GREENSBORO, N.C. – Conference Player of the Year Lamar Jackson of Louisville leads the 2016 All-ACC Football Team, as selected by the league’s 14 head coaches.
Jackson, the sophomore quarterback who has landed a spot as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and numerous other national awards, was also voted the ACC Offensive Player of the Year.
Under the auspices of the ACC, the league’s 14 head coaches voted for an All-ACC football team, as well as Players of the Year, Rookies of the Year and a Coach of the Year award. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players and ballots were worth three points for each first-team, two points for each second-team and one point for each third-team selection.
Senior linebacker Ben Boulware of Clemson and senior defensive end DeMarcus Walker of Florida State were voted the ACC Co-Defensive Players of the Year, while Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente claimed Coach of the Year honors. Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois is the coaches’ overall ACC Rookie of the Year, as well Offensive Rookie of the Year. Clemson freshman tackle Dexter Lawrence voted the Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The ACC Coaches’ 2016 season honors nearly mirror those announced last week by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA). The voting bodies agreed on all of the major award winners, with the coaches’ vote to add Clemson’s Boulware as Co-Defensive Player of the Year the only difference in the two groups’ selections.
Jackson concluded the regular season holding the Louisville school record with 4,928 yards of total offense and is responsible for an ACC single-season record 51 total touchdowns (30 passing, 21 rushing). He set the ACC record for rushing yards by a quarterback in one season with 1,538, and his 21 rushing touchdowns are also the most in a single season by an ACC signal-caller.
The Pompano Beach, Florida, native shattered Louisville’s single-season record for rushing yards in a season, and his eight 100-yard rushing games also broke a school record. As a passer, Jackson has thrown for 3,390 yards and 30 touchdowns, including 417 yards in a win on the road at Marshall on September 24. He amassed an amazing ACC-record 610 total yards in a win over Syracuse, a game in which he came within one rushing yard of becoming the first player in FBS history to pass for 400 yards and rush for 200 yards in the same game.
Jackson, who led the Cardinals to nine wins and a share of the ACC Atlantic Division championship, was named the Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week on three occasions and was honored three times as the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Back of the Week.
Clemson’s Boulware played a key role on a solid defensive unit that helped the Tigers (12-1) claim their second consecutive ACC title and College Football Playoff berth. The four-year letterman from Anderson, South Carolina, is tied for eighth among ACC tacklers with 105 in 12 games played (8.8 per game). The 2016 Jack Lambert Award winner has forced three fumbles and picked off one pass while recording 9.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 quarterback sacks.
Boulware showcased his talents in last Saturday night’s Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game win over Virginia Tech, recording 10 tackles – including six solo takedowns.
Florida State’s Walker wrapped up the regular season tied with Boston College’s Harold Landry for the FBS lead in quarterback sacks with 15. The Jacksonville, Florida, senior has a total of 17.5 tackles for loss on the season and leads the Seminoles with 64 total tackles.
A 2016 first-team All-ACC selection at defensive end and a two-time ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week, Walker has forced three fumbles on the season while recovering two (both in last Saturday’s win over Florida) and breaking up a pair of passes. Perhaps his biggest play during the 2016 season was his blocked extra point in the final minutes at No. 10 Miami, which preserved a 20-19 Florida State win.
In his first season at the helm in Blacksburg, Fuente has led Virginia Tech to a 9-4 record, and the Hokies finished atop the Coastal Division standings with a 6-2 league mark. Nine of his players earned All-ACC first-, second- or third-team honors, and Virginia Tech will face Arkansas in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29.
Fuente guided Virginia Tech to the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game for the first time since 2011. He took the reins following the retirement of coaching legend Frank Beamer at the end of last season. Virginia Tech has earned bowl eligibility for the 24th consecutive year – the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA. His nine wins this season are tied for the most by a first-year head coach at Virginia Tech with C.P. Miles, who went 9-1 in 1905.
Florida State’s Francois served early notice that he was ready to make an immediate impact. Francois was named the ACC Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Seminoles past Ole Miss in the season opener and went on to earn ACC Rookie of the Week honors on four occasions.
Francois ended the regular season with 3,128 yards passing – the fourth-highest total ever by an ACC freshman – and 18 touchdowns with just six interceptions in 373 attempts. The Orlando, Florida, native has completed close to 61 percent of his passes while rushing for an additional 189 yards and four touchdowns.
