Thornton Named Preseason All-ACC

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Clemson leads all schools with five selections to the 2015 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Football Team announced on Thursday.


The team was selected by a vote of 163 media members who were credentialed for the ACC Football Kickoff earlier this week at Pinehurst Resort.

Clemson sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson, who earlier this week was voted the ACC Preseason Player of the Year, is joined on the All-ACC preseason team by Tiger wide receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott, offensive guard Eric Mac Lain and defensive end Shaq Lawson.

Florida State and Virginia Tech each placed four student-athletes on the 2015 All-ACC preseason team, while Pitt had three selected.

Watson, who threw for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns despite being limited to eight games and five starts last season due to injuries, is joined in the offensive backfield by running backs James Conner of Pitt and Shadrach Thornton of NC State.

Conner, a 2014 All-American and the reigning ACC Player of the Year, led the conference and ranked among the nation’s leaders with 1,765 yards rushing and an ACC-record 26 touchdowns as a sophomore. Thornton, a rising senior, ranks 10th in NC State history with 2,369 career rushing yards and 12th all-time among Wolfpack ball-carriers with 16 career rushing touchdowns.

Clemson’s Williams and Scott are joined on the preseason All-ACC wide receiving corps by Pitt junior Tyler Boyd, the the first player in ACC history to compile 1,000 receiving yards in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Williams joined Boyd as one of four ACC players with at least 1,000 receiving yards in 2014, and Scott was close behind with 965.

Preseason All-ACC tight end recognition goes to Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges, a redshirt sophomore who broke in last season with 45 receptions for 526 yards and six TDs. He is joined on the offensive line by Florida State’s Roderick Johnson and Pitt’s Adam Bisnowaty at tackle. North Carolina’s Landon Turner and Clemson’s Mac Lain man the guard spots, while Duke’s Matt Skura was selected at the center position.

Three defensive ends were selected due to ties in the voting, with Virginia Tech’s Dadi Lhomme Nicolas joining Clemson’s Lawson and Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins. Adam Gotsis of defending Coastal Division champion Georgia Tech is a choice at defensive tackle, along with Virginia Tech’s Luther Maddy.

Florida State’s Terrance Smith, Wake Forest’s Brandon Chubb and Louisville’s James Burgess form the preseason All-ACC linebacker corps. 

The secondary features a trio of returning All-Americans in cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey of Florida State and Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, as well as Duke safety Jeremy Cash. Virginia’s Quin Blanding, the 2014 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, also earned a spot at safety on the preseason team.

The special teams include junior All-America placekicker Roberto Aguayo, whose 293 total points in two seasons already ranks eighth on Florida State’s all-time list. Wake Forest’s Alex Kinal earned the spot at punter, while North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer is the choice at return specialist.

Pitt’s Conner led the overall voting, being chosen by 148 of the 163 media members casting ballots. Florida State’s Aguayo received 141 votes.

Others reaching or topping the century mark were Pitt’s Boyd (137 votes), Duke’s Cash (116), Florida State’s Ramsey (115), Virginia Tech’s Fuller (112), Duke’s Skura (111), North Carolina’s Turner (108), Virginia Tech’s Nicolas (108), Florida State’s Johnson (104) and Clemson’s Watson (100).

Boyd, Conner, Aguayo, Fuller and Ramsey were all named first-team All-ACC last year, while Scott, Williams, Nicolas, Gotsis, Smith, Cash, Blanding and Kinal all earned second-team All-ACC. Switzer, Hodges, Turner, Skura and  Rankins were 2014 third-team All-ACC selections. 

