Five ACC Players who will be missed the most

 

 

Last week we listed the five SEC players who’ll be missed the most in 2009. Today let’s look at the ACC list. If you have others, please add them to the list. Here we go:

 

Everette Brown, DE, Florida State:  For several seasons the Seminoles were without the key component to Mickey Andrews’s best defenses: A big-time rusher off the edge. In 2008 Florida State finally had one in Brown and then he decides to pass on his senior year and turn pro. Brown led the ACC and was third nationally in sacks with 13.5. Florida State has only five starters returning on defense and will have two new defensive ends. Andrews could really use Brown this season, especially when the Seminoles go to BYU to face quarterback Max Hall on Sept. 19.

 

Aaron Kelly, WR, Clemson: Running back James Davis was a great, great player for the Tigers. But the guy Clemson is really going to miss will be Kelly, the ACC’s all-time leader in career receptions with 232. Kelly, from Marietta, was a big target (6-5) and had sneaky speed. And he caught everything that came his way. Jacoby Ford, an NCAA track champion (60 meters), now becomes the go-to guy for new starting quarterback Kyle Parker.

 

Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech: Johnson was one of three great players on Georgia Tech’s 2008 defensive line that are now gone.  But Tech is going to miss this guy because he was a freak of nature in the best possible sense. He was long (6-7) and athletic and at times was just impossible to block. He had nine sacks in 2008 with 17.5 tackles for loss. He was chosen first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association. Johnson could be a little inconsistent at times but he could make the big play when Georgia Tech needed it. Now the reins at defensive end will be turned over to Derrick Morgan, who Coach Paul Johnson believes was his most consistent defensive lineman last season.

 

Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest: Head coach Jim Grobe has never been one to overhype his players. But for a couple of years Grobe tried to tell anybody who would listen that he had something special in Aaron Curry. On NFL Draft day the whole world became convinced as Curry was the No. 4 overall pick by Seattle.  Curry, who won the 2008 Butkus Award which goes to the nation’s best linebacker, had 49 career starts for Wake Forest. In his final three seasons the Deacons posted a record of 28-12, the best three-year stretch in school history. Last season he had 105 tackles. Wake Forest lost seven starters on defense. They will miss Curry the most.

 

Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina:  How good was Nicks? Nicks led the ACC in receiving yardage (1,222) and touchdowns (12) in 2008 and decided to pass up his senior season and enter the NFL.  After just three seasons Nicks left Chapel Hill as the school’s all-time leader in receptions (181) and yardage (2,840).  North Carolina lost its top three receivers from last season. If Nicks were back to give junior QB T.J. Yates a top-flight target, the Tar Heels would be a favorite to win the ACC Coastal.

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Victor “Macho” Harris, CB, Virginia Tech:  Harris, a first-team All-American, had 40 career starts on defense for the Hokies. He had a total of 15 career interceptions with 11 of those coming in his final two seasons. He was Virginia Tech’s top punt returner (9.3 avg). He even played some offense for the Hokies.

Clint Sintim, LB, Virginia: Sintim started 49 career games for Virginia with 245 total tackles. In 2008 he had 11 quarterback sacks, the fifth-highest season total in school history. In passing situations Virginia would move Sintim from LB to DE and his long wingspan made him very effective.

SPECIAL MENTION

Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College: Herzlich was the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and expected to have big senior season. Instead he will sit out 2009 as he battles a rare form of bone cancer.  Herzlich intercepted six passes last season, which tied for the lead among linebackers. The reports on Herzlich were positive this summer.  He hopes to return to football in 2010 but at this point nothing is certain.

 

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79 comments Add your comment

Spike

August 25th, 2009
8:08 am

First? I miss Reggie Ball.

Got 12?

August 25th, 2009
8:24 am

Darren Evans should top this list. His absence this year will have the biggest effect on the ACC championship race. Before he went down to injury, Virginia Tech was the odds-on favorite to repeat.

With Michael Johnson, Tech’s defense was not very good. Even without him, they can only improve. With Macho Harris, Virginia Tech had the best defense in the conference. Without Harris, Virginia Tech will still have the best defense in the ACC.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

August 25th, 2009
8:52 am

Wow, all the comments from ACC fans are making me dizzy. If an ACC game was played and no one saw it, would it be GT homecoming?

Miles

August 25th, 2009
9:11 am

Lets get back to real football, i.e., the SEC!

Topp Dogg

August 25th, 2009
9:15 am

GT still sux!

GA Tech Insider

August 25th, 2009
9:24 am

Looks like there are still some people out here in need of some “class” room time.

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 25th, 2009
9:27 am

Aww, little fleabags still smarting over 45-42, poor things.

