The Press Box Sports

2017 ACC Football Preview, Preseason Rankings and Awards

For the 2017 college football season, there isn’t much of a surprise at who’s on top of the ACC. The Florida State Seminoles was picked by the media to be the top team in the conference as 20 starters return from last season. The Seminoles were 10-3 last season and picked up a victory against Michigan in the Orange Bowl. They have one of college football’s best quarterbacks returning in Deondre Francois. Running back Jacques Patrick and receiver Nyqwan Murray will make an impact as it seems it’s their time to shine.

Deondre Francois Florida State Football

Deondre Francois, Florida State Seminoles

Defending NCAA football national champions, the Clemson Tigers were second behind Florida State in both the Atlantic division overall in the ACC. While Clemson has to fill some voids on the offense, the defense is in great shape. Defensive linemen Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence will anchor the Tiger defense. If Clemson makes their way back to the college football playoff this season, then defenses definitely win championships.

Christian Wilkins Clemson Tigers

Christian Wilkins, Clemson Tigers

The Miami Hurricanes were picked to win the Coastal Division this season. Head coach Mark Richt had a great first year with the Hurricanes in 2016. Richt led the Hurricanes to a 9-4 record and a victory against West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Mark Walton Jr. returns to the Hurricanes and is projected as the ACC’s best running back. Last season, Walton rushed for 1,117 yards and scored 14 touchdowns. Below, are the rest of the results of the ACC preseason rankings.

ACC 2017 Preseason Rankings


Rank Team Points
1 Florida State Seminoles 1,108
2 Clemson Tigers 1,007
3 Louisville Cardinals 843
4 N.C. State Wolfpack 658
5 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 415
6 Syracuse Orange 362
7 Boston College Eagles 283


Rank Team Points
1 Miami Hurricanes 1,065
2 Virginia Tech Hokies 932
3 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 708
4 Pitt Panthers 673
5 North Carolina Tar Heels 606
6 Duke Blue Devils 473
7 Virginia Cavaliers 219

ACC Football Championship Votes

Rank Team Votes
1 Florida State Seminoles 118
2 Clemson Tigers 35
3 Louisville Cardinals 7
T-4 Miami Hurricanes 3
T-4 Virginia Tech Hokies 3
6 Duke Blue Devils 1

2016 Heisman Trophy Winner Lamar Jackson, in a landslide vote, won ACC Player of the Year. Jackson was electric last year for the Cardinals scoring 51 total touchdowns. The Pompano Beach, FL native was the youngest player to ever win the Heisman Trophy and has a bright future ahead. While Jackson will be one of the best quarterbacks again this season, he may fall from the top just a little. Teams started figuring Jackson out late last season and the lack of a supporting cast could cause him to struggle a little. But only a little.

Deondre Francois could very well take the top spot away from Jackson by the end of the season. Francois broke out last year for Florida State throwing for 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns. The Seminole is another young quarterback in the ACC with a promising future. Look for Clemson DT Christian Wilkins and Boston College DE Harold Landry to raise some eyebrows also.

2017 ACC Preseason Player of the Year

Rank Player Position Team Votes
1 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville Cardinals 113
2 Deondre Francois QB Florida State Seminoles 23
3 Christian Wilkins DT Clemson Tigers 11
4 Harold Landry DE Boston College Eagels 8
5 Jaylen Samuels AP N.C. State Wolfpack 7
6 Eric Dungey QB Syracuse Orange 2
T-7 Shaquille Quarterman LB Miami Hurricanes 1
T-7 Ahmmon Richards WR Miami Hurricanes 1
T-7 Daniel Jones QB Duke Blue Devils 1

2017 All-ACC Preseason Football Team


Position Player Team
QB Lamar Jackson Louisville Cardinals
RB Mark Walton Miami Hurricanes
RB Dedrick Mills Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
WR Deon Cain Clemson Tigers
WR Cam Phillips Virginia Tech Hokies
WR Ahmmon Richards Miami Hurricanes
TE Cam Serigne Wake Forest Demon Deacons
AP Jaylen Samuels N.C. State Wolfpack
OT Mitch Hyatt Clemson Tigers
OT Brian O’Neill Pitt Panthers
C Alec Eberle Florida State Seminoles
OG Tyrone Crowder Clemson Tigers
OG Wyatt Teller Virginia Tech Hokies