2015 All-ACC Preseason Football Team

Offense
WR – Tyler Boyd, Jr., Pitt
WR – Mike Williams, Jr., Clemson
WR – Artavis Scott, So. Clemson
TE – Bucky Hodges, r-So., Virginia Tech
OT – Roderick Johnson, So., Florida State
OT – Adam Bisnowaty, r-Jr., Pitt
OG – Landon Turner, r-Sr., North Carolina
OG – Eric Mac Lain, Gr., Clemson
C – Matt Skura, r-Sr., Duke
QB – Deshaun Watson, So., Clemson
RB – James Conner, Jr., Pitt
RB – Shadrach Thornton, Sr., NC State

Defense
DE – Dadi Lhomme Nicolas. r-Sr., Virginia Tech
DE – Shaq Lawson, Jr., Clemson
DE – Sheldon Rankins, Sr., Louisville
DT – Adam Gotsis, Sr., Georgia Tech
DT – Luther Maddy, r-Sr., Virginia Tech
LB – Terrance Smith, r-Sr., Florida State
LB – Brandon Chubb, r-Sr., Wake Forest
LB – James Burgess, Sr., Louisville
CB – Jalen Ramsey, Jr., Florida State
CB – Kendall Fuller, Jr., Virginia Tech
S – Jeremy Cash, r-Sr., Duke
S – Quin Blanding, So., Virginia

Special Teams
PK – Roberto Aguayo, r-Jr., Florida State
P – Alex Kinal, r-Sr., Wake Forest
KR – Ryan Switzer, So., North Carolina

2015 All-ACC Preseason Team Voting

Quarterback
Deshaun Watson, Clemson 100; Justin Thomas, Georgia Tech 33; Marquise Williams, North Carolina 13; Brad Kaaya, Miami 10; Jacoby Brissett, NC State 6; Michael Brewer, Virginia Tech 1.

Running Back
James Conner, Pitt 148; Shadrach Thornton, NC State 37; Dalvin Cook, Florida State 36; Jon Hilliman, Boston College 33; Wayne Gallman, Clemson 19; Brandon Radcliff, Louisville 15; Shaquille Powell, Duke 12; T.J. Logan, North Carolina 9; Matt Dayes, NC State 6, J.C. Coleman, Virginia Tech 5; Joe Yearby, Miami 4; Gus Edwards, Miami 2.

Wide Receiver
Tyler Boyd, Pitt 137; Mike Williams, Clemson 98; Artavis Scott, Clemson 86; Ryan Switzer, North Carolina 32; Travis Randolph, Florida State 23; James Quick, Louisville 23; Quinshad Davis, North Carolina 23; Stacy Coley, Miami 21; Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech 16; Max McCaffrey, Duke 8; Jesus Wilson, Florida State 8; Steve Ishmael, Syracuse 5; Canaan Severin, Virginia 4; Ja’Quay Savage, Louisville 3; Mack Hollins, North Carolina 3.

Tight End
Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech 75; Braxton Deaver, Duke 28; Cam Serigne, Wake Forest 21; David Grinnage, NC State 13; Jordan Leggett, Clemson 12; Ryan Malleck, Virginia Tech 6; J.P. Holtz, Pitt 5; Chris Herndon, Miami 3.

Offensive Tackle
Roderick Johnson, Florida State 104; Adam Bisnowaty, Pitt 70; Bryan Chamberlain, Georgia Tech 63; Jon Heck, North Carolina 22; Eric Smith, Virginia 17; Errin Joe, Georgia Tech 16; KC McDermott, Miami 12; Casey Blaser, Duke 12; Trevor Darling, Miami 7; Ivan Foy, Syracuse 3.

Offensive Guard
Landon Turner, North Carolina 108; Eric Mac Lain, Clemson 36; Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech 33; Joe Thuney, NC State 31; Trey Braun, Georgia Tech 30; Dorian Johnson, Pitt 29; Lucas Patrick, Duke 20; Caleb Peterson, North Carolina 18; Danny Isidora, Miami 18; Tony Adams, NC State 3.

Center
Matt Skura, Duke 111; Ryan Norton, Clemson 18, Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech 11; Rob Trudo, Syracuse 7; Lucas Crowley, North Carolina 5; Nick Linder, Miami 5; Ross Burbank, Virginia 4; Quinton Schooley, NC State 2.

