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Monday, February 25, 2013
Top 25 countdown: Who missed the cut

By Andrea Adelson

We just finished our Top 25 countdown of the best players in the ACC in 2012.

But as with any list, there are always guys who just miss the cut. Heather and I went back and forth on this list many times before solidifying our Top 25, weighing performance, postseason accolades, records set and overall impact on each player's respective team. There were many tough decisions to make, none tougher than some of the guys we had to leave off.

So who are our next five?

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson. There is no doubt Watkins is one of the most talented players in the entire ACC. Expect him to be in the preseason 2013 countdown. But he did not have the type of performance in 2012 to merit inclusion in our revised list, which takes into account performance over the course of the season. Some of that was out of his control; some of it was in his control. Bottom line: he had a down year with 708 yards receiving and three touchdown catches.

Nick Clancy, LB, Boston College. Clancy was the most productive linebacker in the league in terms of tackles, leading the league with a whopping 145 tackles. But the Eagles' defense was one of the worst in the ACC and had a hard time stopping teams.

Sean Renfree, QB, Duke. Renfree put together his best season, throwing for 3,113 yards with a career-high 19 touchdown passes while completing 67.3 percent of his passes. He was a big reason why Duke got to a bowl game, but the Blue Devils also struggled down the stretch.

Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia. Aboushi made the All-ACC first team and was no doubt one of the best tackles in the ACC. But the UVa ground game also took a step back in 2012, and the Hoos gave up 12 more sacks than a season ago.

Steve Greer, LB, Virginia. Greer finished second in the ACC with 122 tackles and finished as a media first-team All-ACC selection and coaches' second-team selection. But the Hoos also struggled on defense this past season.

On the outside looking in

Here are several other players worthy of mention for solid 2012 seasons

Jeremiah Attaochu, LB, Georgia Tech. Ranked third in the ACC with 10 sacks and finished with 69 tackles.

Jamison Crowder, WR, Duke. Set career highs with 76 receptions for 1,074 yards  and eight touchdowns, and ranked No. 5 in the ACC in receptions per game and tied for No. 3 in receiving yards per game.

Stephen Morris, QB, Miami. Set school single-season total offense record with 3,415 yards, and ranked No. 4 in the ACC in passing yards per game and pass efficiency and No. 3 in total offense.

Chris Thompson, RB, Florida State. Made the coaches' All-ACC second-team in a nod to his efforts before his knee injury, when he averaged a whopping 7.5 yards per carry. In eight games, he had 935 of total offense and five touchdowns.

Jack Tyler, LB, Virginia Tech. Tyler made the coaches' All-ACC first team, finishing the season with 119 tackles -- 13 of them for loss.

Tevin Washington, QB, Georgia Tech. Washington was No. 4 in the ACC in scoring and No. 2 in scoring touchdowns with 20, all rushing.  He ends his career with more rushing touchdowns (38) than any quarterback in ACC history.