ACC: DeAndre McDaniel

My vote: ACC's defensive player of the year

May, 17, 2011
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Last week, you guys had a chance to vote on the ACC's defensive player of the year. At last count, Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley and Florida State defensive end Brandon Jenkins were tied as the fan favorite. While both should be among the league's top defenders this season, neither were my top choice.

My vote: Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly

Making the case for Kuechly: Hosley is an outstanding player. There's no questioning that. But the odds of him getting nine interceptions again are slim. Just as former Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel. It's a tough performance to repeat. Kuechly will continue to rack up double-digit tackle performances. He will continue to get takeaways and somehow seem to be everywhere at once. And somehow, the unanimous All-American will find a way to be even better in 2011 and still remain one of the most unassuming players in the country.

Give the guy some credit: You guys all but ignored Maryland linebacker Kenny Tate. Why? Offensive coordinators in the league know better. He's an outstanding athlete who should flourish in his new "star" position of hybrid linebacker/safety under first-year coach Randy Edsall.

Friday Mailblog

May, 6, 2011
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Don't forget your mamas this weekend ...

Chris in Atlanta, Ga., writes: Seriously. You ranked Duke ahead of Georgia Tech. I know we lost a lot of starters from last year and last year we weren't that great. But under Duke??? Come on. We have Paul Johnson as our Coach.

HD: Yep. And Duke has David Cutcliffe, an equally good coach with a better quarterback right now.


Andrew in Hokie Nation writes: I was watching the college football preview of Virginia Tech and they were talking pretty highly of them, even mentioning the chance at even a national championship run. While I understand that it is not probably going to happen there is a chance. What I don't understand is why people think Florida State is so much better. I agree they're good, but 20 spots better? I don't think so. Can you try and explain why?

HD: Nope. But I can give my take on why not.


Rob in Chicago, Ill., writes: What happened to the pro prospects of DeAndre McDaniel, Safety from Clemson? Two years ago, he was highly touted a a leader of the team. Now, nothing.

HD: I was shocked, Rob, that he went undrafted. I voted for him as an All-America candidate two years ago. I don't think he had a bad season at all. Still one of the best players in the league. But he thinks his stock dropped because of a fractured wrist that will require surgery.


Scott in Avon, N.C., writes: After hearing an interview that Renner gave to reporters after Carolina's Spring game I am wondering if you think UNC has the best 0-line in the ACC? I saw a video you did that gave UNC the nod in the ACC Coastal Division for the bet d-line and o-line. With Ryan Houston back and all those great wide outs and this steller o-line and d-line why isn't UNC top 25 in preseason polls?

HD: Yes, I think the Heels could have the best offensive line in the ACC. As for the Tar Heels' exclusion from most Top-25 lists, I would think that because many look on paper and see they lost 10 starters from last year's team, including a record-setting quarterback and nine players who were drafted. All four starters in the secondary have to be replaced, and I'm not sure some fans realize how much the departed tight ends had contributed. So, there's plenty of questions yet to be answered and lots to prove in Chapel Hill, but I think the Tar Heels will be the first team to sneak into the Top 25 from the ACC.


R Dotson in Hampton, Va., writes: So I guess my questions is this, what is Darren Evens going to do since he has left VT and entered in the draft and wasn't selected?I know a lot of players don't get drafted but get asked to tryout for these teams, but with how the NFL is in lockout status what happens to players like the Darren Evens around the league that left early to enter the draft?

HD: Unfortunately, there's nothing they CAN do but wait and work out until the labor issue is resolved.


Rob in San Diego, Calif., writes: HD, Alex Wujciak undrafted? Are we serious? Does on field performance mean nothing to NFL Scouts and draft experts? All he does is make tackles. I think this is a major slight. Your thoughts?

HD: No, but I do think the draft is more about potential than it is about past production. This snub doesn't surprise me as much as some others.


Matt in Greensboro, N.C., writes: Heather,NC State's recruiting class this past season has been called a "mediocre class" by several publications. Obviously NC State got some immediate help in the kicking game, with a new scholarship punter and kicker. Out of the other incoming true freshman, who do you foresee may get some early P.T. at NC State during the 2011 season?Also, who do you think stands to be the new "go-to" receiver for Mike Glennon now that he has taken over the reins at the QB position at NC State?

HD: Tom O'Brien has said that he hasn't found that "go-to" receiver yet, so it remains a question heading into summer camp. My guess, though, would be T.J. Graham, who had 25 catches last year. As for the recruiting class, you have to start with the punter, place-kicker and snappers, who are all in this class. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. But one of the best players coming in happens to be a receiver.

