Dec. 1, 2008
Clemson had four players earn five selections to the 2008 All-ACC football team. The Tigers had two first-team selections and three second-team selections, tied for the third most overall selections in the ACC. Michael Hamlin were the first-team selections, while Aaron Kelly and Thomas Austin were the second-team choices.
Spiller was named the first-team All-ACC specialist and second-team running back. The junior from Lake Butler, FL led the ACC in all-purpose yards per game at 144.4. He ranked in the top 15 in the nation in rushing, receiving yards, touchdowns, kickoff returns, punt returns and all-purpose running. He had 612 yards rushing and a 5.6 average to go with 30 receptions for 430 yards. He led the ACC and set a Clemson record for reception yards by a running back in a season. Overall he scored 11 touchdowns, seven rushing, three receiving and one on a kickoff return.
Hamlin was the leader of Clemson’s defense that finished in the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense and pass defense. He led the Tigers and ranked fifth in the nation in interceptions this year with six and returned the picks for 111 yards. He is third in Clemson history in career interceptions with 14 and his 18 takeaways rank second only behind all-time great Terry Kinard. He had 102 tackles to rank second on Clemson’s defense that ranked 10th in the nation in scoring defense and ninth in pass defense.
Thomas Austin was the leader of Clemson’s offensive line and was named the second-team All-ACC center. He started at center and guard over the course of the season and led the offensive line in snaps (732) games started (12) and knockdown blocks (88.5). He was a three-time ACC Offensive line of the week selection, tied for most in the ACC.
Kelly was Clemson’s top receiver with 61 receptions for 648 yards and three touchdowns this year. He ranks second in the ACC in receptions and is sixth in reception yards per game. He became the ACC’s career reception leader earlier this year and now has 226 entering the Gator Bowl. He needs just 23 receiving yards to become Clemson’s all-time leader and already has the career touchdown reception record with 19.
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