Three-time defending conference champion Clemson leads all schools with eight selections on the 2018 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Football Team announced Tuesday. Boston College sophomore running back AJ Dillon received the nod as the ACC Preseason Player of the Year.
The preseason player of the year and all-conference team was selected by a vote of 148 media members that were credentialed for last week’s ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte.
Dillon’s 1,589 yards rushing last season were the second-most by any freshman in ACC history. The New London, Connecticut, native ranked second nationally among all freshmen in rushing yards in 2017 and seventh among all players. Dillon set the Boston College freshman rushing record while posting the fourth-highest single-season total in school history.
Dillon received 45 votes in this year’s ACC Preseason Player of the Year balloting to edge Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins by three votes. NC State quarterback Ryan Finley placed third with 37 votes, and Florida State running back Cam Akers followed with 13.
Hyatt led all players with 130 votes. Ferrell and Wilkins picked up 122 votes each, while Lawrence and Florida State placekicker Ricky Aguayo each received 119. Dillon was named on 112 ballots.
The Tigers’ entire defensive front line – ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant, along with tackles Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence – was voted to the All-ACC preseason squad, along with Clemson linebacker Kendall Joseph. The Tigers are represented on the offensive side by tackle Mitch Hyatt, center Justin Falcinelli and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow.
Boston College has four preseason All-ACC selections, followed by defending Coastal Division champion Miami with three and NC State, Wake Forest, Florida State and Duke with two each.
Eleven of the league’s 14 football programs placed at least one player on the 2018 All-ACC Preseason Team.
Others topping the century mark include Boston College tight end Tommy Sweeney (106), Duke linebacker Joe Giles-Harris (103), Miami safety Jaquan Johnson (103) and NC State’s Finley (102).
Other members of the All-ACC Preseason Team are running back Cam Akers (Florida State), wide receivers Jaylen Smith (Louisville) and Kelvin Harmon (NC State), all-purpose back Greg Dortch (Wake Forest), offensive tackle Chris Lindstrom (Boston College) and offensive guards Parker Braun (Georgia Tech) and Phil Haynes (Wake Forest).
Defensive selections include linebacker Shaquille Quarterman (Miami), cornerbacks Mark Gilbert (Duke) and Michael Jackson (Miami), and safety Lukas Denis (Boston College).
Punter Sterling Hofrichter (Syracuse) and kick returner Anthony Ratliff-Williams round out the special team corps.
Clemson’s Hyatt, Falcinelli, Ferrell, Wilkins and Lawrence, Boston College’s Dillon, Duke’s Giles-Harris and Gilbert, Louisville’s Smith and North Carolina’s Ratliff-Williams were each voted to the All-ACC First Team at the end of last season.
Dillon ranked second among ACC rushers with 1,589 yards in 2017, and Florida State’s Akers rushed for 1,024 yards. NC State’s Finley completed 65.1 percent of his passes (312 of 479) while throwing for 3,518 yards and 17 touchdowns. Louisville’s Smith ranked among ACC leaders with 60 receptions for 980 yards and seven touchdowns despite missing three games due to a wrist injury.
2018 All-ACC Preseason Football Team
(Total votes in parenthesis)
WR – Jaylen Smith, Louisville (90)
WR – Kelvin Harmon, NC State (71)
WR – Hunter Renfrow, Clemson (62)
TE – Tommy Sweeney, Boston College (106)
AP – Greg Dortch, Wake Forest (64)
OT – Mitch Hyatt, Clemson (130)
OT – Chris Lindstrom, Boston College (72)
OG – Parker Braun, Georgia Tech (83)
OG – Phil Haynes, Wake Forest (65)
C – Justin Falcinelli, Clemson (56)
QB – Ryan Finley, NC State (102)
RB – AJ Dillon, Boston College (112)
RB – Cam Akers, Florida State (94)
DE – Clelin Ferrell, Clemson (122)
DE – Austin Bryant, Clemson (80)
DT – Christian Wilkins, Clemson (122)
DT – Dexter Lawrence, Clemson (119)
LB – Joe Giles-Harris, Duke (103)
LB – Shaquille Quarterman, Miami (98)
LB – Kendall Joseph, Clemson (84)
CB – Mark Gilbert, Duke (79)
CB – Michael Jackson, Miami (68)
S – Jaquan Johnson, Miami (103)
S – Lukas Denis, Boston College (64)
PK – Ricky Aguayo, Florida State (119)
P – Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse (33)
SP – Anthony Ratliff-Williams, North Carolina (97)
ACC Player of the Year
AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College – 45
Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson – 42
Ryan Finley, QB, NC State – 37
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State – 13
Greg Dortch, WR, Wake Forest – 3
Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke – 2
TaQuon Marshall, QB, Georgia Tech – 2
Zach Allen, DE, Boston College – 1
Eric Dungey, QB, Syracuse – 1
Olamide Zaccheaus, HB, Virginia – 1
Jaylen Smith, WR, Louisville – 1