ACC's lunchtime links

May, 6, 2011
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In other news not related to Gary Williams ...

Clemson spring wrap

May, 5, 2011
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2010 overall record: 6-7

2010 conference record: 4-4

Returning starters

Offense: 8, defense: 5, punter/kicker: 2

Top returners

WR DeAndre Hopkins, RT Landon Walker, DE Andre Branch, DT Brandon Thompson, P Dawson Zimmerman, RB Andre Ellington, WR Jaron Brown, C Dalton Freeman, OG Antoine McClain, TE Dwayne Allen, MLB Corico Hawkins, S Rashard Hall

Key losses

DE Da’Quan Bowers, DT Jarvis Jenkins, FS DeAndre McDaniel, CB Marcus Gilchrist, RB Jamie Harper, QB Kyle Parker, LT Chris Hairston

2010 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Harper (760 yards)

Passing: Kyle Parker (2,213 yds)

Receiving: Hopkins* (637 yds)

Tackles: McDaniel (84)

Sacks: Bowers (15.5)

Interceptions: McDaniel (4)

Spring answers

1. Cole Stoudt is the backup quarterback. Until true freshmen Stoudt and Tony McNeal enrolled in January and arrived on campus, Tajh Boyd was the only scholarship quarterback on the roster. With Boyd the undisputed starter, the main competition was for his backup. Stoudt won the job over McNeal, who also played well and is a good runner, but Stoudt had the stronger arm.

2. Phillip Price will replace Chris Hairston at left tackle. The Tigers have four starters returning on the offensive line but big shoes to fill at left tackle, where Hairston was a three-year starter. Price, who joined the team as a walk-on tight end and moved to offensive line last year, beat Brandon Thomas for the job.

3. Players bought into the system. First-year offensive coordinator Chad Morris brought an up-tempo offense from Tulsa that is similar to what Auburn runs, and the players not only embraced it, they had fun with it this spring. Whether or not they can execute it on Saturdays? See below …

Fall questions

1. Execution of the offense. With a brand new scheme, a first-year starting quarterback and new offensive coordinator, the entire offense is a question mark heading into the fall. The Tigers also lost their leading rusher in Jamie Harper, who decided to leave early for a shot at the NFL. Can the Tigers get it together quickly enough to be a contender in the Atlantic Division again?

2. Will there be enough pressure on quarterbacks? With the departure of Bowers and his 15.5 sacks -- not to mention and 21 quarterback pressures -- the Tigers will have a lot of ground to make up. Bowers was a big reason Clemson was in top 20 in the nation in both scoring defense and total defense last year. With him gone, who’s going to step up and get after the quarterbacks? Malliciah Goodman and Andre Branch are expected to.

3. Will the Tigers find consistency in the kicking game? Clemson lost five games by a touchdown or less last year, including the overtime loss to Auburn, which slipped away with a missed field goal in overtime. Will Chandler Catanzaro pick up where he left off at the end of last season and show some consistency? He made six of his final seven field goals last year, but he also started slow this spring before finishing strong.

ACC NFL prospects still in limbo

May, 4, 2011
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As the NFL lockout still continues, the professional careers of several former ACC players remain in limbo. Any players hoping to extend their playing days as undrafted free agents must wait until the NFL's labor issues are resolved. There is significant, proven talent on this list -- names I've typed countless times for their accomplishments in the ACC -- but don't forget that the NFL is based more on potential than it is on past production. I searched all of these players' names in ESPN.com's NFL player database, and North Carolina's Kendric Burney and Clemson's DeAndre McDaniel received the highest grades (over 60, which is considered fourth-round equivalent). Most of them were graded in the 30s, which means they are considered a borderline draft prospect. Regardless of where they wind up in the future, their contributions in the past certainly won't be forgotten.

These are the players who were invited to the combine but not drafted, according to the NFL's draft tracker:

Hokies' Hosley the fan favorite

April, 15, 2011
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Earlier this week I asked you guys to submit your votes for ACC preseason defensive player of the year, and at last count, Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley was the fan favorite, leading Florida State defensive end Brandon Jenkins by a smidge.

Three main thoughts on this:

1. Where is the love for Luke? Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly was a unanimous All-American last year. One of the best players in the country. And you guys don't think he'll be the best in the ACC? C'mon, man.

2. I've seen this happen with defensive backs before. Miami's Brandon Harris, Clemson's DeAndre McDaniel -- eventually people stop throwing their way. McDaniel had eight INTs in 2009. Hosley had nine last year. The odds of repeating that seem slim, but that doesn't mean that Hosley won't again put up a performance worthy of All-America honors.

