Monday, September 10, 2012
Player of the Week: ACC
By Andrea Adelson
My pick for ACC player of the week: Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro.
It was not an easy selection, given some of the offensive performances in Week 2. DeAndre Hopkins tied a Clemson school record with three touchdown receptions against Ball State -- all in the first half -- and has proven already he is one of the top receivers in the ACC. His quarterback, Tajh Boyd, was just as good for the second straight week.
Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price showed grit down the stretch of his team's upset win over North Carolina as well, running and throwing for career highs. But Price would not have been nearly as successful were it not for Campanaro, Mr. Clutch on Saturday.
Consider that Campanaro hurt his ankle in the first week of the season against Liberty and was ineffective in that game, causing some concern among the Wake faithful. But Campanaro showed no ill effects from the injury against the Tar Heels, making plays left and right in the first half. In fact, Campanaro had nine catches for 108 yards in the opening half alone, as Wake Forest built a 21-14 halftime lead.
He simply found ways to get open all day, finishing with career highs in receptions (13) and yards (164), and had a crucial 15-yard reception on the game-winning drive. Frustrated North Carolina coach Larry Fedora told reporters after the game, "We knew he was a good football player and tonight we made him look like an All-American. Now maybe he will be."
He is a good football player. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Campanaro has 32 receptions and 388 receiving yards (three games) since the start of the 2011 bowl games. No other FBS player has more yards or receptions.
"The guy is amazing," Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said after the victory. "He's got a knack for getting in the creases and getting open. ... If you looked at Camps' height, weight and all of those tangible things, you wouldn't know that he's that kind of player. It's pretty special, and he was huge for us."
Campanaro will need to be again this weekend in an Atlantic Division showdown with Florida State. Last season, Wake receiver Chris Givens had six catches for 101 yards in a win over the Seminoles. Campanaro had four catches for 60 yards. But he is the go-to guy this time around, and all eyes will be on him.