Defensive End
Dadi Lhomme Nicolas, Virginia Tech 108; Shaq Lawson, Clemson 56; Sheldon Rankins, Louisville 56; Ken Ekanem, Virginia Tech 50; DeMarcus Walker, Florida State 21; Mike Rose, NC State 9; Mike Moore, Virginia 8; KeShun Freeman, Georgia Tech 6; Dajaun Drennon, North Carolina 3; Ron Thompson, Syracuse 3; Quan Muhammad, Miami 2, Ufomba Kamalu, Miami 2; Kevin Kavalec, Boston College 2.

Defensive Tackle
Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech 87, Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech 66; Corey Marshall, Virginia Tech 27; Connor Wujciak, Boston College 27; Derrick Mitchell, Florida State 25; Nile Lawrence-Stample, Florida State 22; D.J. Reader, Clemson 19; David Dean, Virginia 11; Nazair Jones, North Carolina 10; B.J. Hill, NC State 9; Jabari Hunt-Days, Georgia Tech 6; Kentavius Street, NC State 5; Calvin Heurtelou, Miami 4; Truman Gutapfel, Boston College 3; Carlos Wray, Duke 3; Khaynin Mosely-Smith, Pitt 2.

Linebacker
Terrance Smith, Florida State 99; Brandon Chubb, Wake Forest 75; James Burgess, Louisville 67; Reggie Northrup, Florida State 58; Keith Kelsey, Louisville 38; Ben Boulware, Clemson 36; P.J. Davis, Georgia Tech 33; Rafael Kirby, Miami 19; Jeff Schoettmer, North Carolina 16; Steve Daniels, Boston College 14; Jermaine Grace, Miami 9; Deon Clarke, Virginia Tech 8; Zaire Franklin, Syracuse 7; Mike Strizak, Boston College 3; Darrion Owens, Miami 2; Jerod Fernandez, NC State 2; Marqez Hodge, Syracuse 2; Demond Smith, Georgia Tech 1.

Cornerback
Jalen Ramsey, Florida State 115; Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech 112; Mackensie Alexander, Clemson 28; Maurice Canady, Virginia 12; D.J. White, Georgia Tech 10; Breon Borders, Duke 7; Shaq Wiggins, Louisville 7; Jack Tocho, NC State 5; Tracy Howard, Miami 5; Juston Burris, NC State 5; Artie Burns, Miami 4; Justin Simmons, Boston College 3; Bryon Fields, Duke 3; Demetrious Nicholson, Virginia 3; Chris Milton, Georgia Tech 3; Brian Walker, North Carolina 2; Lafayette Pitts, Pitt 1; Des Lawrence, North Carolina 1.

Safety
Jeremy Cash, Duke 116; Quin Blanding, Virginia 92; Jayson Kearse, Clemson 21; Deon Bush, Miami 20; Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville 18; Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech 16; DeVon Edwards, Duke 13; Nate Andrews, Florida State 10; Tyler Hunter, Florida State 8; Hakim Jones, NC State 4; Ryan Janvion, Wake Forest 3; Deondre Singleton, Duke 2; Josh Jones, NC State 2; Dallas Crawford, Miami 1.

Placekicker
Roberto Aguayo, Florida State 141; Ross Martin, Duke 8; John Wallace, Louisville 6; Ian Frye, Virginia 4; Cole Murphy, Syracuse 2; Harrison Butker, Georgia Tech 1; Chris Blewitt, Pitt 1.

Punter
Alex Kinal, Wake Forest 89; Will Monday, Duke 38; Cason Beatty, Florida State 11; Justin Vogel, Miami 9; Riley Dixon, Syracuse 6; Ryan Rodwell, Georgia Tech 3; A.J. Hughes, Virginia Tech 3; Ryan Winslow, Pitt 2; Alex Howell, Boston College 2.

Specialist
Ryan Switzer, North Carolina 62; DeVon Edwards, Duke 42; Tyler Boyd Pitt 32; Stacy Coley, Miami 9; Kermit Whitfield, Florida State 7; Myles Willis, Boston College 6; Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech 4; T.J. Logan, North Carolina 1.

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