News & Analysis

Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne headline PFF's 2018 All-ACC selections

By Cam Mellor
Dec 3, 2018

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Nov 17, 2018; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) hands the ball off to running back Travis Etienne (9) during the first half against the Duke Blue Devils at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 regular season is in the books and the College Football Playoffs are set. With the culmination of the regular season comes PFF’s awards and all-conference selections as well as our All-American lists for both the first and second team.

The All-conference selections have been made by each of PFF’s leading conference analyst based mainly on PFF’s play-by-play grading process for the entire season as well as cumulative grades, game grades against quality opposition, other PFF advanced statistics and playing time.

The All-ACC selections below are headlined by the first team with the second team listed below each position.

For all other all-conference teams: ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC | AAC | C-USA | MWC | MAC | Sun Belt

 

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Quarterback

First Team: Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

What Lawrence did as the starting quarterback for Clemson is nothing short of remarkable. Taking remarkable care of the football, he finished the season with the fewest amount of turnover-worthy plays out of all qualified starting FBS quarterbacks.

Second Team: Ryan Finley, NC State

Running Back

First Team: Travis Etienne, Clemson

Etienne’s big year can be summed up in one statistic: on 176 carries, he averaged 8.3 yards per attempt and gained 771 of his 1,461 rushing yards AFTER contact.

Second Team: Darrin Hall, Pittsburgh

Running Back

First Team: Qadree Ollison, Pittsburgh

Ollison finished second in total rushing yards and second in 10-plus yard runs with 34. He averaged a very healthy 6.3 yards per carry including 3.93 yards after contact per attempt.

Second Team: Cade Carney, Wake Forest

Wide Receiver

First Team: Tee Higgins, Clemson

Higgins hauled in 39 combined first-down and touchdown receptions on his 52 receptions, gaining 267 yards after the catch. He forced 10 missed tackles after the catch and saw a 128.1 passer rating when targeted.

Second Team: Justyn Ross, Clemson

Wide Receiver

First Team: Jakobi Meyers, NC State

Meyers dominated with Finley tossing him passes, maybe not on the touchdown sheet, but seemingly everywhere else. He finished tied for the lead with 89 receptions, second with 44 first-down receptions and third with 1,029 yards.

Second Team: Kelvin Harmon, NC State

Wide Receiver

First Team: Greg Dortch, Wake Forest

Dortch tied for the conference lead with 89 receptions and finished second with 481 yards after the catch. He forced 12 missed tackles after the catch and hauled in 42 first-down receptions.

Second Team: Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia

Tight End

First Team: Carl Tucker, North Carolina

No ACC tight end went over 350 receiving yards and while Tucker only had 265 yards through the air, he averaged 8.1 yards after the catch per reception and didn’t allow a QB pressure on 30 pass-blocking snaps.

Second Team: Tommy Sweeney, Boston College

Offensive Tackle

First Team: William Sweet, North Carolina

A regular on our ACC Team of the Week series, Sweet was dominant in pass protection, allowing just three combined sacks and hits and just 11 total pressures on 398 snaps in pass protection. He finished with the conference-high 72.8 run-blocking grade to boot.

Second Team: Charlie Heck, North Carolina

Offensive Guard

First Team: Terronne Prescod, NC State

Prescod finished the 2018 regular season with the highest overall grade (85.7) among all offensive linemen as he allowed just six hurries on 342 pass-blocking snaps. His 86.2 run-blocking grade was 4.1 points higher than the next closest offensive lineman.

Second Team: Chris Lindstrom, Boston College

Center

First Team: Garrett Bradbury, NC State

Bradbury finished with the conference’s second-highest run-blocking grade of all linemen at 82.1 while also impressing in pass protection. On 496 pass-blocking snaps, he allowed just 11 pressures.

Second Team: Ryan Anderson, Wake Forest

Offensive Guard

First Team: Connor Dintino, Pittsburgh

Dintino’s 76.3 run-blocking grade was third among guards as he also only allowed seven total pressures on his 336 snaps in pass protection, working in between left guard and center for Pittsburgh.

Second Team: Parker Braun, Georgia Tech

Offensive Tackle

First Team: Mitch Hyatt, Clemson

Hyatt utilized a strong effort in the ACC Championship game to push him past Charlie Heck for the spot here as he, like Sweet, allowed only 11 total pressures on 398 pass-blocking snaps.

