Wednesday, November 30, 2011

College Football - Top 5 Players Post-1980 - ACC Edition

Miami Hurricanes
  1. Ed Reed, S
  2. Vinny Testaverde, QB
  3. Bennie Blades, DB
  4. Warren Sapp, DT
  5. Bryant McKinnie, OT
In 30+ years, there are a lot of great Hurricanes to choose from.  Reed edges out Testaverde for the top of the list, as Reed's team completed the National Championship that Testaverde did not.  Reed was also a two-time consensus All-American who returned 5 of his 21 career interceptions for touchdowns.  Testaverde was 21-1 as a starter.  Blades was also a two-time All-American and Thorpe Award winner, while Sapp won the Lombardi Award and McKinnie the Outland Trophy.

Florida State Seminoles
  1. Deion Sanders, CB
  2. Marvin Jones, LB
  3. Peter Warrick, WR
  4. Derrick Brooks, LB
  5. Charlie Ward, QB
The Seminoles are another team with a bevy of choices, but Sanders was an easy choice to top the list.  A two-time consensus All-American, Deion was a game-changer at both cornerback and as a punt returner well before his "Prime Time" days.  Jones is the most decorated linebacker in FSU history, even more than the playmaking Brooks.  Warrick sneaks in between them after leaving school as the ACC all-time receiving yardage leader.  Ward won a Heisman, but did not have the overall career stats to match the others, although his leadership was probably second-to-none.

Clemson Tigers
  1. Terry Kinard, DB
  2. William Perry, DT
  3. C.J. Spiller, RB/KR
  4. Anthony Simmons, LB
  5. Donnell Woolford, CB
Kinard edges out fellow 1980's defensive stand-out Perry for #1 on Clemson's list.  Kinard is Clemson's all-time interception leader, a two-time All-American and NCAA Defensive Player of the Year.  "The Refrigerator" amassed 25 sacks and 60 tackles for loss over his illustrious career.  Spiller was an all-purpose monster, dwarfing #2 on the all-purpose yardage list, as well as being the Tiger's all-time TD leader.  Simmons is #2 all-time in tackles, with 52 of those going for loss.  Woolford was a two-time All-American CB in the late 1980's.

Boston College Eagles
  1. Doug Flutie, QB
  2. Luke Kuechly, LB
  3. Mike Ruth, NT
  4. Pete Mitchell, TE
  5. Tony Thurman, CB
Flutie gets the nod at #1 with his magical Heisman season and the diminutive Doug still ranks as the school's all-time leading passer.  Ruth was an Outland Trophy winner in 1985 as a dominant nose tackle.  Mitchell is the teams second all-time leading receiver but from the TE position.  Kuechly has been a tackling monster for the current Eagles teams and I could not leave off a player with 25 career interceptions in Thurman.

Virginia Tech Hokies
  1. Bruce Smith, DE
  2. Corey Moore, DE
  3. Michael Vick, QB
  4. Cornell Brown, DE
  5. Kevin Jones, RB
A trio of defensive ends and a one-of-a-kind quarterback battle for the top of the Virginia Tech list.  Smith had 46 career sacks and 71 tackles for loss in being named a two-time All-American.  Moore was another nightmare for quarterbacks, with 30.5 sacks over his final two years.  Vick played just two years, but made his mark as the most dynamic Hokie ever.  Brown was not as prolific as Smith and Moore, but was dominant nonetheless and Jones was a threat to score each time he touched the ball.

Georgia Tech Yellowjackets
  1. Joe Hamilton, QB
  2. Calvin Johnson, WR
  3. Marco Coleman, LB
  4. Ken Swilling, S
  5. Pat Swilling, LB
The fight for the top spot came down to two offensive standouts.  I chose Hamilton for #1, as his impact on team success was greater than that of the ultra-talented Johnson.  Hamilton is Tech's all-time passing leader and won the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top QB in 1999.  Johnson put up monster numbers in 3 years with Tech, including a 15 TD season in 2006 that earned him the Biletnikoff Award.  Coleman lived in the opponents backfield in his 3 years, while both Swillings anchored the defense in the late 1980's.

North Carolina Tar Heels
  1. Julius Peppers, DE
  2. Dre' Bly, CB
  3. Greg Ellis, DE
  4. William Fuller, DT
  5. Marcus Jones, DT 
It should be no surprise that a school that produced Lawrence Taylor has a list with a clean sweep by defensive players.  I went back and forth on Peppers and Bly, but chose the 30.5 career sacks in three years over the 20 interceptions over the same length.  Ellis is actually the career sack leader, Fuller had more TFL's than Ellis and Peppers (one less season) and Jones is 3rd on the sack list.

North Carolina State Wolfpack
  1. Philip Rivers, QB
  2. Torry Holt, WR
  3. Mario Williams, DE
  4. Levar Fisher, LB
  5. Russell Wilson, QB 
Rivers edges Holt out for the #1 spot on the Wolfpack list with over 13,000 yards passing and 95 touchdowns.  Holt holds almost every NC State receiving record and could very easily top the list.  Williams tops the all-time sacks and tackles for loss lists, while Fisher was an All-American tackling machine.  The final spot went to Wilson, who put up gaudy number for 3 years before moving on for his 4th year of eligibility.

Maryland Terrapins
  1. E.J. Henderson, LB
  2. Torrey Smith, WR
  3. Eric Wilson, LB
  4. Jermaine Lewis, WR
  5. Scott Milanovich, QB
Henderson tops the list as a two-time All-American who is the Terps all-time leader in tackles for loss by 17.5 over the next closest turtle.  Smith is the all-time all-purpose yardage leader, while Wilson is the all-time leading tackler.  Finally, Lewis holds all the Maryland receiving records and Milanovich most of the passing records.

Wake Forest Deamon Deacons
  1. Alphonso Smith, DB
  2. Aaron Curry, LB
  3. Riley Skinner, QB
  4. Steve Justice, C
  5. Calvin Pace, DE
In a battle of top defenders, Smith beats out Curry for #1 on the Demon Deacon list.  Smith broke the ACC record for career interceptions with 21.  Curry was a great all-around linebacker who won the Butkus Award.  Skinner is Wake's all-time passing leader, while Justice was one of the ACC's great centers and Pace ranks second all-time on the Demon Deacon sack list.

Virginia Cavaliers
  1. Chris Slade, DE/LB
  2. Shawn Moore, QB
  3. Herman Moore, WR
  4. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT
  5. Jamie Sharper, LB
The early 1990's were the glory days of Cavalier football and the top 3 on this list reflect that time period.  Slade is by far the most dominant defender of my era, registering 40 sacks, 11 more than the next on the all-time list.  While Matt Schaub now owns most passing records, it was Shawn Moore who was a Heisman finalist and led Virginia to consecutive New Year's Day Bowls.  Herman Moore was a favorite target and put up gaudy numbers in 3 years.  Ferguson is the most decorated lineman and Sharper the all-time leading tackler.

Duke Blue Devils
  1. Clarkston Hines, WR
  2. Mike Junkin, LB
  3. Chris Port, T
  4. Thaddeus Lewis, QB
  5. John Talley, CB
 Hines is the far and away the premier Blue Devil player in the past 30 years.  The two-time All-American holds almost every Duke receiving record.  Junkin was a tackling machine, while Port was a rock in the late 1980's.  Lewis holds all the team passing records, while Talley had 18 interceptions in being named All-ACC First Team twice.

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