passes for 445 yards. Spiller is the only player in the nation who has scored in every game he has played this season.
RB Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
Particulars: 5-10/206, R-Fr. High school: Manassas (Va.) Stonewall Jackson
Buzz: Virginia Tech lost star running back Darren Evans to a knee injury before the season but didn't miss a beat because of Williams. He is fifth in the nation at 128.2 yards per game. He has rushed for 1,538 yards and 19 touchdowns and has gained at least 150 yards in five games.
WR Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech
Particulars: 6-3/229, Jr. High school: Montrose (Ga.) West Laurens
Buzz: Thomas leads the ACC and ranks 16th in the nation with 88.8 receiving yards per game despite playing for a team that runs the ball 82.5 percent of the time. He has 46 receptions - nobody else on his team has more than eight - for 1,154 yards and eight scores. He ranks second in the nation at 25.1 yards per catch.
WR Donovan Varner, Duke
Particulars: 5-9/170, Soph. High school: Miami Gulliver
Buzz: Varner caught 65 passes for 1,047 yards and eight touchdowns. He ranked second in the ACC and 20th in the nation at 87.3 receiving yards per game. Varner produced five 100-yard games and finished the season by catching a total of 19 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns in losses to Miami and Wake Forest.
Particulars: 6-5/265, Soph. High school: Wilmington (N.C.) New Hanover
Buzz: Bryan caught 40 passes for 422 yards and six touchdowns. He caught at least four passes in each of the Wolfpack's first eight games and reached the end zone four times in a three-game span against Gardner-Webb, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest.
T Jason Fox, Miami
Particulars: 6-7/314, Sr. High school: Fort Worth (Texas) North Crowley
Buzz: Fox, a four-year starter, has delivered 20 pancake blocks while allowing just one sack this season. He has started 47 career games to rank third in school history. Fox earned ACC offensive lineman of the week honors for his performances in victories over Oklahoma and Virginia.
T Ed Wang, Virginia Tech
Particulars: 6-5/309, Sr. High school: Ashburn (Va.) Stone Bridge
Buzz: Wang is the only Virginia Tech lineman who graded out at 80 percent or higher in each of the Hokies' 12 regular-season games. He has made 36 consecutive starts and has posted 47 knockdowns while owning the highest grade on the Hokies' offensive line.
G Cord Howard, Georgia Tech
Particulars: 6-5/308, Sr. High school: Phenix City (Ala.) Central
Buzz: Howard has opened up enough running room to help Georgia Tech rank second in the nation at 307.2 rushing yards per game. Howard, a three-year starter, was named the ACC offensive lineman of the week after the Yellow Jackets' victories over Florida State and Duke.
Particulars: 6-2/285, Jr. High school: Mobile (Ala.) B.C. Rain
Buzz: Hudson, another three-year starter, won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the ACC's top offensive lineman after making it through the regular season without allowing a sack or quarterback pressure. On two occasions, Hudson graded out at 97 percent, which represented the highest grades of Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett's 30-year career. He was named the ACC offensive lineman of the week after victories over BYU and N.C. State.
C Matt Tennant, Boston College
Particulars: 6-4/291, Sr. High school: Cincinnati Moeller
Buzz: Tennant has anchored a line that has allowed the second-fewest sacks in the ACC (behind only run-oriented Georgia Tech) while opening up plenty of holes for 1,355-yard rusher Montel Harris. Tennant is one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy that goes to the nation's top center.
ALL-ACC FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE
E Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
Particulars: 6-4/272, Jr. High school: Coatesville (Pa.) High
Buzz: Morgan leads the ACC with 12.5 sacks despite consistently being double-teamed and occasionally triple-teamed. He also ranks second in the ACC with 18 tackles for loss. He recorded three sacks each in regular-season victories over Clemson and Vanderbilt.
T Allen Bailey, Miami
Particulars: 6-4/288, Jr. High school: Darien (Ga.) Macintosh County Academy
Buzz: Bailey ranks fourth in the ACC with seven sacks and also leads the Hurricanes with 11 tackles for loss. Bailey has alternated between tackle and end throughout the season, and he leads all ACC tackles in sacks and tackles for loss.
