As most of you who know us will attest, we're not really "establishment" types. In fact, we could give a damn about what most others think. To that end, we decided instead of taking the ACC media or ESPN's word for it, we'd create our own ALL-ACC team. We'll start with the defensive line and work our way through the defense this week & offense next week. One note: we're trying to make this as accurate as possible so we chose players by position. Since most ACC teams play a 4-3 defensive alignment, we decided to base our defense off of that formation. With out further ado, the REAL ALL-ACC defensive line:
- DE Derrick Morgan, Jr. Georgia Tech- the best defensive player in the ACC by a wide margin. Despite being double & even triple teamed this year, Morgan proved a one man wrecking crew with 52 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, & 2 forced fumbles. Clemson's Dabo Swinney called Morgan the best player his team played against this season. We agree...
- DT Allen Bailey, Jr. Miami - We don't pay too much attention to statistics when it comes to defensive tackles. We want guys who penetrate, hold the point of attack against the run, & collapse the pocket on passing downs. Bailey is just such a player. A converted defensive end, Bailey is extremely quick for 288 pounds & uses that quickness to knife into the backfield, disrupting both run & pass plays. His long arms keep blockers off of him & enable him to scrape into gaps & make tackles. Pursues very well for a big man...(32 tackles, 11 TFL, 7 sacks, 2 FF)
- DT Nate Collins, Jr. UVA - Collins played both NT & end in Al Groh's 3-4 this year so we'll move him inside for our defense. Short with good burst off the ball, Collin's gets great leverage & can really hold the point of attack. Very tenacious & tough to block. Many haven't heard of Collins but rest assured ACC coordinators & offensive line coaches have. Always around the ball....(77 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 6 sacks, 1 int, 1 TD)
- DE Robert Quinn, So. UNC - after Tech's Morgan the second best front seven player in the ACC. Long arms & a quick first step enable Quinn to get the edge on most offensive tackles. Very good pass rusher who can disrupt the run game with his quickness. Tracks plays down from the backside better than any other ACC defensive lineman. Flows through traffic & through the ball extremely well...(49 tackles, 19 TFL, 11 sacks, 6 FF)
So there's our top four. Instead of a second team we thought we'd highlight returning players who we'll see next year. Quinn, Collins, & most likely Bailey will return next year. Add Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers (sophomore), VPISU's Jason Worilds (Jr. DE), & DT Brandon Thompson (sophomore, Clemson) into the mix & the ACC has a wealth of fine defensive linemen returning in 2010.