ACC: Eugene Monroe

Ranking the ACC units: Offensive lines

July, 20, 2009
7/20/09
11:07
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Position rankings today will include who has what up front. While it's not exactly glamorous, it wins games.

Let's start with the offensive lines.

1. Florida State -- Ah, it's amazing what a year can do, no? At this point last season, I had the Noles ranked No. 12. That's right, and I'd do it again. There wasn't a senior in the group, and they were the youngest O-line in the FBS with a lot to prove. It was a work in progress, and the tight ends had to help out, but Rick Trickett did a heck of a job, and I take partial credit for the motivation. You're welcome, coach. Now this group, led by Rodney Hudson, Ryan McMahon and Andrew Datko could be one of the best in the country.

2. Boston College -- Four starters return who started all 14 games last year, including potential All-ACC candidates Anthony Castonzo and Matt Tennant. It took some time for this group to come together after Castonzo moved from right tackle to left, Thomas Claiborne was a defensive lineman who moved to the right guard spot and Rich Lapham came off the bench in nine games in 2007. Once they got comfortable, they were a major factor in the success of true freshmen running backs Montel Harris and Josh Haden. It should only be better this year.

3. Wake Forest -- This should be a much-improved group, and deeper, especially with the return of Chris DeGeare, who missed last fall for academic reasons, at left tackle. Seven players with starting experience return to the offensive line and they have combined for 95 career starts. Russell Nenon, who moved to center after Trey Bailey broke his ankle last year, has solidified the position, and Jeff Griffin, who had been a starting tackle, is now comfortable at right guard. Barrett McMillin returns at guard.

4. Clemson -- This is where the problems began last year, and it should be part of the solution in 2009. In 2008, Clemson had to replace four starters. This year, all five starters return. Since 1963, Clemson has had a winning percentage of 76 percent when it returns five starters on the offensive line. Thomas Austin has starting experience at center and guard and should be one of the top offensive linemen in the 2010 NFL draft.

5. Virginia Tech -- The Hokies should be more athletic up front, and this unit goes eight deep, which might be the best depth they've had in the past two seasons. Ed Wang, who is entering his third season as a starter and Sergio Render, who is entering his fourth, are the veterans of a group that includes seven redshirt freshmen and sophomores on the two-deep. Beau Warren is expected to replace Ryan Shuman at center and Jaymes Brooks took over the right guard position and played well in the Orange Bowl in place of an ineligible Nick Marshman.

6. Miami -- Depth remains a concern, but veteran tackle Jason Fox is as dependable as they come, with 36 career starts. There were some tweaks to the line this past spring, as Matt Pipho will be the new starter at right tackle, and the staff is eager to see how he handles that role. A.J. Trump moved from right guard to center, and Joel Figueroa took over at right guard. The health of the starters will be key through the tough stretch to start the season.

7. Georgia Tech -- There is definitely potential here, but first the Jackets have to replace Andrew Gardner and David Brown, which they started to do last season when that duo got hurt. Then they have to keep everyone healthy, which didn't happen this spring. With Dan Voss, Nick Claytor and Cord Howard back for summer camp, and Joseph Gilbert having started 12 games last year, this group should improve and be more consistent this fall, but it will get even better as Paul Johnson's staff begins to recruit more athletic linemen.

8. Virginia -- There are no athletic freaks on the line like coach Al Groh usually finds, but it should still be a solid group. Four starters return, including senior right tackle Will Barker, who has 37 starts. Junior B.J. Cabbell at right guard was a solid blocker last year in his first season as starter, as was Jack Shields, who improved as the season progressed. Sophomore Austin Pasztor moved into the starting lineup against Maryland and sophomore Landon Bradley was Eugene Monroe's backup.

9. NC State -- The good news is that the Pack have plenty of upperclassmen to depend on, and four of the five starters have combined to start 60 games. The only player listed as a current starter who has never started is redshirt senior Andy Barbee, who has spent the previous three years as a reserve center but has now moved to guard. Behind those veterans are several players who redshirted last year and will be given an equal opportunity for playing time.