Don Barzini

August 25th, 2009
9:33 am

Who cares about the All Cupcake Conference? Do you think you guys could just maybe get more than 25,000 folks to attend your conference championship game? Looks like there a a lot more folks uninterested in the ACC than you conference homers would have us believe, but the TV cameras don’t lie. Looked like attendance for a high school game in Tampa last year.

PMC

August 25th, 2009
9:52 am

What about Alphonso Smith? Not even honorable mention??

CharlotteGator

August 25th, 2009
9:53 am

I’m going to miss Drew Weatherford at FSU and Marve at UM.

m

August 25th, 2009
9:57 am

Getting Michael Johnson in the 3rd round was the steal of the draft for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Peadawg

August 25th, 2009
10:03 am

I’ll miss Reggie Ball..oh wait…he played for UGA for 4 years.

Peadawg

August 25th, 2009
10:09 am

I forgot this was an ACC blog…Reggie played in the SEC. oops. my bad :)

ForTheRecord

August 25th, 2009
10:32 am

Believe I would have put Macho at #1. He seemed to always be making the key tackle, getting the interception, or landing on a fumble during the crucial plays for VT. A great player.

MJ was good at Tech but doubt he’d make the top 5 except his playing for the local ACC team.

Also, doubt that any one receiver should make the top 5. WR’s are easier to replace than linemen (either side of the ball), linebackers, secondary or QB’s.

Didn’t BC lose their starting QB? The fifth year senior that waited in Ryan’s shadow. He will be missed!

CharlotteGator

August 25th, 2009
10:54 am

Almost 11 am and there are 14 comments. Is the ‘who are you going to miss’ topic a tired one or is this a conference interest thing? If it’s the latter then I imagine this would be the response to the “Tony you’re such an SEC homer” crowd. Just sayin…

JWalker

August 25th, 2009
11:07 am

The ACCers will take another one on the chin next Thursday when South Carolina (a mediocre SEC team) barrel rolls NCST on nat’l TV.

SimpleDawg

August 25th, 2009
11:11 am

All of them little yeller fellers are on the UGA blogs….giggling with every insulting comment and pickle tickle.

David

August 25th, 2009
11:46 am

Excuse me for asking this but Didn’t Reggie Ball play for GT? Someone on here said he played for UGA? I dont have a dog in this fight but Curry was definately a good one and will be missed. Nicks made UNC’s offense tick. Wake may miss Riley Skinner. Oh wait, he’s back for his 7th season under center.

Ama

August 25th, 2009
11:48 am

Surprised no mention of Andrew Gardner, OT at GTech

Pro Scout

August 25th, 2009
11:53 am

Who were these guys? Are these even real football players or were they fictitious and Tony just made them up out of thin air to give the ACC a modicum of respectability?

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 25th, 2009
12:10 pm

Ama, Andrew is a good one, but he was replaced after his injury with a walk on and GT STILL ran for 409 yards against UGAg.

With all this ACC bashing form the over-rated SEC idiots, you think they could have won more than half of the games last year.

Pi$$onaDawg

August 25th, 2009
12:12 pm

If all you SEC fans hate the ACC and Tech so much and neither matter in your world, then WHY ARE YOU ON THIS BLOG? Go talk about how the great Matt and NO-Show are going to be missed or how great they are doing in the NFL.

Pi$$onaDawg

August 25th, 2009
12:15 pm

PRO SCOUT check the ACC’s Draft day count in the past few years and get back to me. I think the NFL likes the ACC just a little. Ability and no brain to learn the NFL game is not so hot now. The ACC teams have players that have ability and the Brains to learn the NFL game fast.

JoeSmoe

August 25th, 2009
12:27 pm

Utah exposed the probation-filled SEC as a fraud last year when they beat up Bama. And The Gates shouldn’t have been in the title game after losing to a mediocre Ole Miss team (that lost to ACC Wake Forest).

Don’t forget the record 10 ACC teams to bowls last season. Let’s see, Auburn is going to be terrible again (lost to USF at home), Tenn is still bad, UGA average, USCe is nothing to brag about…only UF and LSU and LSU had a bad 7-5 year last season.

Got 12?

August 25th, 2009
12:30 pm

Pi$$,

It is fact that the ACC has placed more players in the NFL than any other conference over the past three years. It’s also fact that the ACC has not had a legitimate national championship contender since 1999. These facts lead me to only one logical conclusion: The coaching is what has made the ACC a second-tier conference. What do you guys think?

Reality Check

August 25th, 2009
12:32 pm

You tech fans are so dumb, we sec and dawg fans are on this blog more than you because with the economic down turn the cleaning crews were the first jobs to go! So we got more time to search the blogs and tell you how pathetic you are. You’re not smart enough to have anything else to do other than spend a day going to a college football game and checking blogs! I hate you stu*id “employeed” people!

26 comments in 4 1/2 hours

August 25th, 2009
12:40 pm

This is why the AJC (and the rest of the world) is not interested in ACC football.

