- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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There was a point this year when the ACC had a legitimate contender for Heisman Trophy. Clemson was 8-0, and quarterback Tajh Boyd had played his way into ESPN.com's weekly Heisman watch. If he did it in his first season as a starter, there's no reason to think he can't do it in his second season. The good news for the ACC? Boyd shouldn't be the only one. Here's a way-too-early look at the ACC's top Heisman hopefuls heading into 2012:
1. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd: With so much young talent surrounding him and offensive coordinator Chad Morris getting a recent contract extension, the Tigers should continue to put up some impressive numbers. Boyd obviously has to stay healthy, but when he was at his best this year, so was Clemson. Boyd has established Clemson records for passing yards (3,578), total offense (3,764), touchdown passes (31) and touchdown responsibility (36) this year.
2. Virginia Tech running back David Wilson: This, of course, depends on whether Wilson sticks around or decides to leave early for the NFL draft. Wilson said he wants to come back, but in the same breath didn't sound so sure. Wilson was the ACC Player of the Year, as voted on by the media, and has rushed for 1,627 yards and nine touchdowns heading into the Allstate Sugar Bowl. He is No. 7 in the country with 125.15 rushing yards per game. He is No. 24 on Todd McShay's latest top 32.
3. Miami running back Lamar Miller: Here's another one who might jump early to the NFL draft. If he does, it will be devastating to Miami's offense. Miller finished second in the ACC in rushing with 106 yards per game, 1,272 yards and nine touchdowns. He is No. 30 on McShay's top 32. Both Miller and Wilson are listed among NFL.com's top 10 running backs.
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1dJared Shanker and Andrea Adelson