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The Osceola’s 2019 preseason All-ACC ballots

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The ACC Kickoff marks the official start of the college football season for Florida State and the Atlantic Coast Conference. Coaches and players talk about the upcoming season, reporters ask questions, file stories and vote on their All-ACC team and predict the order of how teams will finish in their respective divisions. Bob Ferrante, managing editor of the Osceola, and I cast our All-ACC ballots and we thought we would share our All-ACC team with you.

All-ACC Offensive Team Selections:

QB-Trevor Lawrence-Clemson

Bob and I both thought this position was a no-brainer. While Virginia’s Bryce Perkins had a stellar season last year this really wasn’t close. Lawrence exceeded expectations as a true freshman and those expectations where huge. He took over the starting job in week four and helped lead Clemson to an undefeated season and its second national championship in four years. He would be a top-5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft if he were eligible.

RB-AJ Dillon-Boston College

RB-Travis Etienne-Clemson

Not only are these the two best running backs in the Atlantic Coast Conference they are also two of the best in the nation. It makes a great debate on which one is better. Dillon is the focal point of the BC offense and isn’t surrounded by as much talent as Etienne, which makes his production for the Eagles that much more impressive. Etienne is equally impressive but is surrounded by the best quarterback and two of the top receivers in the conference.

WR-Tee Higgins-Clemson

WR-Justyn Ross-Clemson

WR-Tamarion Terry-Florida State

All three receivers on our All-ACC ballots are big, physical wideouts. They can stretch the field vertically and are problematic for defenses that like to play man coverage because of their size and speed. Their size also creates mismatches in the red zone.

TE-Brevin Jordan-Miami (Bob Ferrante)

TE-Tre’ McKitty-FSU (Pat Burnham)

Jordan was one of the top true freshmen in the country last season and was second team All-ACC last year. Bob and I both think McKitty could be a difference-maker for the FSU offense this season and the junior could be in line for a breakout season.

ALL-PURPOSE BACK-Deon Jackson-RB-Duke

Jackson his a highly productive player for the Blue Devils who averaged over five yards per carry in 2018. He also caught 26 passes a season ago.

OT-Charlie Heck-North Carolina (Bob Ferrante)

OT-Tremayne Anchrum-Clemson (Bob Ferrante)

OT-Mekhi Becton-Louisville (Pat Burnham)

OT-Ben Petrula-Boston College (Pat Burnham)

There are some talented offensive tackles in the ACC this year and that is reflected in our selections. Becton and Heck are towering figures and excellent pass blockers and are our selections at left tackle. Petrula and Anchrum are more effective as run blockers and both lined up at right tackle last season.

OG-John Simpson-Clemson (Both)

OG-Rakavius Chambers-Duke (Bob Ferrante)

OG-Joshua Fedd-Jackson-NC State (Pat Burnham)

Offensive guard is another position of depth within the ACC. Bob and I both agreed on Simpson and has been named to several preseason All-American teams. Chambers and Fedd-Jackson are lesser known names but certainly two of the better guards in the conference.

Center-Jimmy Morrissey-Pitt (Bob Ferrante)

Center-Jake Wohlabaugh-Duke (Pat Burnham)

Morrisey was the leader of the Pitt offensive line last season despite being just a sophomore. He was named third team All-ACC a year ago and has started since he was a redshirt freshman. Wohlabaugh enters the season as a candidate for the Rimington Award, which is given to the nation’s top center each season. The redshirt junior has started 18 games since transferring to Duke from Ohio State.

All-ACC Defensive Team Selections:

DT-Marvin Wilson-FSU (Both)

DT-Nyles Pickney-Clemson (Bob Ferrante)

DT-Tanner Karafa-Boston College (Pat Burnham)

Wilson, as most FSU fans know, is among the best defensive players in the nation let alone one of the best, if not the best, defensive tackle in the ACC. Karafa has turned himself into one of the more productive defensive tackles in the conference after arriving at BC as a linebacker. Pickney was a part of Clemson’s defensive line rotation last season and is in line for a breakout season this year.

DE-Alton Robinson-Syracuse (Both)

DE-Xavier Thomas-Clemson (Bob Ferrante)

DE-Jonathan Garvin-Miami (Pat Burnham)

There is a plethora of talent at the defensive end position in the ACC this year. Robinson has been named as a first-team preseason All-ACC selection by several publications after totaling 10 sacks a season ago. Garvin and Thomas are just as disruptive off the edge and are continually wreaking havoc in their opponent’s offensive backfield.

LB-Shaquille Quarterman-Miami (Both)

LB-Isaiah Simmons-Clemson (Both)

LB-Michael Pickney-Miami (Bob Ferrante)

LB-Charles Snowden-Virginia (Pat Burnham)

Quarterman has been a tackling machine for the Hurricanes since he was a true freshman and is one of the top linebackers in country. Simmons is one of the most athletic defenders in the conference and is productive against both the run and pass. Pickney enters his fourth year as a starter and along with Quarterman gives Miami one of the best linebacking combinations in college football. Snowden was highly productive for the Cavaliers last season, making plays all over the field and should only continue to develop as he enters his junior season and second year as a starter.

CB-Bryce Hall-Virginia

CB-Essang Bassey-Wake Forest

Hall is one of the best corners in the country and is expected to be taken in the first or second round of next year’s NFL draft. Bassey had an outstanding junior season in 2018 where he was credited with 75 tackles to add to his 19 passes defended and three interceptions and like Hall is projected to be taken in the 2020 NFL draft. Earlier this spring Athlon Sports had both players ranked in their top-50 players eligible for the draft next spring.

S-Levonta Taylor-FSU

S-Andre Cisco-Syracuse

Taylor was one of the best defensive backs in the ACC as sophomore in 2017. He played in eight games as a junior last season before missing the final four games of the year. Healthy, he should be one of the better defensive backs in the country as he transitions to safety as a senior. Cisco was one of the top playmakers in the nation as a freshman last year leading the nation with seven interceptions. He is also the first true freshman in Syracuse history to earn All-American honors.

Specialist-Joe Reed-Virginia

Reed has amassed over 2,200 yards in kickoff returns in his career averaging over 27 yards per return for his career.

Placekicker-Andre Szmyt-Syracuse

Szmyt won the Lou Groza Award last season as a redshirt freshman and was a consensus All-American after going 30 of 34 on field-goal attempts in 2018.

Punter-Sterling Hofrichter-Syracuse

Hofrichter was named first-team All-ACC last season after averaging 42.9 yards per punt. He was credited with 17 punts that traveled 50 yards or more and 26 of his punts resulted in the opposition starting inside its own 20-yard line.

Please continue to check-in with the Osceola daily for more news on FSU and the 2019 football season.

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