Media members selected Clemson as the clear favorite in the ACC’s preseason football poll, released Friday.
The nationally top-ranked Tigers are predicted to finish first in the ACC by 132 of the media panel’s 134 voters and are also picked to win the ACC Football Championship Game. In addition, Clemson junior quarterback Trevor Lawrence was selected as the ACC Preseason Player of the Year, and the Tigers led all schools with five players voted to the 27-member 2020 Preseason All-ACC Team.
Notre Dame, which will compete as an ACC football member this season, received the remaining two first-place votes. North Carolina placed third in the preseason balloting, followed by Louisville, Virginia Tech and Miami.
Each ACC team is slated to play 11 games (10 conference, one non-conference) this season. The two teams with the highest conference winning percentages earn spots in the ACC Football Championship Game on Dec. 12 or Dec. 19 at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.
Lawrence was named ACC Preseason Player of the Year on 100 ballots, and Clemson senior running back Travis Etienne – the ACC Player of the Year each of the past two seasons – received 30 votes. The pair have led Clemson to a combined 29-1 record over the past two seasons, highlighted by the national title two years ago and a berth in the CFP National Championship Game last January.
Lawrence is coming off a sophomore season in which he completed 268-of-407 passes for 3,665 yards with a career-high 36 touchdowns. The Cartersville, Georgia, native has amassed nearly 7,800 yards of total offense while accounting for 76 touchdowns (66 passing, 10 rushing) in two collegiate seasons.
Etienne, who last season became the first running back in more than four decades to be named ACC Player of the Year in back-to-back years, enters 2020 as the ACC’s all-time career leader in rushing touchdowns (56), total touchdowns (62) and points by a non-kicker (372).
Named on 133 of 134 ballots, Etienne led all players in voting for this year’s Preseason All-ACC Team. Lawrence followed with 131 votes. Other leaders included Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson (108 votes), North Carolina linebacker Chazz Surratt (106) and Florida State receiver Tamorrion Terry (100).
Lawrence, Etienne, Wilson and Surratt were all first-team All-ACC selections in 2019.
Other All-ACC first-team players from last year named to the 2020 Preseason All-ACC Team on offense include Louisville wide receiver Tutu Atwell, Miami tight end Brevin Jordan and Pitt center Jimmy Morrissey.
In addition to FSU’s Wilson and UNC’s Surratt, preseason defensive selections who earned All-ACC first team in 2019 include Wake Forest defensive end Carlos Basham Jr. and Pitt safety Paris Ford.
Wake Forest placekicker Nick Sciba was also voted Preseason All-ACC after earning first-team honors at the end of last season.
The 2020 ACC football season kicks off Thursday night (Sept. 10) with Miami playing host to UAB. Six more games are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12, including four conference matchups.
ACC Preseason Poll
(First-place votes in parenthesis, followed by total points)
1. Clemson (132) – 2008 – also picked to win ACC Football Championship Game
2. Notre Dame (2) – 1824
3. North Carolina – 1682
4. Louisville – 1434
5. Virginia Tech – 1318
6. Miami – 1280
7. Florida State – 1177
8. Pitt – 1132
9. Virginia – 994
10. Wake Forest – 659
11. NC State – 634
12. Duke – 618
13. Boston College – 532
14. Syracuse – 449
15. Georgia Tech – 339
2020 All-ACC Preseason Football Team
(Total votes in parenthesis)
WR – Tamorrion Terry, Florida State (100)
WR – Tutu Atwell, Louisville (96)
WR – Dazz Newsome, North Carolina (75)
TE – Brevin Jordan, Miami (77)
AP – Michael Carter, North Carolina (82)
OT – Jackson Carman, Clemson (64)
OT – Ben Petrula, Boston College (61)
OG – Zion Johnson, Boston College (78)
OG – Aaron Banks, Notre Dame (34)
C – Jimmy Morrissey, Pitt (80)
QB – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (131)
RB – Travis Etienne, Clemson (133)
RB – Javian Hawkins, Louisville (80)
DE – Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest (89)
DE – Patrick Jones II, Pitt (37)
DT – Marvin Wilson, Florida State (108)
DT – Tyler Davis, Clemson (75)
LB – Chazz Surratt, North Carolina (106)
LB – Rayshard Ashby, Virginia Tech (66)
LB – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame (47)
CB – Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State (90)
CB – Derion Kendrick, Clemson (85)
S – Paris Ford, Pitt (62)
S – Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State (56)
PK – Nick Sciba, Wake Forest (69)
P – Trenton Gill, NC State (43)
SP – Damond Philyaw-Johnson, Duke (48)
ACC Player of the Year
1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson – 100
2. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson – 30
3. Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina – 1
4. Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina – 1
5. Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame – 1
6. Carlos Basham Jr., DE, Wake Forest – 1
ACC Preseason Football
ACCSports.com Preseason Predictions: Player of the Year possibilities, Coach of the Year candidates