HOT SPRINGS, Va. – Day two of the ACC kickoff offered more evidence as to just how fast the conference is changing.
The league released its first ever preseason All-ACC team, highlighted by a Preseason Player of the Year who has never even played in the ACC.
Boston College defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka earned that honor Sunday. Kiwanuka was the 2004 Big East Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league with 11.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for a loss. He piled up five tackles for a loss to lead BC to a 37-24 win over North Carolina in the Continental Tire Bowl – the Eagles' final game before officially joining the ACC this summer.
Article Continues Below
Defending ACC champ Virginia Tech led the way with four selections, including tight end Jeff King, offensive lineman Will Montgomery, defensive lineman Darryl Tapp and defensive back Jimmy Williams.
Clemson, Florida State, N.C. State, Virginia and Wake Forest each landed three players apiece on the team.
Clemson's Charlie Whitehurst, who is trying to bounce back from a disappointing junior campaign, was picked as the quarterback.
Florida State's Leon Washington and Wake Forest's Chris Barclay were selected as the two running backs. Barclay needs 907 yards to become Wake's all-time leading rusher.
The receiver spots are filled by Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson and N.C. State's Tramain Hall. Johnson was the ACC's Rookie of the Year last season.
The offensive line is made up of Virginia's D'Brickashaw Ferguson, North Carolina's Kyle Ralph, Wake's Steve Vallos, Miami's Eric Winston and Montgomery.
Kiwanuka leads a defensive line that includes three other defensive ends – N.C. State's Manny Lawson and Mario Williams and Tapp.
The linebackers – arguably the deepest position in the league – are Florida State's Ernie Sims, Maryland's D'Qwell Jackson and Virginia's Ahmad Brooks. The entire trio has a chance to be first-round draft picks next year.
The secondary is made up of Clemson cornerback Tye Hill, Miami safety Greg Threat, Florida State safety Pat Watkins and Williams.
Miami's Devin Hester, who received some votes for Preseason Player of the Year, garnered the special teams slot. Virginia place kicker Connor Hughes and Wake punter Ryan Plackemeier also made the squad.
There were no unanimous selections. Kiwanuka and Washington were each named on 39 of the 40 ballots.