Position Player Team
DE Harold Landry Boston College
DE Bradley Chubb N.C. State Wolfpack
DT Dexter Lawrence Clemson Tigers
DT Christian Wilkins Clemson Tigers
LB Micah Kiser Virginia Cavaliers
LB Shaquille Quarterman Miami Hurricanes
LB Tremaine Edmunds Virginia Tech Hokies
CB Tarvarus McFadden Florida State Seminoles
CB Jaire Alexander Louisville Cardinals
S Derwin James Florida State Seminoles
S Quin Blanding Virginia Cavaliers

Special Teams

Position Player Team
PK Michael Badgley Miami Hurricanes
P  A.J. Cole III N.C. State Wolfpack
SP Quadree Henderson Pitt Panthers

The ACC preseason football rankings, All-ACC football team, and awards were voted on by 167 members of the media. Check out the individual voting results for the All-ACC Preseason team.

2017 All-ACC Preseason Team Voting
Lamar Jackson, Louisville 132; Deondre Francois, Florida State 29; Eric Dungey, Syracuse 3; Daniel Jones, Duke 2; Ryan Finley, NC State 1.
Running Back
Mark Walton Miami, 127; Dedrick Mills, Georgia Tech 75; Jacques Patrick, Florida State 38; Travon McMillian, Virginia Tech 24; Nyheim Hines, NC State 19; Jeremy Smith, Louisville 16; Shaun Wilson, Duke 16; Jon Hilliman, Boston College 10; Clinton Lynch, Georgia Tech 4; Dontae Strickland, Syracuse 2; Qua Searcy, Georgia Tech 2; George Aston, Pitt 1.
Wide Receiver
Deon Cain, Clemson 103; Ahmmon Richards, Miami 77; Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech 68; Hunter Renfrow, Clemson 44; Jaylen Smith, Louisville 44; Nyqwan Murray, Florida State 33; Ervin Philips, Syracuse 24; Jester Weah, Pitt 22; Auden Tate, Florida State 22; T.J. Rahming, Duke 13; Austin Proehl, North Carolina 12; Ricky Jeune, Georgia Tech 10; Steve Ishmael, Syracuse 9; Kelvin Harmon, NC State 7; Doni Dowling, Virginia 4; Stephen Louis, NC State 3; Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia 3; Thomas Jackson, North Carolina 2; Jeff Smith, Boston College 1.
Tight End
Cam Serigne, Wake Forest 96; Chris Herndon IV, Miami 29; Ryan Izzo, Florida State 23; Brandon Fritts, North Carolina 6; Daniel Helm, Duke 5; Tommy Sweeney, Boston College 4; Carl Tucker, North Carolina 4.
Jaylen Samuels, NC State 124; Quadree Henderson, Pitt 43.
Offensive Tackle
Mitch Hyatt, Clemson 123; Brian O’Neill, Pitt 83; Bentley Spain, North Carolina 32; Rick Leonard, Florida State 20; Geron Christian, Louisville 14; Brock Ruble, Florida State 13; Tyler Jones, NC State 9; Evan Lisle, Duke 8; Sean Pollard, Clemson 8; Ryan Anderson, Wake Forest 6; Andrew Marshall, Georgia Tech 6; Yosuah Nijman, Virginia Tech 5; Justin Herron, Wake Forest 4; Jahaziel Lee, Georgia Tech 2; Lukayus McNeil, Louisville 1.
Offensive Guard
Tyrone Crowder, Clemson 123; Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech 52; Tony Adams, NC State 50; KC McDermott, Miami 22; Landon Dickerson, Florida State 22; Parker Braun, Georgia Tech 16; Alex Officer, Pitt 13; R.J. Prince, North Carolina 7; Phil Haynes, Wake Forest 7; Taylor Hearn, Clemson 6; Will Bryan, Georgia Tech 5; Alex Bookser, Pitt 5; Tommy Hatton, North Carolina 4; Chris Lindstrom, Boston College 2.
Alec Eberle, Florida State 54; Jon Baker, Boston College 51; Austin Davis, Duke 32; Eric Gallo, Virginia Tech 21; Cam Dillard, North Carolina 9.
Defensive End