Claude Musselman

August 25th, 2009
12:42 pm

Pro Scout, try to keep that rich sense of humor when you hit your teens…

CharlotteGator scores actual comedy points. CG, think ol’ Ponder at Free Shoes U. will guarantee any more wins this year? It didn’t work out so well last season when he shot his mouth off before facing a real school located up near your neck of the woods.

athensdawg

August 25th, 2009
12:55 pm

when the best your second place team can do is play in the Peach Bowl and get shellacked…..you got problems. keep working on it ACC, one day, you may get there.

It might help if you remembered that footballs were the long, oval shaped things that don’t get thrown into baskets.

flapjacket

August 25th, 2009
1:10 pm

I can tell you who I will miss the most as a Jacket fan…Pat Nix. I’m worried about our game at the U without him calling their plays.

CharlotteGator

August 25th, 2009
1:13 pm

RAMBLE ON,

Bragging on the ACC vs. SEC record from last year might be a little disingenuous as has been mentioned multiple times. When you look at even matchups, I believe the ACC’s quality wins (winning an even matchup or an underdog winning) was Tech over UGA and WF over Ole Miss. Other games were Tech beating up on Vandy or MSU and UF beating over matched FSU and Miami squads (I love typing that). SEC’s quality wins were probably LSU over Tech, Vandy over BC and some other bowl match ups. We could go around and around on this, but I’d pose the question as to why last year’s record is the only one quoted or why a .500 record on what don’t appear to be a majority of even matchups is a statement to the ACC’s dominance or the SEC’s “over-ratedness”?

Pi$$onaDawg,

This isn’t an ACC/Tech specific blog. We’re all on here because we want to talk college football. The majority of us don’t resort to the name calling or ACC-bashing and do legitimately want to discuss an exciting season that quickly approaches.

Claude Musselman,

Thanks. Ponder probably shouldn’t do that ever again, esp. given FSU’s situation on defense this year. He probably should have a few receivers emerge before he starts flapping his gums as well. That said, I miss Weatherford because as a QB Ponder actually has the ability to hurt you when he plays well. When DW was back there, he couldn’t avoid a pass rush and even weak secondaries (which UF has had from time to time) would feast on poorly thrown passes.

CharlotteGator

August 25th, 2009
1:18 pm

flapjacket,

Good one. I forgot about him. Who’s calling plays at the U now?

Tide Rising

August 25th, 2009
1:26 pm

Joe Schmoe,

You did a very poor job of explaining why you think the SEC isn’t very good. Using Bama’s loss to Utah as the example as to why the sec sucks? Are you serious? The SEC went 6-2 in bowl games and instead of talking about the totality of games you want to talk about one loss.

And you bring up Florida as not that great because they lost to an Ole Miss team that you describe as “mediocre”. In case you forgot Ole Miss was in a transition year and Wake beat them in one of the first games of the year and they had to have a couple of questionable pass interference calls on the last drive in order to eke out a last second win. This Ole Miss “mediocre” team manhandled a once beaten Texas Tech team in the cotton bowl.

Going by your logic Joe one can only assume that the entire ACC sucks because your conference champion Va Tech got whipped by East Carolina a member of the Sun Belt conference. Your champion go whupped by a Sun belt conference member. Your champion? At least Bama lost to the nation’s only unbeaten team and a team that finished ranked no. 2 in the nation.

And if I wanted to Joe Schmoe I could probably take the time and go through the ACC schedule and find some really embarrassing losses similar to your champion losing to a sun belt team. But I think I’ve made my point.

EDGE

August 25th, 2009
1:44 pm

Chill out Tide Rising, what about in 2007 when you lost to Louisiana Monroe-a Sun Belt conference team-dare I repeat-a Sun Belt conference team-not even a good one at that!

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 25th, 2009
1:45 pm

hmmm tide rising, didn’t UF lose to Ole missy who lost to WF.

…what’s your point again?

Claude Musselman

August 25th, 2009
1:49 pm

Tide Rising, you put together a pretty good rebuttal there, but you gotta be fair to Wake. Ole Miss capitalized on a hugely BOGUS call against the Deacs for that go-ahead score before Wake’s winning drive.

MoDawg

August 25th, 2009
1:57 pm

The Techsters only recognize their guys’ name and only then because Paul Johnson’s name got mentioned, as well. These local ACC turkeys don’t care about football. However, let Tony say anything about the SEC and he gets called an “SEC Homer” and you hear “what about Tech? Why does the AJC only write about Georgia….?”.

Folks, here is your answer! No fire or desire for football. Go to a Tech home game….same story.

EDGE

August 25th, 2009
2:03 pm

MoDawg, there is fire and desire there, just because we don’t own everything walmart sells with our team logo on it doesnt mean we dont love and support our team and take pride in them. UGA fans dont think any other teams exist and every other team sucks-the arrogance of your fans gets old really quick. Half of yall prolly think yall can even beat the Falcons with their ACC quarterback.