10. North Carolina -- The Tar Heels took a hit early last month when starter Aaron Stahl decided to forgo his final year of eligibility to "move forward with the next phase of [his] life." His experience will be tough to replace, but there are a handful of players who had a good spring and will compete for his spot. Kyle Jolly, who is entering his third year as a starter, Alan Pelc, who earned a starting job at guard last year, and Lowell Dyer, who has started at center each of the past two seasons, will be the leaders of the line.

11. Maryland -- The Terps lost five of their top seven offensive linemen, including three starters, and the development of their replacements will go a long way in determining how their season unfolds. Despite the graduation of longtime center Edwin Williams, it's the position of least concern as the staff is confident in the leadership and playing abilities of Phil Costa. There are also high expectations for left tackle Bruce Campbell, a physically gifted athlete.

12. Duke -- This has been a trouble spot for the Blue Devils for years, and it's a work-in-progress for coach David Cutcliffe. This year should be another challenge as Duke has to replace three starters after making some progress last year. Center Bryan Morgan is the anchor of the group and enters his second season as a starter and is the only player back in his original position. Kyle Hill moved from left guard to left tackle, so this group will have a whole new look.

Virginia's offense in the works before Brandon

May, 19, 2009
5/19/09
9:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Gregg Brandon is Virginia's new offensive coordinator, but the concept of his spread offense isn't exactly new in Charlottesville.

When the Cavaliers were preparing to play Texas Tech in the Gator Bowl two seasons ago, Virginia coach Al Groh and his staff were intrigued by the high-flying offense they were tasked with defending. Last season, Virginia began taking steps in that direction.

"In fact," Groh said, "we were well down that road. We played Texas Tech in the Gator Bowl and in doing all the research and the work necessary to play against them, we knew what we were up against and therefore we put a great deal of study and research into it. We were very intrigued by it and could see the application of a lot of it through the personnel we had on hand. ... We did a lot of installation in that direction and made good progress with it. Unfortunately, some circumstances short circuited that."

Although former offensive coordinator Mike Groh, Groh's son, was fired following a bowl-less 2008 season, Al Groh was still intent on implementing a similar system to what Mike Leach ran against them in 2007. What won't appear this season are some of the two tight end sets, and the two back formations. Despite the loss of Cedric Peerman, the running back position could be the deepest and most versatile position, and diverse skills are what this overhauled staff is looking for.

Mikell Simpson, who excels both as a receiver and a runner, wasn't as productive at either last year and missed the final three games with an injury. Groh said that during the course of the spring, Simpson looked much more like the player he was in 2007 when he ran for 570 yards before dropping to 262 last year.

Senior Rashawn Jackson returns as the primary fullback, and has good ball skills and is a strong blocker. Keith Payne saw time at both tailback and fullback last season in what was an injury-plagued season that saw him miss five games. Speedy redshirt freshman Torrey Mack was one of the top running backs in his recruiting class coming in and was another name Groh mentioned.

While there was progress at wide receiver this spring, Groh said none of them have established themselves yet as a go-to player. And while the offensive line should be solid, there are no freakish NFL prospects like Eugene Monroe or Branden Albert this year. The biggest difference in Virginia's offense should be at quarterback, where Jameel Sewell returns after missing last season for academic reasons, and Marc Verica and former cornerback Vic Hall are also legitimate options. Don't rule out the possibility of all three of them finding a way on the field.

"It's certainly not out of the question," Groh said. "At this time last year we had no quarterbacks who had ever started a college football game. We now have three of them. That puts us in a much more positive position than we had at this time last year.

"They all have a good range of skills and so we plan to make use of what they can all do, so certainly there is the possibility. It's worked out pretty well at some other places, especially when the quarterback brings a different style to the game. How the next 29 practices go will have a greater bearing in that answer."

The offense, though, might not be as big of a question mark as some think.

