DURHAM, N.C. – Led by Defensive Player of the Year Jeremy Cash and fellow first team all-conference selection Matt Skura, Duke placed seven players on the 2015 All-ACC football team, as voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches and released Wednesday morning by the ACC office.
A redshirt senior safety, Cash received six votes for Defensive Player of the Year to edge Clemson’s Shaq Lawson, who garnered five votes. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was both the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and overall Player of the Year. Dabo Swinney received Coach of the Year honors while Jordan Whitehead and Qadree Ollison, both from Pittsburgh, shared the Rookie of the Year accolade.
Cash, a redshirt senior safety, and Skura, a redshirt senior center, were joined on the All-ACC units by teammates redshirt junior safety DeVon Edwards (2nd team/return specialist & honorable mention/safety) senior kicker Ross Martin (2nd team), redshirt senior punter Will Monday (3rd team), senior linebacker Dwayne Norman (2nd team) and redshirt senior offensive guard Lucas Patrick (honorable mention).
Cash, a 6-2, 210-pound native of Miami, Fla., 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. 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.
Edwards, a 5-9, 180-pound native of Covington, Ga., leads the ACC and ranks sixth nationally in kickoff return average at 30.14. He has returned an NCAA-best three kickoffs for touchdowns this season and his career total of six is one shy of the all-time national record. In addition, Edwards ranks third on the team with 93 tackles while compiling 2.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, one interception, four pass breakups and four quarterback pressures.
Martin, a 5-9, 185-pound native of Solon, Ohio, leads Duke with 106 total points by making a school single-season record 23 field goals in 27 attempts along with all 37 of his PAT tries. In the league, he ranks second in field goals per game (1.92), third in field goal percentage (.852) and tied for fifth in points per game (8.83). It is the fourth consecutive All-ACC selection for Martin as he was an honorable mention selection in 2012 and 2013 and a third team choice last year.
Monday, a 6-4, 210-pound native of Flowery Branch, Ga., has punted 60 times for 2,616 yards and a 43.60 yards per kick average while downing 29 boots inside the opponent 20 yard line. In addition, he has compiled a league-high 19 punts of 50-plus yards. This marks Monday’s fourth consecutive All-ACC honor as he was a first team choice in 2012 and a third team selection in both 2013 and 2014.
Norman, a 6-1, 215-pound native of Jacksonville, Fla., leads the Blue Devils in total tackles on the year with 104 while ranking fourth in the conference in tackles per game (8.67). A converted safety, Norman has added 8.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, four pass breakups, three quarterback pressures and two caused fumbles on the year.
Patrick, a 6-4, 305-pound native of Brentwood, Tenn., has started all 12 games at left guard this year while helping Duke rank among the league leaders in passing offense (4th), scoring offense (5th) and rushing offense (7th). Patrick has helped open holes for a rushing attack which averages 177.92 yards per game and features four players – Thomas Sirk (648), Shaquille Powell (534), Jela Duncan (351) and Shaun Wilson (321) – with over 300 ground yards each this season.
Skura, a 6-4, 305-pound native of Columbus, Ohio, has been the anchor of Duke’s offensive line for the last three seasons. The Blue Devil offensive front ranks second in the ACC in fewest sacks allowed per passing attempt (29.31) while protecting quarterbacks Sirk and Parker Boehme, who have combined to throw 17 touchdowns against just seven interceptions as Duke averages 253.4 passing yards per week, marking the fourth-best output in the league.