DURHAM, N.C. – Redshirt senior safety Jeremy Cash has been named the 2015 ACC Defensive Player of the Year as voted on by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
Cash received 19 votes to outdistance Clemson’s Shaq Lawson (13), Pittsburgh’s Ejuan Price (7), Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey (7), Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins (2), Virginia Tech’s Luther Maddy (1) and Virginia’s Quin Blanding (1). Cash is the first Duke player to receive the honor since its inception in 1993.
Cash also received one vote to finish tied for third in the conference’s Player of the Year balloting. Clemson’s Deshaun Watson earned the honor, along with the Offensive Player of the Year accolade, by securing 39 of the 50 votes cast.
A 6-2, 210-pound native of Miami, Fla., Cash has amassed 101 tackles, 18.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, eight quarterback pressures, four pass breakups, three caused fumbles and one fumble recovery on the season. He registered 10-plus tackles in games against Northwestern (11), Georgia Tech (12), Virginia Tech (11), Miami (12) and North Carolina (10) to push his career total of double digit tackle games to 15.
A finalist for both the Bronco Nagurski Award (National Defensive Player of the Year) and Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back in the nation), Cash has now reached the 100-tackle plateau in three consecutive seasons and is Duke’s career leader in caused fumbles with nine. In 39 career games at Duke, Cash has compiled 333 tackles, 38.0 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, six interceptions, nine caused fumbles, four fumble recoveries, 15 pass breakups and 15 quarterback pressures.
One of seven players in Duke history to post three seasons with 100-plus tackles, Cash is a three-time All-ACC pick and earned All-America honors in each of the past two campaigns. He currently ranks 12th on the school’s all-time tackle chart.
Over the past two-plus seasons, Cash has helped the Blue Devils to an overall record of 26-12, the 2013 ACC Coastal Division championship and three bowl appearances pending Sunday’s announcement for postseason games. The 26 victories in a three-season stretch stand as a Duke program record.