Thursday, June 30, 2011
Ranking the ACC's cornerbacks
By Heather Dinich
I have been ranking 10 players at each position. On the ACC’s pre-spring all-star checklist, only five cornerbacks from a total of four different programs are listed. There's a reason for that.
1. Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech: He led the nation in interceptions last season with nine in 13 games and ranked fifth nationally in passes defended with 17. He was second in the ACC and 19th nationally in punt returns.
2. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State: He was named the ACC’s Defensive Rookie of the Year after a freshman season in which he ranked 16th nationally in passes defended with four interceptions and 12 breakups. He also had 58 tackles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries.
3. Greg Reid, Florida State: He finished 10th in the nation in passes defended with three interceptions and 14 deflections. He also had 65 tackles, three forced fumbles and finished fourth in the ACC in punt returns.
4. Chase Minnifield, Virginia: He started all 12 games last season and finished second in the ACC and No. 7 nationally with six INTs. He also had 48 tackles and broke up four passes despite being slowed the final four games of the season with an ankle injury.
5. Donnie Fletcher, Boston College: He started all 13 games last season and finished fourth in the ACC in interceptions with five. He also had 56 tackles and three pass breakups.
6. Charles Brown, North Carolina: On paper, UNC has to replace its entire secondary, but Brown has 22 career starts before sitting out last season. He has 151 career tackles, six interceptions and 193 return yards.
7. Cameron Chism, Maryland: The senior had a breakout season last year with 70 tackles (43 solo), four TFLs and eight pass deflections. He also forced one fumble, recovered another and blocked a kick.
8. C.J. Wilson, NC State: He had 46 tackles last season, two interceptions and six pass breakups. He has 19 career starts, and both of his interceptions last season were returned for touchdowns.
9. Ross Cockrell, Duke: He is a returning starter and finished last season with 60 tackles and 10 passes defended. He was only a freshman but he tied for eighth in the ACC in passes defended with 10 in 12 games.
10: Rod Sweeting, Georgia Tech: He had 38 tackles, seven pass breakups and one interception last season as a reserve.