Virginia spring wrap-up

May, 7, 2009
5/07/09
9:10
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Virginia Cavaliers
2008 overall record: 5-7

2008 conference record: 3-5

Returning starters

Offense: 5, defense: 6, kicker/punter: 1

Top returners

C Jack Shields, QB Marc Verica, QB Jameel Sewell, CB/QB Vic Hall, CB Ras-I Dowling, T Will Barker, TB Mikell Simpson

Key losses

WR Maurice Covington, WR Kevin Ogletree, WR Cary Koch, T Eugene Monroe, TB Cedric Peerman, TE John Phillips, OLB Antonio Appleby, ILB Jon Copper, OLB Clint Sintim

2008 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Cedric Peerman (774 yards)
Passing: Marc Verica* (2,037 yards)
Receiving: Kevin Ogletree (723 yards)
Tackles: Jon Copper (101)
Sacks: Clint Sintim (11)
Interceptions: Ras-I Dowling* (3)

Spring answers

2009 Schedule

Sept. 5 William & Mary
Sept. 12 TCU
Sept. 19 at Southern Miss
Oct. 3 at North Carolina
Oct. 10 Indiana
Oct. 17 at Maryland
Oct. 24 Georgia Tech
Oct. 31 Duke
Nov. 7 at Miami
Nov. 14 Boston College
Nov. 21 at Clemson
Nov. 28 Virginia Tech

1. Quarterback, not cornerback. Yes, Vic Hall really is playing offense. Al Groh has committed to getting Hall involved on the offensive side of things, whether it's at quarterback or other situational plays and opportunities. That's where he spent the entire spring -- not in the defensive meetings.

2. In good hands. With the departure of the top four receivers, one of the questions this spring was who would step up. The players felt like Kris Byrd and Javaris Brown answered that question, and they're also confident in sophomore Jared Green.

3. Buzz about Brandon. Make no mistake -- the offense isn't where it needs to be yet. But there is an excitement about Gregg Brandon's scheme, and it was well-received by the players. It's no-huddle, and they're trying to get the plays in fast to keep the defenses on their heels. Just remember -- nobody thought Georgia Tech's offense would flourish in its first season, either.

Fall questions

1. Ah, quarterback. The emphasis this spring was not to determine who the starter was, but to let all of them get enough reps so the coaches could start to judge who could best manage the team in the new offense. Just because Hall and Sewell are versatile athletes doesn't mean the other candidates won't be involved in the offense in some capacity.

2. Looking for linebackers. It's not easy replacing veterans like Antonio Appleby, Clint Sintim and Jon Copper. There's not a lot of playing experience to choose from, and it will take some time for the young players to grow into those spots. The staff was pleased with Darren Childs, Steve Greer, Aaron Taliaferro, Cam Johnson, and Darnell Carter.

3. Kicking game. Yannick Reyering couldn't get through spring practice because of knee problems and is no longer with the team. The staff is looking for someone to take over that position. Robert Randolph and sophomore Chris Hinkebein were effective in the spring scrimmage, but neither has won the job.

Weekend replay: ACC and the NFL draft

April, 27, 2009
4/27/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Between a few spring games and the NFL draft, there is plenty of catching up to do. We'll start with how the ACC fared in the NFL draft -- very well, despite a few streaks being broken.

What's most interesting about this draft is that Wake Forest had four players selected, a true sign of how far the program has come under coach Jim Grobe. Yes, they can recruit NFL-caliber players to Winston-Salem. It marks the first time that four Deacons have been selected by NFL teams in the same draft since 1953.

Congrats to former Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry, who was chosen fourth overall in the first round by the Seattle Seahawks. Curry was followed by Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who was taken seventh by the Oakland Raiders; Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, taken eighth by the Jacksonville Jaguars; and Boston College defensive lineman B.J. Raji, who was selected ninth by the Green Bay Packers.

For the second time in four years, the ACC was the only conference in the nation to have four players drafted among the first nine selections. (It also happened in 2006). It also marked the ninth time in the history of the NFL draft that a league has managed to have four picks among the first nine choices. The Big Ten set the record with five picks in the 1967 and 1996 drafts.