Harold Landry, Boston College 111; Bradley Chubb, NC State 101; Josh Sweat, Florida State 31; Clelin Ferrell, Clemson 27; Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest 13; Brian Burns, Florida State 11; Kentavius Street, NC State 8; KeShun Freeman, Georgia Tech 6; Vinny Mihota, Virginia Tech 6; Chad Thomas, Miami 6; Joe Jackson, Miami 5; Andrew Brown, Virginia 4; Malik Carney, North Carolina 4; Antonio Simmons, Georgia Tech 1.
Defensive Tackle
Christian Wilkins, Clemson 105; Dexter Lawrence, Clemson 105; Derrick Nnadi, Florida State 54; Demarcus Christmas, Florida State 12; R.J. McIntosh, Miami 11; Tim Settle, Virginia Tech 10; Drew Bailey, Louisville 9; Kendrick Norton, Miami 9; B.J. Hill, NC State 8; Mike Ramsay, Duke 5; Ricky Walker, Virginia Tech 3; Aaron Crawford, North Carolina 2; Chris Slayton, Syracuse 1.
Micah Kiser, Virginia 89; Shaquille Quarterman, Miami 78; Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech 60; Zaire Franklin, Syracuse 33; Kendall Joseph, Clemson 29; Andrew Motuapuaka, Virginia Tech 24; Jacob Pugh, Florida State 22; Matthew Thomas, Florida State 20; Ben Humphreys, Duke 19; Stacy Thomas, Louisville 17; Ro’Derrick Hoskins, Florida State 16; Connor Strachan, Boston College 14; Dorian O’Daniel, Clemson 13; James Hearns, Louisville 12; Joe Giles-Harris, Duke 10; Airius Moore, NC State 9; Andre Smith, North Carolina 9; Mook Reynolds, Virginia Tech 5; Jaboree Williams, Wake Forest 4; Zach McCloud, Miami 4; Michael Pinckney, Miami 4; Parris Bennett, Syracuse 2; Trevon Young, Louisville 2; Jordan Mack, Virginia 2; Brant Mitchell, Georgia Tech 2; Cole Holcomb. North Carolina 1; Ty Schwab, Boston College 1.
Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State 117; Jaire Alexander, Louisville 104; M.J. Stewart, North Carolina 27; Ryan Carter, Clemson 19; Greg Stroman, Virginia Tech 18; Adonis Alexander, Virginia Tech 13; Bryon Fields Jr., Duke 12; Tim Harris, Virginia 5; Lance Austin, Georgia Tech 5; Avonte Maddox, Pitt 4; Bryce Hall, Virginia 4; Mike Stevens, NC State 4; Kamrin Moore, Boston College 2.
Derwin James, Florida State 126; Quin Blanding, Virginia 88; Terrell Edmunds, Virginia Tech 19; Jordan Whitehead, Pitt 17; Jessie Bates III, Wake Forest 15; Van Smith, Clemson 11; Nate Andrews, Florida State 8; Chucky Williams, Louisville 8; Trey Marshall, Florida State 7; Donnie Myles, North Carolina 6; Jaquan Johnson, Miami 4; Shawn Boone, NC State 4; Alonzo Saxton II, Duke 4; Lawrence Austin, Georgia Tech 4; Juan Thornhill, Virginia 3; Corey Griffin, Georgia Tech 3; Myles Dorn, North Carolina 2; Antwan Cordy, Syracuse 2; Jeremy McDuffie, Duke 2; A.J. Gray, Georgia Tech 1.
Michael Badgley, Miami 52; Ricky Aguayo, Florida State 34; Joey Slye, Virginia Tech 31; Greg Huegel, Clemson 29; Mike Weaver, Wake Forest 17; Blanton Creque, Louisville 4.
A.J. Cole III, NC State 33; Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse 31; Tommy Sheldon, North Carolina 25; Mason King, Louisville 22; Dom Maggio, Wake Forest 18; Ryan Winslow, Pitt 16; Logan Tyler, Florida State 13; Austin Parker, Duke 9.
Quadree Henderson, Pitt 98; Nyheim Hines, NC State 29; Shaun Wilson, Duke 14; Braxton Berrios, Miami 13; Sean Riley, Syracuse 5; Joe Reed, Virginia 4; J.J. Green, Georgia Tech 3; Michael Walker, Boston College 1.
Follow the Press Box Sports for all the latest college football rankings and previews. An in-depth ACC Football preview will come out soon. In that preview will be an analysis of all 14 ACC football teams.

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