3. Based on the votes, I think Quinton Coples is really going to surprise some of you guys. He was playing out of position last year and still had 10 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss at defensive tackle. He should only be better this year at his natural position, defensive end.

Exiting the spring: Clemson

April, 8, 2011
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Spring game: 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, ESPN3.com.

Questions answered: The Tigers have bought into first-year offensive coordinator Chad Morris' up-tempo offense and they like it. Clemson installed about 60 percent of the offense this spring, and has embraced first-year starting quarterback Tajh Boyd as its new leader.

Questions unanswered: How the Tigers will replace some big names on defense remains a question. Malliciah Goodman is next in line to replace Da'Quan Bowers, but both he and the coaches have said he can still reach another level. The Tigers are young but talented in the secondary, where stars Marcus Gilchrist and DeAndre McDaniel have graduated. And there will be plenty of more options this summer when a top-10 recruiting class arrives on campus.

Spring stars: Bashaud Breeland, a redshirt freshman defensive back, looks to move into the role of all-purpose defensive back formerly held by Gilchrist.

Of note: Entering the spring game, kicker Chandler Catanzaro has finished the spring strong by making seven of his last eight field goals in scrimmages. While he made 14 of 22 field goals last year (including just 3-of-7 from the 30-39 range), he did make six of his last seven kicks last year and appears to have picked up where he left off.

Revised top 25 countdown: No. 1

March, 21, 2011
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No. 1. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech

Tyrod Taylor
AP Photo/John BazemoreVirginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor was the ACC Player of the Year.
2010 numbers:He led the ACC and was No. 13 in the nation in passing efficiency with 154.8, was fourth in the league in total offense at 243 yards per game, and fifth in passing average per game at 195.9. He completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 2,743 yards, 24 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He also ran for 659 yards and five touchdowns.

Previous ranking: No. 17

Making the case for Taylor:It should come as no surprise that the ACC's Player of the Year landed the No. 1 spot. Not only did he throw the fewest interceptions and gain more rushing yards than any quarterback in the ACC, he was also invaluable as the leader of the team that became the first to go undefeated in conference play since Florida State in 2000. Taylor led the Hokies to the ACC championship game and had one of his best performances of the season in the win over Florida State. His trademark scrambles will be missed this year and impossible to duplicate, and what made him special this year was his improvement in the passing game. Taylor set school records in 2010 for career total offense, career passing yards, career rushing yards by a quarterback, career wins by a starting quarterback, career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback and touchdown passes in a season. Virginia Tech was once again No. 1 in the ACC, and couldn't have done it without this No. 1.

The countdown:

No. 2 Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
No. 3 Rodney Hudson, OG, Florida State

No. 4 Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

No. 5 Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

No. 6 Russell Wilson, QB, NC State

No. 7 Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

No. 8 Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

No. 9 Nate Irving, LB, NC State

No. 10 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 11 Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

No. 12 Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State

No. 13 Quinton Coples, DT, North Carolina

No. 14 Kenny Tate, S, Maryland

No. 15 DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson

No. 16 Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

No. 17 Montel Harris, RB, Boston College

No. 18 T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina

No. 19 Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland

No. 20 Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson

No. 21 Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson

No. 22 Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

No. 23 Brandon Washington, OL, Miami

No. 24 George Bryan, TE, NC State

No. 25 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

Revised top 25 countdown: No. 2

March, 18, 2011
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No. 2. Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

[+] EnlargeDa'Quan Bowers
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesDa'Quan Bowers was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
2010 numbers: He led the nation and the ACC with 15.5 sacks, and he led the ACC and was second in the country with 26 tackles for loss. He also had 20 quarterback pressures, two pass breakups, one interception, one forced fumble, and was second on the team with 74 tackles.

Previous ranking: Not ranked.

Making the case for Bowers: There's a reason Bowers wasn't on this list in the preseason. He had yet to live up to the hype he drew in 2008 as the nation's No. 1 recruit. That changed last year, when Bowers had a breakout season that led many to believe he could be the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft. That's because he was so disruptive in the passing game, he tackled well and was quick to get into opponents' backfields. He tossed blockers aside and also escaped double-teams. He won the Bronko Nagurski and Hendricks Awards, and was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Had Clemson fared better as a team, Bowers probably would have been No. 1 on this list.

