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Five Clemson Players Named First-Team All-ACC

Nov. 28, 2011

CLEMSON, SC – Five Clemson players were named first-team All-ACC, including four on the offensive side of the ball according to the all-conference team released by the Atlantic Coast Conference on Monday. Clemson had five first-team players, more than any other school, and nine selections over the two teams, also more than any other school.

The Clemson first-team selections on offense were quarterback Tajh Boyd, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, center Dalton Freeman and tight end Dwayne Allen. It marked the first time since 2006 that Clemson had five first-team selections.

Andre Branch made first-team on defense as an end.

Second-team selections were Andre Ellington (RB), Chandler Catanzaro (PK), Brandon Thompson (DT) and Sammy Watkins (KR). Clemson had three honorable mention selections in Dawson Zimmerman (P), Landon Walker (OT) and Phillip Price (OT).

Clemson had four of the 11 players named first-team All-ACC on offense, the most for the program since 2007, but it was the first time in Clemson history the Tigers had four underclassmen make first-team on offense.

Woodrow Dantzler was named first-team as a senior in 2001. Boyd is the first Clemson underclassman to make first-team All-ACC since Homer Jordan made first team in 1981 as a junior. Boyd is the first Clemson sophomore to make first-team All-ACC at quarterback since Harvey White in 1957.

Boyd leads the ACC in passing yards per game (278.2), and total offense (291.3). He has established a Clemson record for touchdown passes in a season with 28. He was named ACC Back of the Week three times this year.

Sammy Watkins was named first-team All-ACC at wide receiver. He is the first Clemson true freshman to be named first-team All-ACC since Anthony Simmons was named as a linebacker in 1995. Watkins is the first true freshman named first-team All-ACC as an offensive player since Ronald Williams in 1990 did so as a running back. Williams son, DeShawn Williams, is a classmate and teammate of Watkins on the current Clemson team. He is the first Clemson freshman to make first-team All-ACC.

Watkins has 72 receptions for 1073 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has set ACC freshman records in all three categories and needs just 12 receiving yards in the ACC Championship game to set the Clemson single season record regardless of class.

Dwayne Allen was named first-team All-ACC this year after being named second team last year as a sophomore. Allen has established Clemson records for receptions (46) and reception yards (545) for a tight end this year. He also has six touchdown receptions, second most in Clemson history by a tight end. Allen is a finalist for the John Mackey Award which is given each year to the top tight end in the nation.

Kyle Young was named as a junior.

Andre Branch was a first-team All-ACC selection at defensive end. The native of Richmond, VA leads the ACC in sacks and tackles for loss. He has 10.5 sacks for the year, fourth best single season total in school history. He has 72 tackles overall, second on the Clemson team and just one off the 73 by Rashard Hall.

Leading the second team selections was defensive tackle Brandon Thompson. The senior has 69 tackles this year, third on the team, and has a team best 17 quarterback pressures.

Andre Ellington was named second team as a running back. Ellington has 937 yards in 11 games and needs just 63 yards to reach the 1000-yard mark. He has scored nine touchdowns and is second on the team in all-purpose yardage with 1182. He is fourth in the ACC in rushing yards.

Catanzaro is second in the ACC in field goals and has made 19-24 so far this year. That includes 7-10 on field goals of at least 40 yards and his 101 points scored rank second in the ACC.

Watkins is the first Clemson player to make All-ACC at two positions since 2009 when CJ Spiller was named first-team as a kick returner and second team as a running back. Watkins ranks second in the ACC in kickoff return average with a 26.4 figure. Watkins has 1920 all-purpose yards, ninth in ACC history.

Clemson All-ACC Players for 2011 First TeamSammy Watkins, WR, Fr.Tajh Boyd, QB, So.Dalton Freeman, C, Jr.Dwayne Allen, TE, Jr.Andre Branch, DE, Sr.

Second TeamBrandon Thompson, DT, Sr.Andre Ellington, RB, Jr.Chandler Catanzaro, PK, So.Sammy Watkins, KR, Fr.

Honorable MentionPhillip Price, OT, Sr.Landon Walker, OT, Sr.Dawson Zimmerman, P, Sr.

Clemson Freshmen Who Have Made First-Team All-ACC *Terry Allen, 1987, RB Robert O’Neal, 1989, DB Ronald Williams, 1990, RB *Nelson Welch, 1991, PK Anthony Simmons, 1995, LBSammy Watkins, 2011, WR *Red-shirt