Here are a few more draft factoids, courtesy of the ACC:

  • With five players selected in the first round overall -- North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks was the 29th pick on the first round by the New York Giants -- the ACC has had more first-round selections than any other conference with 30 players chosen since 2006, the first year the ACC became a 12-team league. The SEC is second with 29 first-round selections.
  • Overall, the ACC had nine of the first 45 players selected in the draft, the most of any conference in the nation through the first 45 picks.
  • The ACC did break its unprecedented streak of three consecutive years of supplying the first defensive player chosen in the draft when LSU defensive end Tyrone Jackson was chosen third overall, just ahead of Curry. No other league has ever gone more than two consecutive years with the top defensive player chosen. The ACC now has supplied the top defender in four of the past eight years of the draft.
  • Overall, the ACC had 33 players drafted, trailing only the SEC (37).
  • Maryland and North Carolina led all ACC schools with five players chosen each, followed by Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia and Wake Forest with four each; Boston College and NC State with two as well as Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech with one each.
  • Although Miami did have its impressive streak of 14 consecutive years with a first-round draft pick snapped, the Hurricanes continued their string of string of consecutive seasons with a player in the NFL draft to 35 straight years with outside linebacker Spencer Adkins drafted on the 6th round. Miami has now had a player taken in every NFL draft since 1974.
  • Florida State continued its streak of 22 straight years with a player taken in the top three rounds when defensive end Everette Brown was chosen in the 2nd round by the Carolina Panthers.

I'll post a complete list of the ACC players who were drafted this weekend in a bit.

Virginia's o-line gives new offense stability

April, 7, 2009
4/07/09
2:46
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

It's tough to find faces that aren't new on Virginia's offense this spring -- the Cavaliers have a new offensive coordinator in Gregg Brandon, they'll likely make a switch at quarterback, and they've got to find new leading receivers and rushers. The stability, though, can be found where college offenses usually need it the most -- up front.

With the exception of NFL-bound left tackle Eugene Monroe, Virginia returns four starters on the offensive line, including senior right tackle Will Barker. Barker enters his fourth season with 37 career starts. Next to him is junior B.J. Cabbell at right guard. Cabbell proved to be an effective blocker last season in his first year as the starter. Fellow junior Jack Shields was another first-time starter a year ago who improved throughout the season.

Sophomore Austin Pasztor moved into the starting line-up in the fifth week against Maryland and remained there the rest of the season.

"Everything seems to be going real smooth," Shields said. "We've been picking up the new offense really well, even into the two-and three deep, everyone has a good grasp on it. It looks really promising. It really does look like everything is going the way we want it."

Sophomore Landon Bradley backed up Monroe and while he lacks game experience, Bradley has been getting the bulk of the reps there this spring.

"With everyone getting a lot of experience last year and Landon, he's been around for a while, so he's gotten a lot of experience at practice being around some of the older guys," Barker said. "We're all ready to go, especially in this new offense. We're really excited about it.

"There's a lot of new things we've had to learn, but there's also been a lot of carryover from our old offense," he said. "We were able to use some of the same communication, language, terminology. I think we're all pretty happy about it. We feel pretty comfortable after a couple of weeks to learn it, we feel pretty solid about it now.

While the starters have somewhat cemented their roles, depth is usually an issue and Virginia is no exception. Sophomore center Anthony Mihota is the only other lineman who has seen any significant playing time, as he started in place of an injured Shields in last season's finale against Virginia Tech.

Without hesitation, Shields said the area the line needs to make the most improvement is in the running game. Despite talented tailback Cedric Peerman lining up almost every game, Virginia ranked 108th in the country and last in the ACC in rushing offense last year.

"We definitely need to make drastic improvement there," he said. "We're just watching a lot of film and focusing hard on the techniques ... we're just drilling and drilling. Drills that might seem pointless to some people but in reality once you get the hang of them it becomes second nature and that's what you need in the run game -- coming off the ball with the right speed, fitting on the linebackers the right way."

