The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today that Clemson running back Travis Etienne has been named the 2019 ACC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. In addition, the conference announced that linebacker Isaiah Simmons has been selected as ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
Etienne has now won consecutive ACC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year honors, the first player to do so since Lamar Jackson in 2016-17. He is the first running back to repeat as ACC Player of the Year since North Carolina’s Mike Voight in 1975-76. He is the first Clemson player at any position to repeat since Steve Fuller in 1977-78 and the first Clemson running back to accomplish the feat since the award’s inception.
Simmons’ selection gives Clemson ACC Defensive Player of the Year winners in each of the last two seasons, joining defensive end Clelin Ferrell’s selection in 2018. It marks the first time since the ACC began awarding Defensive Player of the Year in 1993 that Clemson has won the award in back-to-back years. Simmons joins Ferrell (2018), Vic Beasley (2014), DaQuan Bowers (2010), Gaines Adams (2006), Leroy Hill (2004) and Keith Adams (1999) as the only Clemson players to earn the honor all-time.
This marks the second straight year in which Clemson has captured Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. It marks the fifth time that one team has swept all three awards since the inception of the offensive and defensive honors in 1993, but it represents the first time a program has accomplished a sweep of the three awards in consecutive years.
The full release from the Atlantic Coast Conference is included below.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Clemson junior running back Travis Etienne has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, while Tigers junior linebacker Isaiah Simmons earned ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
The 2019 season award winners were chosen by a vote of a select 46-member media panel and the league’s 14 head coaches.
Etienne becomes the seventh player to be voted ACC Player of the Year twice and the second in a four-year span (Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2016-17). He is the first running back since North Carolina’s Mike Voight (1975-76) to win the honor in multiple years.
Etienne enters Saturday night’s ACC Football Championship game versus Virginia as the conference’s all-time leader in career touchdowns (57) and rushing touchdowns (53).
The Jennings, Louisiana, native has rushed for 1,386 yards this season while scoring 18 TDs. His 2019 campaign included a school-record six consecutive 100-yard rushing games, breaking five-game streaks by Kenny Flowers (1985) and Raymond Priester (1996-97).
Also voted the ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Etienne is the first player in Clemson history to rush for at least 15 touchdowns in multiple seasons. He ranks third among ACC players this season in overall scoring, and his 342 career points are the most in league history by a non-kicker.
This marks the 11th season – and the third time in the past five years – that Clemson has produced the ACC’s overall Player of the Year.
In only his second full year at the linebacker position after moving from safety following the 2017 season, Simmons owns a team-high 83 tackles and ranks sixth among ACC defenders with 14 tackles for loss. The athletic junior from Olathe, Kansas, has also registered six quarterback sacks as the leader of a Clemson unit that leads the nation in fewest points allowed per game (10.1) and ranks second in total defense.
A Bednarik and Nagurski finalist, Simmons posted a season-high 11 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in the Tigers’ win over Syracuse early in the season. He earned ACC Linebacker of the Week, Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week and Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week honors following that performance.
Simmons closed the regular season with 10 tackles, including two for loss, a sack and a pass breakup in last Saturday’s 38-3 win at rival South Carolina.
ACC Player of the Year voting:
ACC Player of the YearTravis Etienne, RB, Clemson – 22Bryce Perkins, QB, Virginia – 11Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson – 10AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College – 8Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson – 8Cam Akers, RB, Florida State – 1
ACC Offensive Player of the YearTravis Etienne, RB, Clemson – 28Bryce Perkins, QB, Virginia – 12AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College – 9Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson – 9Cam Akers, RB, Florida State – 1Jamie Newman, QB, Wake Forest – 1
ACC Defensive Player of the YearIsaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson – 42Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina – 4Rayshard Ashby, LB, Virginia Tech – 3Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pitt – 3Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami – 2Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State – 2Carlos Basham, DE, Wake Forest – 2Patrick Jones II, DE, Pitt – 1Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State – 1