The ACC came out with its Spring Football Prospectus on Thursday. It’s a 35-page production loaded with information.
Georgia Tech leads the conference with 62 returning lettermen, and 19 returning starters. (The ACC includes punters and placekickers in returning starters).
Here’s a rundown of returning starters by division.
Virginia Tech: 16
North Carolina: 16
Boston College: 16
N.C. State: 15
Wake Forest: 14
Florida State: 13
For what it’s worth, Tech put 10 players on the ACC’s all-star watch list:
QB Josh Nesbitt, RBs Jonathan Dwyer and Roddy Jones, WR Demaryius Thomas, G Cord Howard, DE Derrick Morgan, LB Sedric Griffin and DBs Morgan Burnett, Rashaad Reid and Cooper Taylor.
Every team has a bunch of guys on there. In fact, Duke has 11, including two tight ends.
Here are some other tidbits that jumped out at me:
The ACC led D-I conferences with a 72 percent graduation rate for football players, according to the NCAA’s 2008 survey.
In the last three NFL drafts, an ACC player has been the first defensive player taken: Mario Williams, Gaines Adams and Chris Long.
There were 20 former ACC players in the NFL Pro Bowl last month, most of any conference. The ACC was followed by the SEC (13), Big 12 (8) and Big Ten (7).
Virginia Tech has finished in the top seven nationally in defense each of the past five years, giving up an average of 263 yards per game. The Hokies also are one of three teams to win 10 games each of the last five years, along with USC and Texas.
Tech safety Morgan Burnett and Clemson corner Crezdon Butler lead all returning ACC players with 10 career interceptions apiece.
FSU’s offensive line returns intact and has no seniors.
NC State quarterback Russell Wilson enters 2009 with a streak of 249 passes without an interception. He was the first freshman named first-team All-ACC in the 56-year history of the league.
The ACC had three underclassmen break 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in history: Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer (1,395), Virginia Tech’s Darren Evans (1,265) and Maryland’s Da’Rel Scott (1,133).
Spring practice is less than a month away. Tech starts March 23, with the spring game on April 18.
How much stock do you put into Tech leading the ACC in returning starters and lettermen?