The countdown:

No. 3 Rodney Hudson, OG, Florida State

No. 4 Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

No. 5 Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

No. 6 Russell Wilson, QB, NC State

No. 7 Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

No. 8 Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

No. 9 Nate Irving, LB, NC State

No. 10 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 11 Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

No. 12 Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State

No. 13 Quinton Coples, DT, North Carolina

No. 14 Kenny Tate, S, Maryland

No. 15 DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson

No. 16 Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

No. 17 Montel Harris, RB, Boston College

No. 18 T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina

No. 19 Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland

No. 20 Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson

No. 21 Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson

No. 22 Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

No. 23 Brandon Washington, OL, Miami

No. 24 George Bryan, TE, NC State

No. 25 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

Revised top 25 countdown: No. 3

March, 17, 2011
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No. 3. Rodney Hudson, OG, Florida State

[+] EnlargeFlorida State offensive linesman Rodney Hudson
Chuck Cook/US PresswireFlorida State offensive linesman Rodney Hudson didn't allow a single sack last season.
2010 numbers: He started all 14 games at left guard, where he played 904 snaps and posted a team-leading grade of 88 percent. He also led the team with 48 knockdown blocks. He was penalized once all season and missed only four assignments. He was the lone Seminole lineman to not relinquish a sack.

Previous ranking: No. 9

Making the case for Hudson: He’s the most decorated offensive lineman in ACC history. He posted his highest grade -- 97 percent -- when it mattered most, in the ACC championship game against Virginia Tech. He was also a major reason why the Noles were able to rush for 218 yards against the SEC’s top rushing defense.

The countdown:

No. 4 Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

No. 5 Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
No. 6 Russell Wilson, QB, NC State

No. 7 Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

No. 8 Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

No. 9 Nate Irving, LB, NC State

No. 10 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 11 Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

No. 12 Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State

No. 13 Quinton Coples, DT, North Carolina

No. 14 Kenny Tate, S, Maryland

No. 15 DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson

No. 16 Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

No. 17 Montel Harris, RB, Boston College

No. 18 T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina

No. 19 Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland

No. 20 Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson

No. 21 Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson

No. 22 Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

No. 23 Brandon Washington, OL, Miami

No. 24 George Bryan, TE, NC State

No. 25 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

Revised top 25 countdown: No. 4

March, 16, 2011
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No. 4. Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

2010 numbers: He led the nation and his team in total tackles with 183 (14.08 per game) and solo tackles (110). He also had three interceptions, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

[+] EnlargeLuke Kuechly
Jason O. Watson/US PresswireLinebacker Luke Kuechly led the nation with 183 tackles.
Previous ranking: No. 14

Making the case for Kuechly: He is literally one of the best in the country. Kuechly earned unanimous All-America honors as a sophomore. He was all over the field in the bowl game against Nevada with 12 tackles and a key interception. Kuechly now has had 22 consecutive games in double figures in tackling, with 341 hits in a 26-game collegiate career, and is the NCAA’s leading active career tackler averaging 13.1 per game.

The countdown:

No. 5 Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

No. 6 Russell Wilson, QB, NC State

No. 7 Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

No. 8 Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

No. 9 Nate Irving, LB, NC State

No. 10 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 11 Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

No. 12 Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State

No. 13 Quinton Coples, DT, North Carolina

No. 14 Kenny Tate, S, Maryland

No. 15 DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson

No. 16 Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

No. 17 Montel Harris, RB, Boston College

No. 18 T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina

No. 19 Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland

No. 20 Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson

No. 21 Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson

No. 22 Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

No. 23 Brandon Washington, OL, Miami

No. 24 George Bryan, TE, NC State

No. 25 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

Revised top 25 countdown: No. 5

March, 15, 2011
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No. 5. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

[+] EnlargeAnthony Castonzo
Jason O. Watson/US PresswireAnthony Castonzo has been the rock of the Boston College offensive line since arriving on campus.
2010 numbers: He started all 13 games and was the Eagles' most productive offensive lineman in eight of the 13 games. He gave up only one sack this past season and missed seven assignments. He had 40 knockdowns and consistently graded out as the highest on the offensive line. He had only two penalties in 820 plays.

Previous ranking: No. 10

Making the case for Castonzo: He's a smart, disciplined, durable player who was the anchor on the line that paved the way for the ACC's leading rusher, Montel Harris. Castonzo's 54 starts were the most of any current ACC player, and he started every game since arriving on campus in 2007. He was an all-conference selection as both a player and a student. Most importantly, he's a biochemistry major who hopes to conduct cancer research someday. All that and NFL potential. No doubt one of the ACC's top five.

