Preseason All-ACC ballot

Borrowing the formula that's used to put together MLB All-Star teams, it's time to unveil this year's offensive ballot for the preseason All-ACC team.

At least one player from each of the 14 schools in the conference will find a spot on my ballot when it comes time to vote at next week's ACC Football Kickoff.

Clemson and Florida State will both have five players written scribbled on the list. Third with three players will be Miami.

Not coincidentally, the thought here is that Clemson or Florida State will be playing Miami in the ACC Championship game.

The big surprise could be Duke having two players on the list. The rest of the league's schools -- Boston College, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest -- all will have one player representing them.

We take a look at our offensive selections first:

QUARTERBACK: Tajh Boyd - Clemson. If there could be just one Clemson player on the All-ACC ballot, it would have to be Boyd. Last year's reining Player of the Year is primed for another big season with offensive coordinator Chad Morris. It certainly helps that he'll have an All-ACC caliber wide receiver to throw to and an All-ACC caliber offensive lineman protecting him.

If Boyd captures the ACC Player of the Year award once again, he'll be the first player since Charlie Ward to do it (1992-93).


If Boyd captures the ACC Player of the Year award once again, he'll be the first player since Charlie Ward to do it (1992-93).
RUNNING BACKS: Miami's Duke Johnson and Florida State's Devonta Freeman. Anyone who watched Johnson closely during his recruitment would have penciled him in as an All-ACC kind of player. He was spectacular last season, rushing for 947 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 6.8 yards per carry were pretty darn good, too.

Florida State could have one of the best rushing attacks in the country. That's a credit to both of the guys they'll have in the backfield and the big men clearing holes for them up front. It's hard to leave off one of the two Seminole backs here.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Clemson's Sammy Watkins and Alex Amidon from Boston College. If Watkins had a normal freshman season, folks would look at his sophomore numbers and think they were pretty good. Considering he missed two games to suspension, one to injury and played just one snap in another, his stats are still pretty strong.

Meanwhile Amidon was he a first-team selection last season, catching 78 passes for 1,210 yards and seven touchdowns playing for one of the worst offenses in the country. With a new offensive philosophy and the return of veteran QB Chase Rettig, he could put up bigger numbers.

TIGHT END: N.C. State's Asa Watson. While everyone else is busy writing down Eric Ebron's name, count me as one of the few who will have Watson on his sheet. Did Watson have just 22 receptions and one touchdown catch last season? Sure. But tight ends can be a best friend for a first-year starting quarterback.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Clemson OT Brandon Thomas, North Carolina OT James Hurst, Florida State C Bryan Stork, Miami OG Brandon Linder, Florida State OG Tre Jackson.

Thomas was a first-team pick last year and is versatile enough to play guard. Hurst and Stork had places on the second-team while Linder was an honorable mention.

Why two Florida State guys on the ballot? See the explanation under the running back picks.

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