Thursday, February 11, 2010
Five breakout players in the ACC
By ESPN.com staff
A new season usually means new stars will emerge, breakout players if you will. Consider these players athletes who have already shown a hint of something good, but aren’t quite household names yet. Of course it’s possible a Jeff Luc or Lamarcus Joyner could be the next great player at Florida State in 2010, but in the grand scheme of college football, they’re still unproven. Here’s a look at five players in the conference who have already proved to be on the verge of a breakout season:
Steve Greer, linebacker, Virginia -- Greer led Virginia and was the second among ACC freshmen in tackles with 92, earning All-ACC honorable mention honors. He also ranked No. 5 among the nation's freshmen in tackles, including a career-high 14 tackles at Miami.
Anthony Allen, B-back, Georgia Tech -- Allen will be moving from the A-back to B-back position this spring to fill the void left by Jonathan Dwyer. Allen finished 2009 third on the team in rushing behind Dwyer and quarterback Josh Nesbitt with 618 yards and six touchdowns.
Damien Berry, running back, Miami -- The former safety who had spent the majority of his time on special teams made a name for himself in his first game as a running back last year with 162 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries against FAMU on Oct. 10. He finished with a team-high eight touchdowns and was second on the team in rushing with 616 yards. With Javarris James gone and Graig Cooper recovering from a knee injury, it’s Berry’s time to shine.
Andre Ellington, running back, Clemson -- He had a 7.2 yards per carry average as C.J. Spiller’s backup (68 carries for 491 yards) and four touchdowns. Ellington also proved to be a capable receiver with 11 catches for 55 yards. He had five runs of over 20 yards and 13 runs longer than 10 yards. He was second to Spiller in rushing.
Jarmon Fortson, wide receiver, Florida State -- Fortson ended 2009 with a play to remember in the Gator Bowl: an acrobatic, one-handed, 29-yard catch in the third quarter. Fortson finished third on the team last year with 45 catches for 610 yards and four touchdowns.