Second Team: Tyler Jones, NC State

 

Defense

Edge Defender

First Team: Zach Allen, Boston College

The nation’s best bull rush, Allen finds himself on the All-ACC team with a ridiculous five sacks and conference-leading 16 QB hits. In total, he recorded 55 total pressures on his 454 pass-rushing snaps and made 39 defensive stops.

Second Team: Joe Jackson, Miami

Edge Defender

First Team: Brian Burns, Florida State

Through the regular season and all the conference championships, Burns still holds the edge of Ohio State’s Chase Young with a national-best 69 total QB pressures.

Second Team: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

Defensive Interior

First Team: Christian Wilkins, Clemson

Wilkins not only leads the conference’s interior defensive linemen in total pressures (36), he also led them in sacks (six) and finished second in hits (nine) and forced fumbles (two).

Second Team: Brandon Adams, Georgia Tech

Defensive Interior

First Team: Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

The fellow 1-2 punch along the Clemson defensive interior, Lawrence racked up a conference-best 10 QB hits and finished second only behind his teammate with 31 total QB pressures.

Second Team: Marvin Wilson, Florida State

Linebacker

First Team: Germaine Pratt, NC State

Pratt was solid all over the field for the Wolfpack this season, showing serious skill when blitzing the passer. He led all ACC linebackers with 26 QB pressures despite just 79 pass-rushes. Pratt also missed just four tackles on 92 attempts.

Second Team: Tre Lamar, Clemson

Linebacker

First Team: Michael Pinckney, Miami

Pinckney was strong in all facets for the Hurricanes this season but especially in coverage where he was targeted 15 times and allowed only 22 yards on nine receptions. In total, his 91.8 coverage grade was the highest among conference linebackers.

Second Team: Ryan Guthrie, Syracuse

Cornerback

First Team: Bryce Hall, Virginia

Finishing the season with 17 pass breakups, Hall had five more than the next closest ACC cornerback while he allowed just 49.3% of passes thrown his way to be caught. Despite seeing 67 targeted passes, Hall allowed just 97 yards after the catch, fewest among ACC corners with at least 64 targets.

Second Team: Essang Bassey, Wake Forest

Cornerback

First Team: Trajan Bandy, Miami

Bandy limited teams to just a 45.2% catch rate, allowing just 19 receptions while breaking up six and intercepting three passes. He chipped in with 15 defensive stops and limited receivers extremely well all season.

Second Team: Taj-Amir Torres, Boston College

Safety

First Team: Jaquan Johnson, Miami

A fellow Hurricane in the defensive secondary, Johnson showed his ability to fly around the field all season. He allowed just eight receptions and 53 yards on 261 snaps in coverage while he also missed just four tackles on 75 attempts in 2018.

Second Team: Joey Blount, Virginia

Safety

First Team: Andre Cisco, Syracuse

A true freshman standout all year for Cisco, he finishes the regular season with seven interceptions and nine pass breakups. In total, on his 445 snaps in coverage, he allowed just 45.2% of targeted passes to be caught and just a 45.6 passer rating when targeted.

Second Team: Juan Thornhill, Virginia

Flex Defense

First Team: Hamp Cheevers, Boston College

Cheevers tied with Cisco with the ACC lead in interceptions with seven as he also limited receivers to a less than 50.0% catch rate. He added three pressures on just five blitzes and saw a 40.9 passer rating when targeted.

Second Team: Tanner Muse, Clemson

 

Special Teams

Kicker

First Team: Andre Szmyt, Syracuse

Szmyt was perfect on extra points this year (57-of-57) but wasn’t limited to just short chip shots. On 50-plus yard field goals, he was a perfect 3-of-3 and missed just four field goals all season long (28-of-32).

Second Team: Alex Kessman, Pittsburgh

Punter

First Team: Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse

Hofrichter’s 39.2 net yards per punt were good enough for second in the conference but his 32 punts downed inside the 20-yard line were three clear of the next best. Only 16 of his 61 punts were returned and he averaged a conference-best 4.26 seconds of hangtime per kick.

Second Team: Logan Tyler, Florida State

Kick Returner

First Team: Juanyeh Thomas, Georgia Tech

The highest-graded kick returner in the conference, Thomas averaged 25.8 yards per return, returning two for touchdowns. His long of 101 yards was one of the highlights of the season for the Yellowjackets and he didn’t muff a kick all season long.

Second Team: Maurice Ffrench, Pittsburgh

Punt Returner

First Team: Greg Dortch, Wake Forest

Dortch returned 25 punts for 276 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 11.0 yards per return with only one muffed punt.

Second Team: Jeff Thomas, Miami

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