Clemson’s Lawrence ranks fourth on his team in total tackles. The 6-foot-5, 340-pound Wake Forest, North Carolina, native has recorded 9.5 tackles for loss and 7.0 quarterback sacks – including a pair in the ACC Championship Game. He was voted All-ACC second team by both the ACC coaches and ACSMA.
Indicative of the depth of the league’s collective talent this season, no player selected to the 2016 Coaches’ All-ACC Team was a unanimous selection (named first team on each of the 13 ballots on which he was eligible for 39 total points). Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams each garnered 38 points, and the Tigers’ Boulware had 37.
Clemson led all schools with 16 total All-ACC selections by the coaches (eight first-team, six second-team, two third team). Louisville followed with 11 players honored, while Miami and Virginia Tech each had nine total All-ACC selections, including one apiece on the first team.
2016 ACC Coaches’ Award Winners and All-ACC Team
(Total votes/points in parenthesis)
Player of the Year
Lamar Jackson, Louisville, QB, So., Louisville (9)
Deshaun Watson, QB, Jr., Clemson (2)
Dalvin Cook, RB, Jr., Florida State (2)
James Conner, Pitt, RB, Jr.-R, Pitt (1)
Offensive Player of the Year
Lamar Jackson, QB, So., Louisville (9)
Deshaun Watson, QB, Jr., Clemson (2)
Dalvin Cook, RB, Jr., Florida State (2)
James Conner, RB, Jr.-R, Pitt (1)
Defensive Player of the Year
Ben Boulware, LB, Sr., Clemson (4)
DeMarcus Walker, DE, Sr., Florida State (4)
Ejuan Price, DE, Sr.-R, Pitt (3)
Christian Wilkins, DE, So., Clemson (2)
Duke Ejiofor, Jr.-R, DE, Wake Forest (1)
Rookie of the Year
Deondre Francois, QB, Fr.-R, Florida State (8)
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Fr., Clemson (4)
Ahmmon Richards, WR, Fr., Miami (1)
Daniel Jones, QB, Fr.-R, Duke (1)
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Deondre Francois, QB, Fr.-R, Florida State (9)
Ahmmon Richards, WR, Fr., Miami (3)
Daniel Jones, QB, Fr.-R, Duke (1)
Dedrick Mills, RB, Fr., Georgia Tech (1)
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Fr., Clemson (8)
Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Fr., Miami (2)
Joe Jackson, LB, Fr., Miami (2)
Jessie Bates, SS, Fr.-R, Wake Forest (2)
Coach of the Year
Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech (9)
Dabo Swinney, Clemson (4)
Dave Clawson, Wake Forest (1)
First Team Offense
WR Mike Williams, Jr.-R, Clemson (38)
WR Amba Etta-Tawo, Sr.-R, Syracuse (33)
WR Ryan Switzer, Sr., North Carolina (32)
TE Jordan Leggett, Sr., Clemson (29)
T Roderick Johnson, Jr., Florida State (34)
T Adam Bisnowaty, Sr.-R, Pitt (28)
G Dorian Johnson, Sr., Pitt (32)
G Tyrone Crowder, Jr.-R, Clemson (27)
C Jay Guillermo, Sr.-R, Clemson (27)
QB Lamar Jackson, So. Louisville (35)
RB Dalvin Cook, Jr., Florida State (38)
RB James Conner, Jr.-R, Pitt (35)
K Joey Slye, Jr., Virginia Tech (24)
Sp. Quadree Henderson, So., Pitt (32)
Second Team Offense
WR Isaiah Ford, Jr., Virginia Tech (27)
WR Travis Rudolph, Jr., Florida State (18)
WR Artavis Scott, Jr., Clemson (16)
TE Cole Hikutini, Sr., Louisville (19)
T Mitch Hyatt, So., Clemson (27)
T Brian O’Neill, So.-R, Pitt (15)
G Tony Adams, Jr., NC State (19)
G (tie) Danny Isidora, Sr., Miami (17)
G (tie) Kareem Are, Sr.-R, Florida State (17)
C Lucas Crowley, Sr., North Carolina (13)
QB Deshaun Watson, Jr., Clemson (27)