They did well in protecting the quarterbacks, though, and led the ACC in fewest sacks allowed. (1.33 per game).

"Obviously we want to score a lot more points this year, and I think we will," Barker said. "The pass protection has been pretty good for us. If we get this run game going we'll be pretty good too."

ACC representing in McShay's tweaked mock draft

March, 27, 2009
3/27/09
2:03
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

In case you haven't checked it out yet, ESPN.com's Todd McShay has released a new version of his top 10, this time speculating that Detroit doesn't take Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford as the No. 1 overall pick. It doesn't sound like good news for BC's B.J. Raji, who is "falling a bit right now." Still, even with this shake-up, the ACC has three players in the top 10 -- Aaron Curry, Eugene Monroe and Raji.

Wake Forest, ACC, poised for huge splash in NFL draft

March, 13, 2009
3/13/09
11:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

If there's one thing the ACC can brag about when it comes to competing against the other BCS conferences, it's NFL draft picks, and this year should be no exception. Over the past three years, the ACC has led all conferences with 25 players chosen in the first round of the NFL draft and the most players drafted overall (115). Half of the ACC could be represented in the first round this year.

The ACC has three of the top five NFL draft prospects, according to Scouts Inc.'s ranking of the top 32 draft-eligible players:

1. Aaron Curry, linebacker, Wake Forest

2. Michael Crabtree, wide receiver, Texas Tech

3. Jason Smith, offensive tackle, Baylor

4. B.J. Raji, defensive tackle, Boston College

5. Eugene Monroe, offensive tackle, Virginia

Florida State defensive end Everette Brown isn't far behind at No. 13, North Carolina receiver Hakeem Nicks is No. 26 and Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is No. 27. Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith made the cut at No. 32.

The fact that two Wake Forest players are even on the list -- let alone a possible No. 1 overall pick -- is evidence that the coaching staff has an eye for talent, and it is possible to lure players like Smith and Curry to Winston-Salem. Same with Boston College. Never in the history of the program has Wake Forest had a No. 1 overall pick. (Norm Snead was No. 2 in 1961). Their last first-round pick was defensive end Calvin Pace in 2003. In fact, Curry would be only the third player ever from Wake to be chosen in the first round.

Only Wake Forest and East Carolina showed an interest in Curry. At just over six feet, he was undersized, but ran really well. The staff liked his work ethic and love for the game. They took a chance on him because of those two qualities. There were a few other linebackers in the state that year -- Chase Rice went to UNC and Chase Bullock went to Maryland. Obviously neither of them had a career like Curry.

Detroit seems to be torn between former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, Jason Smith and Curry. The Rams will probably take a lineman because they just cut Orlando Pace, so Curry probably won't go there, and could fall to No. 3, Kansas City. Regardless, it will be a huge paycheck for Curry and will pay dividends in recruiting and exposure for Wake Forest.

ACC's (late) lunchtime links

February, 19, 2009
2/19/09
1:24
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

We interrupt the construction of Mt. Rushmore for your daily Bryce Brown update, um, I mean lunchtime links ...

  • The Bryce Brown Saga continues, as his father insists "everything is fine" and Bryce will still visit Miami. There's at least one source at Miami, though, who told the Palm Beach Post otherwise. Apparently, it only took "a 10-second phone conversation" for Miami to let Brown know they were no longer interested.
  • Here's one way of making room for the Tar Heels' too-large recruiting class: dismiss three football players.
  • Will Clemson add TCU to its 2009 schedule? Apparently there is an opening that has yet to be filled.
  • Former Virginia left tackle Eugene Monroe will do his part to keep of the tradition of representing the program's offensive linemen at the NFL Scouting Combine.
  • In all, Virginia coach Al Groh will have five new faces on his staff this fall.