36 comments in 6 hours

August 25th, 2009
2:06 pm

The ACC just announced new shoe and apparel deals. All ACC athletics teams will now be outfitted with Crocs and Snuggies this fall. ACC fans, place your orders at http://www.crocs.com and http://www.getsnuggies.com!

EDGE

August 25th, 2009
2:11 pm

Thats cool, Big Lots just annouced a partnership to sell SEC branded spit cups, sleeveless flannel shirts, and wife beaters-no pun intended!

Another Dawg

August 25th, 2009
2:15 pm

The reason question is: Does anyone notice when ACC players leave? 5/6th conference go ACC.

Tide Rising

August 25th, 2009
2:26 pm

EDGE,

Yes. We lost to a sunbelt team La-Monroe in 2007 but we were not the conference champions or even division champs for that matter. It was a mediocre 6-6 Bama team. What I’m saying is that the conference champion in any given year shoudn’t be a team that loses to someone like East Carolina for Pete’s sake. I don’t think East Carolina even won the Sun Belt last year. Now do you understand the difference?

EDGE

August 25th, 2009
2:38 pm

Enter your comments here

36 comments in 6 hours

August 25th, 2009
2:43 pm

EDGE,

The things you mentioned would certainly sell if associated with the SEC. That’s the point of this whole comparison. SEC fans buy things (game tickets, apparel, accessories) so SEC teams make a lot of money which allows them to hire the best coaches and build the best facilities. The best coaches and best facilities lead to the best football regardless of the draft status of former players.

I am so happy we agree.

EDGE

August 25th, 2009
2:45 pm

Tide Rising

I know the difference it is just crazy how you can say stuff like wake got lucky because they beat Ole Miss at the beginning of the year, but it’s like you don’t think Wake could have beat them at the end of the year. Whereas Va Tech lost to ECU in the very first game of the year last year and who went on to suprise a few people and got ranked as high as 15th before they came back down to reality. As far as yall losing to ULM, it was the next to last game, it isn’t like they suprised you and your team hadnt already started gelling. They were 38 point underdog’s for crying out loud and you basically had the same team last year that did well. All except Julio Jones and Mt. Cody.

EDGE

August 25th, 2009
2:54 pm

I respect all conferences, I really do, except maybe the Big Ten. I love college football and I especially love southern football! I try to watch any SEC and ACC game I can. I love GT, that is my team, but i still like watching Auburn and LSU and Florida and all those other great SEC games. But I also like watching ACC teams play, Va Tech, North Carolina, N.C. State, Clemson, Wake-heck one of my favorite teams ever to watch was the Phillip Rivers lead NC State teams. The thing is,I respect both conferences and love their teams and pull for us all down here in the south. I don’t understand why yall always hate on the ACC instead of respect them.

Tide Rising

August 25th, 2009
2:54 pm

Edge,

Actually I think we lost our last 4 games including the LA-Monroe game before finally righting the ship in our bowl game. My point is that the disparity between the teams at the top of the 2 leagues is such that you will never see a conference champion such as florida losing to a team like East Carolina. That can and does happen to the ACC champion but it doesn’t happen to whoever is good enough to be the sec champion.

The mediocre teams in any conference such as Michigan in the big 10 in 07 losing to App state or Bama in 07 losing to La_monroe that happens every year in every conference whether it be big 10, sec, or acc. And Bama in 08 is not bama in 07. 12-0 vs 6-6 regular seasons. Every year is different and every team is different.

EDGE

August 25th, 2009
2:59 pm

And btw, East Carolina was Conference USA Champion last year.

Tide Rising

August 25th, 2009
3:11 pm

Edge,

Likewise, I don’t have any problem with the ACC or really any other conference for that matter including the Big 10. The ACC has a lot of good, decent teams. They just haven’t had any great teams in a long time like the sec has. Great teams would be like Miami of 2001 or the FSU teams of the 90s. The parity of the ACC is better and I think an argument can be made that the bottom 3 or 4 teams of the ACC might be better than in the sec.

But overall the ACC just hasn’t had the power teams that the sec fields at the top like UF, UGA, BAMA, LSU. I think you could include Auburn and Tenn. also except right now those 2 programs are just in a transition stage. The SEC is just plain better overall in terms of national titles, overall winning % including bowl winning % in the 2000s, and most certainly in bcs bowl performance where the ACC has won only one bcs bowl in the last 8 years. This is not debatable yet you have some homers like m who try to debate this. Its just silly. Doesn’t mean the ACC sucks or is a terrible conference. They play some good football there. It just means right now that they, like everyone else, are just not on par with the SEC. That’s all.

36 comments in 6 hours

August 25th, 2009
3:16 pm

Like the Rock used to say, “Know your role and shut your mouth!”