RB Wayne Gallman, Jr.-R, Clemson (26)
RB Matthew Dayes, Sr., NC State (22)
K Greg Huegel, So.-R., Clemson (14)
Sp. Brisly Estime, Sr., Syracuse (17)
Third Team Offense
WR Ahmmon Richards, Fr., Miami (14)
WR James Quick, Jr., Louisville (13)
WR Stacy Coley, Sr., Miami (13)
TE (tie) Jaylen Samuels, Jr., NC State (10)
TE (tie) Bucky Hodges, Jr.-R, Virginia Tech (10)
T Geron Christian, So., Louisville (13)
T (tie) Jonathan McLaughlin, Sr., Virginia Tech (11)
T (tie) Jon Heck, Sr., North Carolina (11)
G Augie Conte, Sr.-R, Virginia Tech (12)
G Kiola Mahoni, Sr., Louisville (10)
C Freddie Burden, Sr.-R, Georgia Tech (10)
QB Mitch Trubisky, Jr.-R, North Carolina (11)
RB Mark Walton, So., Miami (14)
RB Elijah Hood, Jr., North Carolina (13)
K Michael Badgley, Jr., Miami (12)
Sp. Ryan Switzer, Sr., North Carolina (12)
Honorable Mention: Offense (7 or more points):
RB–Brandon Radcliff, Sr., Louisville (7); WR–Bug Howard, Sr., North Carolina (9); Ervin Philips, Jr., Syracuse (8); Quadree Henderson, So., Pitt (7); G– Alex Bookser, So.-R, Pitt (7); Wyatt Teller, Jr.-R, Virginia Tech (7); C–Tobijah Hughley, Sr., Louisville (8); PK–Ricky Aguayo, Fr., Florida State (8); Chris Blewitt, Sr., Pitt (8); Mike Weaver, Jr.-R, Wake Forest (8); SP–Greg Stroman, Jr., Virginia Tech (8).
First Team Defense
DE DeMarcus Walker, Sr., Florida State (31)
DE Ejuan Price, Sr.-R, Pitt (29)
DT Carlos Watkins, Sr.-R, Clemson (36)
DT Derrick Nnadi, Jr., Florida State (24)
LB Ben Boulware, Sr., Clemson (37)
LB Micah Kiser, Jr., Virginia (24)
LB Devonte Fields, Sr., Louisville (19)
CB Tarvarus McFadden, So., Florida State (35)
CB (tie) Cordrea Tankersley, Sr., Clemson (24)
CB (tie) Corn Elder, Sr., Miami (24)
S Jadar Johnson, Sr., Clemson (29)
S Quin Blanding, Jr., Virginia (27)
P Nicholas Conte, Sr., Virginia (32)
Second Team Defense
DE Harold Landry, Jr., Boston College (27)
DE Bradley Chubb, Jr., NC State (22)
DT Dexter Lawrence, Fr., Clemson (21)
DT Woody Baron, Sr., Virginia Tech (19)
LB Andrew Motuapuaka, Jr.-R, Virginia Tech (17)
LB Tremaine Edmunds, So., Virginia Tech (17)
LB Marquel Lee, Sr., Wake Forest (17)
CB Jaire Alexander, So., Louisville (22)
CB Greg Stroman, Jr., Virginia Tech (14)
S Jordan Whitehead, So., Pitt (22)
S Josh Harvey-Clemons, Sr., Louisville (14)
P Justin Vogel, Sr., Miami (28)
Third Team Defense
DE Christian Wilkins, So., Clemson (20)
DE Duke Ejiofor, Jr.-R, Wake Forest (15)
DT DeAngelo Brown, Sr.-R, Louisville (15)
DT Kendrick Norton, So., Miami (8)
LB Ben Humphreys, So., Duke (16)
LB Keith Kelsey, Sr., Louisville (15)
LB Shaquille Quarterman, Fr., Miami (12)
CB Breon Borders, Sr., Duke (9)
CB Des Lawrence, Sr., North Carolina (8)
S Jessie Bates, Fr.-R, Wake Forest (13)
S (tie) Chucky Williams, Sr., Louisville (8)
S (tie) Van Smith, So., Clemson (8)
P Dom Maggio, Fr., Wake Forest (9)
Honorable Mention: Defense: (7 or more points)
DE–Ken Ekanem, Sr.-R, Virginia Tech (8); DT–Justin Jones, Jr., NC State (7); LB–Zaire Franklin, Jr., Syracuse (11); Matt Milano, Sr., Boston College (9); Andre Smith, So., North Carolina (8); Matthew Thomas, Jr.-R, Florida State (8); Joe Giles-Harris, Fr., Duke (8); Jacob Pugh, Jr., Florida State (8); CB–M.J. Stewart, Jr, North Carolina (7); S–Donnie Miles, Jr., North Carolina (7); Terrell Edmunds, So.-R, Virginia Tech (7); Trey Marshall, Jr., Florida State (7); P–Sterling Hofrichter, Fr.-R, Syracuse (7).
— Staff report