Three Virginia Tech players earned First Team All-ACC honors on Monday, and
four more were named to the Second Team. The Hokies, Georgia Tech and Clemson
each had seven players named All-ACC, while Atlantic Division Champion Wake
Forest had six players.
Branden Ore, along with Clemson tailback James Davis, was named
First-Team running back. Ore finished the regular season with 1,095 rushing
yards on 221 carries. He averaged five yards per carry and scored 14 touchdowns
on the ground. He also had 14 receptions for 203 yards and a touchdown. Ore was
able to put up those outstanding statistics despite missing the UVA game, and
having just one carry against Wake Forest due to an injury.
Vince Hall entered the season with a lot of hype at linebacker, and he
lived up to it. His 115 tackles led Virginia Tech and the ACC. He averaged 9.6
tackles per game. He also led Virginia Tech with 10 tackles for loss, and he
added two sacks on the year. He will be a First Team All-American candidate next
season if he returns for his senior season.
Brandon Flowers came out of nowhere, at least to those who had never seen
him play, to become arguably the best cornerback in the ACC this season. Flowers
finished with 48 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He had three
interceptions and led the ACC with an average of 1.75 passes defended per game.
Only a r-sophomore, he’ll be the top returning cornerback in the ACC next
Duane Brown was named to the Second Team All-ACC offensive line. The
junior started all 12 games at right tackle for Virginia Tech this season, and
was the most consistent performer on the offensive line. A very athletic player
in just his second season playing offensive line, he is a serious contender for
First Team All-ACC in 2007.
Xavier Adibi is the other member of Virginia Tech’s outstanding duo of
inside linebackers. The junior was a major playmaker all year, with 78 tackles,
5.5 for loss, three sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles. He
returned a fumble for a touchdown against Wake Forest, came up with a key
interception in the backfield against Miami, and forced another fumble against
UVA. Adibi can get even better if he returns for his senior season.
Brandon Pace was the ACC’s most consistent kicker this year, hitting
17-of-18 field goals, with a long of 42 yards. He missed his final attempt of
the year, a 47 yarder against Virginia. A r-senior, Pace will be missed next
Eddie Royal was named All-ACC for his work as a kick returner. The junior
led the ACC in punt returns, averaging 12 yards per return. He had one punt
return for a touchdown on the season, and he’ll be considered of the ACC’s most
dangerous all purpose players heading into his senior season.
Our of Virginia Tech’s seven All-ACC players, six are eligible to play for
the Hokies next year. Ore and Flowers are sophomores, while Hall, Adibi, Brown
and Royal are juniors. If they all return next year, the Hokies will likely be
the preseason favorite to win the ACC next season.