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Friday, June 26, 2009
Counting down the ACC's top 30 players: Also considered

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Agree or disagree with it, the ACC's top 30 Players for 2009 was a fun project, and I hope you enjoyed it. I might do another one at the end of the season to give these players a chance to prove me wrong -- or right.

There were tons of other players across the conference who were considered. Virginia Tech fans are wondering why quarterback Tyrod Taylor's name isn't on the list. Well, Taylor still has a lot to prove. He's got what it takes in the potential category -- the receivers and offensive linemen should be better this fall, and so should Taylor. But he comes up short in the past performance category, despite his 13-2 record as a starter.

His performance against Duke -- supposedly lowly Duke -- stuck with me when comprising this list. Taylor completed 2 of 5 passes for 15 yards and two interceptions at home against the Blue Devils. If that's a top-30 player, then I left out a lot of athletes. If it weren't for Macho Harris, the Hokies would have lost that game. It takes more than just quick feet to win football games, and Taylor's performance in losses to Boston College and Miami last year are evidence of that. He scored two rushing touchdowns against the Canes, and got his third career 100-yard rushing game against the Eagles, but he completed just 12 of 17 passes for 90 yards and an interception.

Taylor is a quarterback whose name doesn't appear among the ACC's leaders in passing efficiency or passing yards per game, but young receivers had a lot to do with that and he was able to compensate some with his feet. He was the No. 9 rusher in the conference with 61.5 yards per game, but two touchdowns and seven interceptions didn't cut it for this list.

Maybe next year.

In addition to Taylor, here are the other players who were considered (in no particular order):

Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Matt Tennant, OL, Boston College
Kendric Burney, DB, North Carolina
Deunta Williams, S, North Carolina
Marvin Austin, DL, North Carolina
Ricky Sapp, DL, Clemson,
T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina,
Boo Robinson, DL, Wake Forest
Brandon Ghee, DB, Wake Forest,
Jason Fox, OL, Miami
Orlando Franklin, OL, Miami
Graig Cooper, RB, Miami
Travis Benjamin, WR, Miami
Bruce Campbell, OL, Maryland
Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland
Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
Roddy Jones, RB, Georgia Tech
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
Alan-Michael Cash, DL, NC State
Ted Larsen, C, NC State
Allen Bailey, DL, Miami
Ryan McMahon, OL, Florida State
Andrew Datko, OL, Florida State
Markus White, DL, Florida State
Patrick Robinson, DB, Florida State
Jermaine Thomas, RB, Florida State
Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College
Vincent Rey, LB, Duke