2007 ACC Football Season Preview: Preseason All-ACC

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TSL’s 2007 ACC football preview continues with the Preseason All-ACC team.
There are plenty of good players in the ACC, and it’s tough leaving some guys
off the list. As usual, the postseason list will look a lot different than the
preseason list, but having said that, here are our picks before the season
starts.

First
Team All-ACC Offense
Position Player Year Team
QB
Matt Ryan
Sr.
Boston College
RB
Tashard Choice
Sr.
Georgia Tech
RB
Branden Ore
Jr.
Virginia Tech
WR
Darrius Heyward-Bey
So.
Maryland
WR
Greg Carr
Jr.
Florida State
TE
Joey Haynos
Sr.
Maryland
OT
Barry Richardson
Sr.
Clemson
OT
Gosder Cherilus
Sr.
Boston College
OG
Andrew Crummey
Sr.
Maryland
OG
Sergio Render
So.
Virginia Tech
C
Steve Justice
Sr.
Wake Forest

There are a couple of outstanding running backs that have been left off that
list. Clemson’s James Davis and C.J. Spiller were one of the best tailback
tandems in America last year. But Tashard Choice was the ACC’s leading rusher,
and Branden Ore could be the best overall back in the conference. You can make
an argument for either Davis or Spiller to be included.

The ACC doesn’t feature very many big-name wide receivers this year. Darrius
Heyward-Bey isn’t a household name because he is just a sophomore, and Greg Carr
technically didn’t even start for Florida State last year. Virginia Tech has a
bunch of good receivers, but none of them will touch the ball enough to be
All-ACC.

At tight end, I was originally going to pick Anthony Hill out of NC State,
but he tore his ACL over the summer, and I selected 6-8, 260 Joey Haynos from
Maryland instead. He is a huge target who caught 37 passes last year.

Duane Brown gets a lot of hype at tackle, but I don’t think he’s Tech’s best
lineman. That honor belongs to Sergio Render, who will also prove to be one of
the best linemen in the ACC this season. He started every game as a freshman
last season, and was the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week against Wake Forest.
I think he’s poised to have a big year.

And now, let’s take a look at the defense.

First
Team All-ACC Defense
Position Player Year Team
DE
Calais Campbell
Jr.
Miami
DT
B.J. Raji
Sr.
Boston College
DT
Andre Fluellen
Sr.
Florida State
DE
Chris Long
Sr.
Virginia
LB
Vince Hall
Sr.
Virginia Tech
LB
Xavier Adibi
Sr.
Virginia Tech
LB
Philip Wheeler
Sr.
Georgia Tech
CB
Brandon Flowers
Jr.
Virginia Tech
CB
Macho Harris
Jr.
Virginia Tech
S
Kenny Phillips
Jr.
Miami
S
Jamal Lewis
Sr.
Georgia Tech

Again, some very good players were left off that list, especially at linebacker:
Erin Henderson, Aaron Curry and Nick Watkins, just to name a few. If I had to
pick three linebackers from the ACC to form the nucleus of my defense, I’d pick
Vince Hall, Xavier Adibi and Philip Wheeler.

You probably noticed that both Virginia Tech cornerbacks made the list.
Brandon Flowers is the top cornerback in the conference, without question, but I
think Macho Harris is poised to have a big year as well. He’s one of the most
improved players on defense, and he was already good to begin with. With nobody
throwing the ball anywhere near Brandon Flowers, Macho should get plenty of
action this season.

Now let’s see which teams put the most players on the All-ACC team.

Most
All-ACC Players
Team Number

Virginia Tech
6

Boston College
3

Georgia Tech
3

Maryland
3

Florida State
2

Miami
2

Clemson
1

Virginia
1

Wake Forest
1

Virginia Tech is easily out front with six players, while Boston College,
Georgia Tech and Maryland have three each. UNC, NC State and Duke did not put
any players on the list, and Wake Forest has just one. That’s more proof that
they don’t play very good football in the state of North Carolina. Wake’s 2006
ACC Championship is the exception, of course.

Football isn’t always about who has the most All-Conference players, though.
It’s about who has the best team. We’ll find out which team that is over the
next few months.

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