ACC and the NFL combine

February, 3, 2009
2/03/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

The official invitation list for the NFL scouting combine is out, and there are plenty of ACC players who will participate in the four-day job interview in Indianapolis from Feb. 18-24. Just because a player didn't make the list doesn't mean he won't be drafted, but here are the ACC players by school who were invited to the combine:

BOSTON COLLEGE

Kevin Akins, cornerback/linebacker

Ron Brace, defensive tackle

B.J. Raji, defensive tackle

CLEMSON

Chris Clemons, safety

James Davis, running back

Michael Hamlin, safety

Cullen Harper, quarterback

Aaron Kelly, receiver

Dorell Scott, defensive tackle

FLORIDA STATE

Everette Brown, defensive end

Graham Gano, punter/placekicker

GEORGIA TECH

Andrew Gardner, offensive tackle

Michael Johnson, defensive end

Darryl Richard, defensive tackle

Vance Walker, defensive tackle

Jahi Word-Daniels, cornerback

MARYLAND

Kevin Barnes, cornerback

Moise Fokou, outside linebacker

Dan Gronkowski, tight end

Darrius Heyward-Bey, wide receiver

Jaimie Thomas, offensive guard

Edwin Williams, center

MIAMI

Bruce Johnson, cornerback

NORTH CAROLINA

Brooks Foster, wide receiver

Hakeem Nicks, wide recevier

Richard Quinn, tight end

Garrett Reynolds, offensive tackle

Brandon Tate, wide receiver

NC STATE

Andre Brown, running back

Anthony Hill, tight end

VIRGINIA

Eugene Monroe, offensive tackle

Kevin Ogletree, wide receiver

Cedric Peerman, tailback

John Phillips, tight end

Clint Sintim, linebacker

VIRGINIA TECH

Victor "Macho" Harris, cornerback

Orion Martin, defensive end

WAKE FOREST

Stanley Arnoux, linebacker

Aaron Curry, linebacker

Alphonso Smith, cornerback

Sam Swank, punter/placekicker

Chip Vaughn, safety

ACC's lunchtime links

January, 22, 2009
1/22/09
1:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here are a few stories of note from around the ACC:

  • Miami is expected to hire an offensive coordinator soon, and quarterback Jacory Harris said he is confident coach Randy Shannon "will hire the perfect guy."
  • Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson is healthy, but he's not playing in the Senior Bowl. He's not the only one. Wake Forest outside linebacker Aaron Curry, Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe have also decided not to play in Saturday's 6 p.m. game. Odd.
  • Florida State still has a few needs to fill with signing day just around the corner. UNC just added another defensive back.
  • Virginia Tech fans have reason to be excited. The preseason polls aren't out yet, but most believe the 2009 Hokies are a top 10 team.
  • My favorite part of this analysis of Maryland's 2008 quarterbacks is how much bang for the buck the Terps got on backup quarterback Josh Portis.

Virginia's recruiting needs

January, 15, 2009
1/15/09
1:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Virginia is having more success in the Tidewater area than in the past and some of that has been attributed to head defensive coach Bob Pruett, who used to be a high school coach in Virginia and is entering his second season on Al Groh's staff. Regardless of where they come from, the Cavaliers will need to bring in some wide receivers and linebackers in this class.

With recent hires of offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon and receivers coach Latrell Scott, Virginia will need some receivers for the spread offense the Cavaliers will implement in 2009.

The staff isn't really looking for anyone who will play immediately, but with the new offense, the departure of wide receiver Kevin Ogletree for the NFL draft and starter Maurice Covington graduated, freshmen receivers will have a chance to get on the field if they're capable.

The staff recently took an interest in receiver Bobby Smith (Richmond, Va.), and has three commitments from receivers. The other glaring holes on offense will be left by the graduation of tailback Cedric Peerman, tight end John Phillips and left tackle Eugene Monroe.

Virginia will also have to re-stock the linebacker position, where three of the four starters will have graduated and the fourth starter -- Denzel Burell -- will be a senior. Virginia will sorely miss starting linebackers Antonio Appleby, Jon Copper and Clint Sintim.