Particulars: 6-2/290, Sr. High school: Stamford (Conn.) King Low Heywood Thomas School
Buzz: Collins had 77 tackles to go along with six sacks, and he led all ACC defensive linemen at 6.4 tackles per game. Collins scored on a 32-yard interception return against Maryland and recorded a total of 35 tackles - six for loss - in a three-game span against Maryland, Georgia Tech and Duke.
E Robert Quinn, North Carolina
Particulars: 6-5/260, Soph. High school: North Charleston (S.C.) Fort Dorchester
Buzz: Quinn has forced six fumbles and has 19 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. He leads the ACC in tackles for loss and ranks second in sacks, and he is tied for third in the nation in forced fumbles. He recorded three sacks each against Duke and Virginia.
LB Cody Grimm, Virginia Tech
Particulars: 5-11/210, Sr. High school: Fairfax (Va.) Oakton
Buzz: Grimm has forced seven fumbles to tie for the NCAA lead with Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan. He also has 99 tackles - 9.5 for loss - to go along with three sacks. He forced three fumbles and recorded two sacks in a monster performance against N.C. State.
LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
Particulars: 6-3/225, Fr. High school: Cincinnati St. Xavier
Buzz: Kuechly has emerged as the most productive freshman defender in the nation. He has an ACC-leading 142 tackles and ranks second in the nation (tops among all players from the six major conferences) at 11.8 tackles per game. He also has 12.5 tackles for loss to lead all ACC linebackers.
LB Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
Particulars: 6-2/230, Jr. High school: Oakboro (N.C.) West Stanly
Buzz: Sturdivant has a team-high 75 tackles to go along with 12 tackles for loss. Boston College's Luke Kuechly is the only ACC linebacker with more tackles for loss this season. Sturdivant also has a touchdown on a 49-yard fumble return against Georgia Southern.
CB Kendric Burney, North Carolina
Particulars: 5-9/180, Jr. High school: Jacksonville (N.C.) Southwest Onslow
Buzz: Burney has five interceptions and scored on two of them. His touchdowns came in back-to-back victories over Miami and Boston College. Burney picked off three passes against Miami and set an ACC record with 170 interception-return yards in that game.
CB Brandon Harris, Miami
Particulars: 5-11/195, Soph. High school: Miami Booker T. Washington
Buzz: Harris has 14 pass breakups and 16 passes defended to lead the ACC in both categories. He is tied for fourth in the nation at 1.33 passes defended per game. Harris also has 52 tackles.
FS Deunta Williams, North Carolina
Particulars: 6-2/205, Jr. High school: Jacksonville (N.C.) White Oak
Buzz: Williams has picked off six passes this season to rank second in the ACC and tie for eighth in the nation. He had two interceptions in a season-opening victory over The Citadel and collected three more in a triumph over Boston College.
SS DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson
Particulars: 6-1/210, Jr. High school: Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby
Buzz: McDaniel leads the ACC and is tied for second in the nation with eight interceptions. He also has 85 tackles and ranks fourth among all ACC defensive backs at 6.54 tackles per game. He picked off two passes each in regular-season games against Georgia Tech and Miami.
ALL-ACC FIRST-TEAM SPECIALISTS
K Matt Bosher, Miami
Particulars: 6-0/205, Jr. High school: Jupiter (Fla.) High
Buzz: Bosher is 14-of-16 on field-goal attempts, and he ended the regular season by making 12 in a row. Bosher is a perfect 48-of-48 on extra-point attempts. Bosher also handles the punting chores for Miami, and he ranks second in the ACC with his average of 42.7 yards per punt.
P Brent Bowden, Virginia Tech
Particulars: 6-3/206, Sr. High school: Chantilly (Va.) Westfield
Buzz: Bowden leads the ACC and ranks 13th in the nation with an average of 43.9 yards per punt. He has landed 18 of his 54 punts inside the opponent's 20 and had only nine touchbacks. Bowden has helped Virginia Tech lead the ACC and rank 31st in the nation in net punting.
