GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Three-time defending conference champion Clemson leads all schools with eight selections on the 2018 All-ACC Preseason Football Team, announced Tuesday. Boston College sophomore running back AJ Dillon received the nod as the ACC Preseason Player-of-the-Year.
The preseason player-of-the-year and all-conference team were selected by a vote of 148 media members that were credentialed for last week’s ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte.
Dillon’s 1,589 yards rushing last season were the second-most by any freshman in ACC history. The New London, Conn., native was second nationally among all freshmen in rushing yards in 2017 and seventh among all players. Dillon set the Boston College freshman rushing record while posting the fourth-highest, single-season total in school history.
Dillon received 45 votes in this year’s ACC Preseason Player-of-the-Year balloting to edge Clemson defensive lineman Christian Wilkins by three votes. NC State quarterback Ryan Finley placed third with 37 votes, and Florida State running back Cam Akers followed with 13.
Mitch Hyatt led all players with 130 votes. Clelin Ferrell and Wilkins picked up 122 votes each, while Dexter Lawrence and Florida State placekicker Ricky Aguayo each received 119. Dillon was named on 112 ballots.
The Tigers’ entire defensive front line – Ferrell, Austin Bryant, Wilkins and Lawrence – was voted to the All-ACC preseason squad, along with Clemson linebacker Kendall Joseph. The Tigers are represented on the offensive side by Hyatt (OT), center Justin Falcinelli and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow.
Boston College has four preseason All-ACC selections, followed by defending ACC Coastal Division champion Miami with three and NC State, Wake Forest, Florida State and Duke with two each.
Eleven of the league’s 14 football programs placed at least one player on the 2018 All-ACC Preseason Team.
Others topping the century mark include Boston College tight end Tommy Sweeney (106), Duke linebacker Joe Giles-Harris (103), Miami safety Jaquan Johnson (103) and Finley (102).
Other members of the All-ACC Preseason Team are running back Cam Akers (Florida State), wide receivers Jaylen Smith (Louisville) and Kelvin Harmon (NC State), all-purpose back Greg Dortch (Wake Forest), offensive tackle Chris Lindstrom (Boston College) and offensive guards Parker Braun (Georgia Tech) and Phil Haynes (Wake Forest).
Defensive selections include linebacker Shaquille Quarterman (Miami), cornerbacks Mark Gilbert (Duke) and Michael Jackson (Miami) and safety Lukas Denis (Boston College).
Punter Sterling Hofrichter (Syracuse) and kick returner Anthony Ratliff-Williams round out the special team corps.
Clemson’s Hyatt, Falcinelli, Ferrell, Wilkins and Lawrence, Boston College’s Dillon, Duke’s Giles-Harris and Gilbert, Louisville’s Smith and North Carolina’s Ratliff-Williams were each voted First-Team All-ACC at the end of last season.
Dillon was second among ACC rushers with 1,589 yards in 2017, and Akers rushed for 1,024 yards. Finley completed 65.1 percent of his passes (312-479) while throwing for 3,518 yards and 17 touchdowns. Smith was among the ACC leaders with 60 receptions for 980 yards and seven touchdowns despite missing three games due to a wrist injury.
2018 All-ACC Preseason Football Team(Total votes in parenthesis)
OffenseWR – Jaylen Smith, Louisville (90)WR – Kelvin Harmon, NC State (71)WR – Hunter Renfrow, Clemson (62)TE – Tommy Sweeney, Boston College (106)AP – Greg Dortch, Wake Forest (64)OT – Mitch Hyatt, Clemson (130)OT – Chris Lindstrom, Boston College (72)OG – Parker Braun, Georgia Tech (83)OG – Phil Haynes, Wake Forest (65)C – Justin Falcinelli, Clemson (56)QB – Ryan Finley, NC State (102)RB – AJ Dillon, Boston College (112)RB – Cam Akers, Florida State (94)
DefenseDE – Clelin Ferrell, Clemson (122)DE – Austin Bryant, Clemson (80)DT – Christian Wilkins, Clemson (122)DT – Dexter Lawrence, Clemson (119)LB – Joe Giles-Harris, Duke (103)LB – Shaquille Quarterman, Miami (98)LB – Kendall Joseph, Clemson (84)CB – Mark Gilbert, Duke (79)CB – Michael Jackson, Miami (68)S – Jaquan Johnson, Miami (103)S – Lukas Denis, Boston College (64)
Special TeamsPK – Ricky Aguayo, Florida State (119)P – Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse (33)SP – Anthony Ratliff-Williams, North Carolina (97)
ACC Player of the YearAJ Dillon, RB, Boston College – 45Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson – 42Ryan Finley, QB, NC State – 37Cam Akers, RB, Florida State – 13Greg Dortch, WR, Wake Forest – 3Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke – 2TaQuon Marshall, QB, Georgia Tech – 2Zach Allen, DE, Boston College – 1Eric Dungey, QB, Syracuse – 1Olamide Zaccheaus, HB, Virginia – 1Jaylen Smith, WR, Louisville – 1