ACC will have 18 in Under Armour Senior Bowl

January, 12, 2009
1/12/09
4:02
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

I just received the final list of ACC players who will participate in the Under Armour Senior Bowl on Jan. 24 in Mobile, Ala., and the newest release includes four players from Virginia. It's only fitting that more than half of these bowl-bound players are defenders.

Here is the final list:

Boston College: defensive tackles B.J. Raji and Ron Brace

Clemson: Cullen Harper, quarterback; James Davis, running back; Michael Hamlin, safety

Georgia Tech: Vance Walker, defensive tackle; Michael Johnson, defensive end

North Carolina: Brooks Foster, wide receiver

North Carolina St.: Anthony Hill, tight end; Andre Brown, running back

Virginia: Eugene Monroe, left tackle; Cedric Peerman, running back; John Phillips, tight end; Clint Sintim, linebacker

Virginia Tech: Macho Harris, corner

Wake Forest: Aaron Curry, linebacker; Alphonso Smith, cornerback; Chip Vaughn, safety

All-ACC 2008

December, 10, 2008
12/10/08
11:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

OFFENSE

QB -- Russell Wilson, NC State
RB -- Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech
RB -- C.J. Spiller, Clemson
TE -- John Phillips, Virginia
OL -- Eugene Monroe, Virginia
OL -- Matt Tennant, Boston College
OL -- Andrew Gardner, Georgia Tech
OL -- Edwin Williams, Maryland
OL -- Rodney Hudson, Florida State
WR -- Hakeem Nicks, UNC
WR -- D.J. Boldin, Wake Forest
K -- Graham Gano, Florida State

DEFENSE

LB -- Clint Sintim, Virginia
LB -- Michael Tauiliili, Duke
LB -- Mark Herzlich, Boston College
LB -- Aaron Curry, Wake Forest
DL -- Everette Brown, Florida State
DL -- Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech
DL -- B.J. Raji, Boston College
DB -- Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest
DB -- Victor Harris, Virginia Tech
S -- Trimane Goddard, North Carolina
S -- Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech

SPECIALIST

C.J. Spiller

PUNTER

Travis Baltz, Maryland

ACSMA All-Conference ACC team announced

December, 1, 2008
12/01/08
4:02
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association announced its All-Conference teams today. Please note that this is not ESPN.com's list. This is the 2008 Associated Press all-ACC football team as voted on by 67 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

NOTE: A first-team vote was worth two points and second team vote one. An asterisk denotes unanimous selection.

OFFENSE
FIRST TEAM
QB: Russell Wilson, N.C. State (106)
RB: Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech (134)*
RB: Da'Rel Scott, Maryland (76)
WR: Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina (130)
WR: D.J. Boldin, Wake Forest (76)
TE: John Phillips, Virginia (88)
OT: Eugene Monroe, Virginia (117)
OT: Andrew Gardner, Georgia Tech (107)
OG: Rodney Hudson, Florida State (99)
OG: Cliff Ramsey, Boston College (78)
C: Edwin Williams, Maryland (62)

SECOND TEAM
QB: Thaddeus Lewis, Duke (28)
RB: Darren Evans, Virginia Tech (58)
RB: C.J. Spiller, Clemson (50)
WR: Eron Riley, Duke (57)
WR: Aaron Kelly, Clemson (56)
TE: Ryan Purvis, Boston College (45)
OT: Garrett Reynolds, North Carolina (42)
OT: Anthony Castonzo, Boston College (41)
OG: Sergio Render, Virginia Tech (48)
OG: Cord Howard, Georgia Tech (45)
C: Thomas Austin, Clemson (48)

DEFENSE
FIRST TEAM
DE: Everette Brown, Florida State (131)
DE: Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech (99)
DT: B.J. Raji, Boston College (103)
DT: Vance Walker, Georgia Tech (62)
LB: Mark Herzlich, Boston College (118)
LB: Michael Tauiliili, Duke (110)
LB: Aaron Curry, Wake Forest (106)
CB: Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest (134)*
CB: Victor Harris, Virginia Tech (125)
S: Trimane Goddard, North Carolina (105)
S: Michael Hamlin, Clemson (89)