KR C.J. Spiller, Clemson
Particulars: 5-11/195, Sr. High school: Lake Butler (Fla.) Union County
Buzz: Spiller has scored on four kickoff returns and one punt return this season. He has set an NCAA record by scoring on seven career kickoff returns. Spiller ranks fourth in the nation with a kickoff return average of 33.7 yards per attempt, which puts him within striking distance of former North Carolina State player George Marinkov's 55-year-old ACC record average of 35.3.
PR Greg Reid, Florida State
Particulars: 5-9.175, Fr. High school: Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes
Buzz: Reid leads the nation with an average of 18.4 yards per punt return. He averaged 39.6 yards per return in the Seminoles' final four regular-season games and scored on a 68-yard return against Wake Forest. His 48-yard punt return set up the winning touchdown in a 29-26 victory over Maryland.
ALL-ACC SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE
QB Thaddeus Lewis, Duke
Particulars: 6-1/215, Sr. High school: Hialeah (Fla.) Miami Lakes
RB Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech
Particulars: 6-0/235, Jr. High school: Marietta (Ga.) Kell
RB Montel Harris, Boston College
Particulars: 5-10/200, Soph. High school: Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian
WR Rich Gunnell, Boston College
Particulars: 5-11/196, Sr. High school: Lawrenceville (N.J.) Notre Dame
WR Owen Spencer, N.C. State
Particulars: 6-3/185, Jr. High school: Leland (N.C.) North Brunswick
TE Michael Palmer, Clemson
Particulars: 6-5/260, Sr. High school: Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview
T Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
Particulars: 6-7/295, Jr. High school: Lake Zurich (Ill.) High, then Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy
T Andrew Datko, Florida State
Particulars: 6-6/283, Soph. High school: Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
G Thomas Austin, Clemson
Particulars: 6-4/310, Sr. High school: Camden (S.C.) High
G Sergio Render, Virginia Tech
Particulars: 6-3/313, Sr. High school: Newnan (Ga.) High
C Sean Bedford, Georgia Tech
Particulars: 6-1/274, Jr. High school: Gainesville (Fla.) Buchholz
ALL-ACC SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE
E Ricky Sapp, Clemson
Particulars: 6-5/240, Sr. High school: Bamberg (S.C.) Bamberg-Ehrhardt
Particulars: 6-5/305, Sr. High school: Houston Alief Hastings
Particulars: 6-4/280, Sr.High school: Jacksonville Bolles
E Willie Young, N.C. State
Particulars: 6-4/250, Sr. High school: Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) High
LB Colin McCarthy, Miami
Particulars: 6-3/242, Jr. High school: Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic
LB Vincent Rey, Duke
Particulars: 6-0/245, Sr. Prep school: Mercersburg (Pa.) Academy.
Particulars: 6-3/255, Jr. High school: West Orange (N.J.) Seton Hall Prep
CB Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
Particulars: 6-2/200, Jr. High school: Chesapeake (Va.) Deep Creek
CB Leon Wright, Duke
Particulars: 5-9/175, Sr. High school: St. Petersburg (Fla.) Northeast
FS Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech
Particulars: 6-4/230, Sr. High school: Norfolk (Va.) Maury
SS Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech
Particulars: 6-1/210, Jr. High school: College Park (Ga.) North Clayton
ALL-ACC SECOND-TEAM SPECIALISTS
Particulars: 5-11/185, Jr. High school: Bethesda (Md.) Landon School
P Ryan Quigley, Boston College
Particulars: 6-3/191, Soph. High school: North Myrtle Beach (S.C.) High
KR Torrey Smith, Maryland
Particulars: 6-1/200, Soph. High school: Colonial Beach (Va.) Stafford
PR Da'Norris Searcy, North Carolina
Particulars: 6-0/210, Jr. High school: Decatur (Ga.) Towers

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com.



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