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When it comes to jersey numbers, ACC leans on fantastic 4s

When it comes to the numbers game in the ACC, it is tough to top the No. 4.

Two ACC Player of the Year candidates share the number. While Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Florida State running back Dalvin Cook make the biggest headlines, several more well-known players across the league also don the No. 4.

In fact, 13 ACC teams have players wearing No. 4. Two -- Virginia Tech and Miami -- have multiple players wearing No. 4. Among all No. 4s, eight players are projected starters. So I'd say it's pretty safe to say 4 is the number to watch across the ACC.

Here is a quick breakdown.

No. 4 ACC Player of the Year candidates

Deshaun Watson, Clemson. Despite playing in only eight games last year -- with just five starts -- Watson threw for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns, and he completed 67.9 percent of his passes. His passer efficiency rating was 188.6. Oh, he also ran for 200 yards and five touchdowns. Coach Dabo Swinney has heaped praise on the way Watson has sped through rehab on a torn ACL. If Watson stays healthy, he should be in the mix for ACC Player of the Year.

Dalvin Cook, Florida State. Cook emerged as a true freshman last year, rushing for more than 1,000 yards despite limited opportunities in the first half of the season. But that will all change in 2015, when he returns as the most experienced skill player on the Florida State offense. Cook will be asked to carry the ball more than he did a year ago. If he can hold on the ball and keep up the pace he had at the end of the season, he also should be an ACC POY contender.

Proven No. 4s

Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech. Golden returns as a starter in the Jackets' secondary after tying for the team lead with four interceptions a year ago. He's also solid as a return specialist, ranking No. 3 in the ACC in kickoff return yards.

Ken Ekanem/J.C. Coleman, Virginia Tech. Ekanem started every game last year, racking up 14.5 tackles for loss and a team-high 9.5 sacks. He's a candidate to be an All-ACC selection this year. Coleman is competing with Trey Edmunds for the starting running back job. Whether he gets it or not, Coleman should have a much bigger role, especially after the way he ended last season (468 yards in final four games).

Jerod Fernandez, NC State. The starting middle linebacker for the Wolfpack finished second on the team with 78 tackles last season as a redshirt freshman.

No. 4s who need a big year

Johnell Barnes, Duke. Barnes is primed to take on a much bigger role following the departure of All-ACC receiver Jamison Crowder. He needs to have a big season for the Blue Devils.

Bam Bradley, Pittsburgh. Bradley will be needed at linebacker, a position in transition for the Panthers. As a top backup last year, Bradley had 36 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception.

Taquan Mizzell, Virginia. The running back known as "Smoke" has yet to break through in his first two seasons. Now is the time, especially with the opportunity to start and carry the lion's share of the responsibility in a depleted backfield.

No. 4s to watch

Allen Artis, UNC. Artis played as a true freshman defensive back last year and had 13 tackles. With a new defensive coordinator and a new scheme, he could see much more playing time.

Corvin Lamb, Louisville. Lamb is the fastest player on the Louisville roster, but he has had a tough time staying healthy. Lamb has torn an ACL in back-to-back seasons. If he can get back to 100 percent, he will be a force in the return game.

AJ Long, Syracuse. Long ended up playing -- and starting -- as a true freshman after injuries forced him in to action. He is currently listed as the No. 3 quarterback, but as last season showed, he's just a few injuries away from playing again.

Jaquan Johnson/Mark Walton, Miami. Johnson, a four-star safety prospect, enrolled early and was in for spring. He is expected to make an immediate impact. So is Walton, another four-star prospect at running back -- a position in transition with Duke Johnson's departure.

Darius Wade, Boston College. The new Eagles starting quarterback won praise from coach Steve Addazio this spring not only for his mobility but his arm strength.