The countdown:

No. 6 Russell Wilson, QB, NC State

No. 7 Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

No. 8 Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

No. 9 Nate Irving, LB, NC State

No. 10 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 11 Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

No. 12 Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State

No. 13 Quinton Coples, DT, North Carolina

No. 14 Kenny Tate, S, Maryland

No. 15 DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson

No. 16 Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

No. 17 Montel Harris, RB, Boston College

No. 18 T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina

No. 19 Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland

No. 20 Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson

No. 21 Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson

No. 22 Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

No. 23 Brandon Washington, OL, Miami

No. 24 George Bryan, TE, NC State

No. 25 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

Revised top 25 countdown: No. 6

March, 14, 2011
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No. 6. Russell Wilson, QB, NC State

[+] EnlargeRussell Wilson
Mitch Stringer/US PresswireThe Wolfpack's Russell Wilson led the ACC with 3,563 passing yards this past season.
2010 numbers: He led the ACC in passing average per game with 274.1. He was fifth in passing efficiency (127.5), and completed 58.4 percent of his passes for a league-high 3,563 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Previous ranking: No. 7

Making the case for Wilson: He’s a record-setter, a phenomenal two-sport athlete, and the best quarterback the program has seen since Philip Rivers. In 2010, Wilson ranked among the top 15 in the country in passing, passing yards per game and total passing yards. Wilson tied Rivers for the single-season record in touchdown responsibility with 37, while his 3,563 passing yards and 308 completions rank as the second-highest marks in school history. His 527 pass attempts for the season set a new school record, and his 3,998 yards of total offense is the second-highest ever for an NC State player.

The countdown:

No. 7 Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

No. 8 Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

No. 9 Nate Irving, LB, NC State

No. 10 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 11 Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

No. 12 Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State

No. 13 Quinton Coples, DT, North Carolina

No. 14 Kenny Tate, S, Maryland

No. 15 DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson

No. 16 Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

No. 17 Montel Harris, RB, Boston College

No. 18 T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina

No. 19 Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland

No. 20 Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson

No. 21 Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson

No. 22 Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

No. 23 Brandon Washington, OL, Miami

No. 24 George Bryan, TE, NC State

No. 25 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

Revised top 25 countdown: No. 7

March, 11, 2011
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No. 7. Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

[+] EnlargeVirginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley
AP Photo/Steve HelberVirginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley had a league-high 17 passes defended last season.
2010 numbers: He led the team, the country and the ACC with nine interceptions for 110 yards, and eight pass breakups and a league-high 17 passes defended (fifth in the country). He was second in the ACC in punt return average. He had 19 punt returns for 239 yards (12.6) and a touchdown, and nine kick returns for 190 yards (21.1). He started all 13 games and had 39 tackles.

Previous ranking: Not ranked.

Making the case for Hosley: He was the top player at the field corner position on the team that went undefeated in ACC play. He was a first-team all-conference selection, and as his stats indicate, he was also one of the best players in the country. He made game-changing plays as a corner and return man, and is also a solid tackler. Some of his best plays came in clutch situations.

The countdown:

No. 8 Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

No. 9 Nate Irving, LB, NC State

No. 10 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 11 Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

No. 12 Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State

No. 13 Quinton Coples, DT, North Carolina

No. 14 Kenny Tate, S, Maryland

No. 15 DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson

No. 16 Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

No. 17 Montel Harris, RB, Boston College

No. 18 T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina

No. 19 Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland

No. 20 Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson

No. 21 Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson

No. 22 Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

No. 23 Brandon Washington, OL, Miami

No. 24 George Bryan, TE, NC State

No. 25 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

Revised top 25 countdown: No. 8

March, 10, 2011
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No. 8. Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

2010 numbers: He caught 72 passes for 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns. He averaged 88.9 receiving yards per game.

[+] EnlargeLeonard Hankerson
AP Photo/Lynne SladkLeonard Hankerson had one of the most productive seasons ever for a wideout at Miami.
Previous ranking: Not ranked.

Making the case for Hankerson: Hankerson is coming off one of, if not the most productive season for a wide receiver in school history. His 12 touchdown catches this season is a Miami record, breaking Michael Irvin's mark of 11 set in 1986. In the Hurricanes' regular-season finale, Hankerson became just the third player in program history to record a 1,000-yard receiving season and the first to have 2,000 yards for a career and 1,000 yards in a season.

The countdown:

No. 9 Nate Irving, LB, NC State


No. 10 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State


No. 11 Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

No. 12 Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State

No. 13 Quinton Coples, DT, North Carolina

No. 14 Kenny Tate, S, Maryland

No. 15 DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson

No. 16 Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

No. 17 Montel Harris, RB, Boston College

No. 18 T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina

No. 19 Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland

No. 20 Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson

No. 21 Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson

No. 22 Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

No. 23 Brandon Washington, OL, Miami

No. 24 George Bryan, TE, NC State

No. 25 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

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