It was a great year for ACC football, and while the conference didn’t have two Heisman finalists like it did in 2016, this season saw a ton of great players grace the conference with their excellent play. Bowl season is only a few days away, so here is Armchair’s All-ACC team after the 2017 regular season.
There was a lot of fantastic quarterback play in the ACC this year, but Lamar Jackson was a head above the rest. The Heisman candidate threw for 25 touchdowns with 3489 yards and still ran for 1443 yards and 17 touchdowns. One of the most dynamic players in college football history takes the top spot in the Armchair All-ACC team.
AJ Dillon, Boston College
Only a true freshman, AJ Dillon arguably had the best season out of any ACC running back, and that why most of our writers gave him the first team honor. Dillon ran for 1432 yards along with 13 touchdowns, both tops in the ACC for running backs, and was also mainly responsible for Boston College’s late-season surge.
It was a bit of a weak year for ACC running backs, but that doesn’t take away from what Nyheim Hines accomplished this season. The junior ran for 1040 yards along with nine touchdowns and provided a solid option at running back for a very good NC State team. Hines may not have had as good of a season as Dillon, but he is still deserving of All-ACC honors.
Honorable Mentions: Cam Akers (Florida State), Travis Etienne (Clemson), Kirvonte Benson (Georgia Tech)
Ishmael set multiple school records this season, way too many to list here, and for a program with a long history like Syracuse, that’s very impressive. Ishmael reeled in 105 receptions for 1347 yards and 7 touchdowns. On a Syracuse team that faded badly down the stretch, Ishmael was one of the few bright spots.
One of the most accomplished receivers ever for Virginia Tech, Cam Phillips upped his production during his senior season. He caught 71 passes for 964 yards and scored 7 touchdowns on the season, a career high. He only needs 36 yards in the bowl game to get over 1000 yards for the first time in his career, which would be a great way to cap his last year.
Segrine had a big season for the Demon Deacons and was a big reason that Wake Forest reached seven wins in the regular season for the first time since 2008. The senior started the season slowly but rallied throughout the back half of the year with 35 catches for 444 yards and eight touchdowns tops among tight ends in the ACC. He will go down as one of the best TEs in Wake Forest history.
Mitch Hyatt, Clemson
The junior has been a stellar offensive lineman since joining the Tigers in 2015 and twice has been an All-ACC lineman. He’ll be making it for the third time after a great year for Clemson, not allowing QB Kelly Bryant to be under too much pressure, and being a leading force in Clemson’s rushing attack.
Pitt underperformed this season, but none of that could be blamed on Bryant O’Neil. The junior was excellent with pass blocking this season, only allowing one sack, and was also a solid run blocker.
Honorable Mentions: Will Richardson, NC State
Tyrone Crowder, Clemson
What a surprise, it’s another Clemson player. Tyrone Crowder was a fantastic run blocker for the Tigers this season, and absolutely mauled guys at the line of scrimmage. Without Crowder, Clemson’s offense is nowhere near as effective.
Tony Adams, NC State
Adams had a fantastic year for the Wolfpack, leading the charge with his stellar run blocking, and only gave up two sacks the entire season.
Honorable Mention(s): Wyatt Teller (Virginia Tech)
Justin Falcinelli, Clemson
ANOTHER Clemson player? Yep, the Tigers were stacked on the offensive line this season, and Justin Falcinelli was a big reason why. The junior led the Tigers in pancake blocks this year, and had a mean streak on that was practically unmatched, not allowing any pressure up the middle.
Honorable Mention: Alec Eberle (Florida State)
Bradley Chubb, NC State
One of the most dominant defensive linemen in the country, Bradley Chubb had himself a huge year for the Wolfpack. The senior led the ACC with 10 total sacks and added 72 total tackles, which are great numbers for a defensive end.
Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
Of the two Tiger DE’s to get votes onto this team, Ferrell just beats out Austin Bryant, and with good reason. The athletic sophomore finished with nine sacks, good enough for second-best in the league, along with 62 total tackles.
Christian Wilkins, Clemson
The Clemson defensive line was phenomenal this season, and a lot of it started in the middle with Wilkins. Despite dealing with double teams most plays, the junior led the Tiger d-line with 54 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Derrick Nnadi, Florida State
Nnadi was one of the lone bright spots on a very disappointing season for the Seminoles. After deciding to come back for his senior season, Nnadi ended the year with 53 total tackles and 3.5 sacks and was a big reason why Florida State stayed with Alabama and Clemson for so long.
Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
Edmunds could make an argument as being the finest linebacker in the ACC over the past year. The Hokie linebacker totaled 102 tackles and 5.5 sacks this season, which were some of the best numbers in the conference.
Micah Kiser, Virginia
Virginia was unexpectedly decent this year, but there was nothing unexpected about Micah Kiser having another fantastic season. Kiser, for the third straight season, had over 100 tackles and 5 sacks and established himself as one of the top linebackers in the country.
Dorian O’Daniel, Clemson
Because of a fantastic defensive line, O’Daniel didn’t have as good of a season statistically as he may have liked, but he was still great. O’Daniel totaled 84 tackles, 5 sacks, and two interceptions on the season, helping guide the Tigers to another playoff berth.
Mark Gilbert, Duke
Gilbert was the definition of shut-down for the Blue Devils all season, totaling 31 tackles with 6 interceptions.
Greg Stroman, Virginia Tech
One of the best cover corners in the entire ACC, Stroman rarely saw the ball thrown his way. He still managed to intercept four passes and rack up 19 tackles on the season.
Honorable Mentions: Michael Jackson Jr (Miami)
Quin Blanding, Virginia
UVA had a strong defense most of the season, and Blanding was a big reason for that. The senior ended the season with 120 total tackles and 4 interceptions, making plays all over the field for the Hoos.
Derwin James, Florida State
It was a rebound year for James off a serious injury in 2016, and while it took him a bit to get going, he found his stride towards the end of the season. The jack-of-all-trades had 84 tackles along with two interceptions along with a sack and 5.5 tackles for loss.
Michael Badgley, Miami
Badgley was money from short yardage this season, nailing 16 of his 20 kicks total, and hitting all of his extra points.
Ryan Winslow, Pittsburgh
Winslow had a fantastic season for the Panthers, average 44.6 yards per punt and punting for the largest amount of total yards in his career.
Quadree Henderson, Pittsburgh
It’d be hard to find a better overall returner in the ACC than Henderson. Over his three-year career at Pitt, Henderson has seven total return touchdowns, two of which came this season on punt returns. He was the obvious choice, and one of the most dynamic players in the ACC.
Coach of the Year:
Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia
This one wasn’t easy, with worthy candidates in Dave Clawson at Wake Forest, Dabo Swinney at Clemson, Mark Richt at Miami and Steve Addazio at Boston College. But Mendenhall gets the nod above the rest due to his unexpected bowl-year at Virginia. The Cavilers came into the season off a two-win 2016, and many around the country expected UVA to compete in the ACC, much less the Coastal. But Mendenhall, in only his second season, got the Hoos to six wins, and although they did fade down the stretch after a 4-1 start, it is nonetheless impressive. The rebuild is already ahead of schedule, and expect Virginia to be a legitimate contender in the Coastal next season.