SECOND TEAM
DE: Orion Martin, Virginia Tech (61)
DE: Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech (39)
DT: Ron Brace, Boston College (52)
DT: Darryl Richard, Georgia Tech (50)
LB: Clint Sintim, Virginia (79)
LB: Alex Wujciak, Maryland (43)
LB: Mark Paschal, North Carolina (40)
CB: Ras-I Dowling, Virginia (49)
CB: Tony Carter, Florida State (34)
CB: Kendric Burney, North Carolina (34)
S: Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech (85)
S: Myron Rolle, Florida State (55)

SPECIAL TEAMS
FIRST TEAM
K: Graham Gano, Florida State (127)
P: Travis Baltz, Maryland (105)
Specialist: C.J. Spiller, Clemson (66)

SECOND TEAM
K: Matt Bosher, Miami (34)
P: Matt Bosher, Miami (60)
Specialist: Michael Ray Garvin, Florida State (41)

HONORABLE MENTION

OFFENSE: Riley Skinner, qb, Wake Forest (26); Antone Smith, rb, Florida State (33); Cedric Peerman, rb, Virginia (30); Darius Heyward-Bey, wr, Maryland (34); Kevin Ogletree, wr, Virginia (32); Dan Gronkowski, te, Maryland (41); Scott Burley, ot, Maryland (34); Thomas Claiborne, og, Boston College (38); Calvin Darity, og, North Carolina (34); Jaimie Thomas, og, Maryland (33); Nick Marshman, og, Virginia Tech (24); Ryan McMahon, c, Florida State (35); Matt Tennant, c, Boston College (33); Ryan Shuman, c, Virginia Tech (23).

DEFENSE: Derrick Morgan, de, Georgia Tech (26); Willie Young, de, N.C. State (25); Vince Oghobaase, dt, Duke (40); Boo Robinson, de, Wake Forest (31); Jeremy Navarre, dt, Maryland (29); Nate Irving, lb, N.C. State (28); Paul Anderson, s, Boston College (35); Anthony Reddick, s, Miami (23).

SPECIAL TEAMS: Dustin Keys, k, Virginia Tech (25); Brandon Tate, spec., North Carolina (33); T.J. Graham, spec., N.C. State (31).

UVa's Monroe wins Jacobs Blocking Trophy

December, 1, 2008
12/01/08
10:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

This came in from the league office on Sunday:

Virginia's Eugene Monroe has been awarded the 2008 Jacobs Blocking Trophy, Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced today.

The Jacobs Blocking Trophy has been awarded annually since 1953 to the player voted the most outstanding blocker in the ACC by a poll of the league's head coaches and defensive coordinators. The trophy is given in memory of William P. Jacobs, who served as president of Presbyterian College from 1935 to 1945.

A first-team preseason All-ACC selection this season, Monroe, a 6-foot-6, 315-pound senior, was an Honorable Mention All-ACC selection at tackle in 2007. A two-year starter at tackle for the Cavaliers, he was the leader of a young offensive line which has given up an ACC-low 16 sacks this year.

Monroe has started 29 games in his career for the Cavaliers, and this year earned the highest blocking grade in 7 of Virginia's first 11 games. He earned Honorable Mention All-ACC honors as a junior last season.

"We are absolutely thrilled for Eugene and very proud of him not just because he won, but because of how he won," said UVa head coach Al Groh. "Eugene's early career was not easy for him. But it was his personality, determination to be great, and the work ethic that he developed that enabled him to raise his performance level, which led those he played against to recognize him as the best."

The South Plainfield, N.J., native was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week following the North Carolina game on Oct. 18 for his play in Virginia's overtime upset win over then 18th-ranked North Carolina as both of Virginia's scores-including the game winner in the first overtime period, came behind his blocks.

Monroe is the 11th Virginia player to win the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, but the first since Elton Brown won the award in 2004.

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