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2009 ACC Preview - Unit Rankings
Maryland RB Da'Rel Scott
Maryland RB Da'Rel Scott
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 5, 2009


2009 CollegeFootballNews.com Preview - ACC Unit Rankings

2009 CFN ACC Preview

Unit Rankings

Team Previews & Predictions
Atlantic
- Boston College | Clemson | Florida State | Maryland | NC State | Wake Forest


Coastal
- Duke | Georgia Tech | Miami | North Carolina | Virginia | Virginia Tech

- 2009 CFN ACC Preview
- 2009 CFN All-ACC Team & Top 30 Players
- 2009 CFN ACC Team Capsules
- 2009 ACC Schedules & CFN Picks 
- 2009 ACC Unit Rankings
- 2008 CFN ACC Preview 

Offenses

1. Florida State
The presence of coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher has finally begun to pay dividends for the Florida State offense. While not a finished product, the ‘Noles produced their best output in years, despite being littered with young kids and first-year starters. One of those rookies was QB Christian Ponder, who proved to be a much better scrambler than passer at this stage of his career. If he can make strides in the vertical game, sans much talent at wide receiver, the offense could be on the verge of building a bridge to the glory days. The ground game, which produced its best numbers of the decade, will forge ahead without leading rusher Antone Smith. Taking his place is Jermaine Thomas, who ripped off seven yards a carry in a sneak peak preview. The gem of the offense is a front wall that used three true freshmen in 2008, and with LG Rodney Hudson as the centerpiece, could wind up morphing into the ACC’s best unit.


2. Georgia Tech
3. Miami
4. Virginia Tech
5. Clemson
6. NC State
7. North Carolina
8. Maryland
9. Wake Forest
10. Virginia
11. Boston College
12. Duke

Quarterbacks

1. NC State
No position encapsulates the enthusiasm surrounding the program more than at quarterback, with  Russell Wilson the type of dynamic player and mature individual, who's expected to someday bring a title to Raleigh. And if Mike Glennon continues to develop in his shadow, NC State will be in great hands under center for the foreseeable future.

2. Florida State
3. Virginia Tech
4. Miami
5. Wake Forest
6. North Carolina
7. Duke
8. Virginia
9. Clemson
10. Georgia Tech
11. Maryland
12. Boston College

Running Backs

1. Georgia Tech
With all due respect to Oklahoma and USC, Georgia Tech, too, belongs in the discussion when it comes to  the nation’s most talented collection of running backs. Not only is Jonathan Dwyer a bona fide All-American candidate, but he’s now surrounded by a terrific ensemble that’ll keep defenses from focusing on stopping him. If opponents commit too many resources to stopping the junior, Roddy Jones, Anthony Allen, and Marcus Wright will make them pay.

2. Clemson
3. Virginia Tech
4. Maryland
5. Miami
6. North Carolina
7. Wake Forest
8. Florida State
9. Boston College
10. NC State
11. Virginia
12. Duke

Receivers

1. Miami
There’s no question this group is going to be improved from a year ago, but how much? That’ll depend on their collective maturation process and the development of Jacory Harris at quarterback. No matter how high the bar gets set, these guys are worth all of the hype. Aldarius Johnson, Travis Benjamin, and LaRon Byrd, in particular, have the raw ability to eventually emerge as All-ACC performers.

2. NC State
3. North Carolina
4. Maryland
5. Florida State
6. Virginia
7. Virginia Tech
8. Georgia Tech
9. Duke
10. Clemson
11. Wake Forest
12. Boston College

Offensive Line

1. Florida State
On a national level, the story is going to get undersold, but O line coach Rick Trickett did a magnificent job of coaching up so many young kids a year ago. Somehow he kept everything together, leading the program to its best season running the ball since 2000. The real rewards start coming this fall when that offensive line, now a year more mature, begins to dominate opponents and start playing up to coach’s expectations. Junior guard Rodney Hudson is special.

2. Boston College
3. Georgia Tech
4. Miami
5. Virginia
6. Wake Forest
7. Virginia Tech
8. North Carolina
9. NC State
10. Clemson
11. Maryland
12. Duke

Defenses

1. Virginia Tech
If ever there was a time when the Hokie D was on its heels, it would’ve been 2008. Seven all-stars had run out eligibility and the two-deep was littered with unproven players. So what happens? Tech finishes No. 7 nationally in total defense and No. 9 in scoring defense. It’s no wonder long-time assistant Bud Foster is widely hailed as one of the nation’s premier defensive coordinators. His Hokies will be air-tight again this season, welcoming back starters at every level and a slew of key letterwinners. If there’s an All-America candidate in this no-name crew, it’s junior DE Jason Worilds, who toyed with opposing tackles throughout his first season as a regular. He’ll set the tone up front for a defense that doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses and faces a schedule that’s light on firepower.

2. Clemson
3. Florida State
4. Miami
5. North Carolina
6. Georgia Tech
7. Boston College
8. NC State
9. Virginia
10. Wake Forest
11. Maryland
12. Duke

Defensive Line


1. Virginia Tech
The key up front will be the play of Nekos Brown. If he can do even a fair impression of Orion Martin, the Hokies will boast one of the best defensive lines in the ACC, if not the country. Year-in and year-out, this program always does a great job of cobbling together a unit that will stuff the run and pressure the pressure. This season will be no different with Jason Worilds in the hunt for ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors and with a slew of great players working around him.

2. Miami
3. North Carolina
4. Clemson
5. NC State
6. Florida State
7. Georgia Tech
8. Boston College
9. Virginia
10. Duke
11. Wake Forest
12. Maryland

Linebackers

1. Florida State
While even better days lay ahead in 2010 and 2011, the Seminole linebackers will still be plenty good in 2009. The return of Dekoda Watson from injury and seamless transition inside by Kendall Smith will provide a solid foundation as Nigel Bradham, Nigel Carr, and Vince Williams take another step closer to becoming dynamite players.

2. Virginia Tech
3. Miami
4. Georgia Tech
5. North Carolina
6. NC State
7. Clemson
8. Maryland
9. Boston College
10. Wake Forest
11. Duke
12. Virginia

Defensive Backs

1. Virginia Tech
Regardless of the holes that need to be filled, Virginia Tech always seems to have the answer in the secondary. There’s enough depth and talent everywhere to fill out one of the league’s most impressive two-deeps. If there’s an issue, it’s at field corner, where Rashad Carmichael and Cris Hill must make quarterbacks pay for picking on them.

2. Boston College
3. Clemson
4. Virginia
5. Florida State
6. Georgia Tech
7. North Carolina
8. Wake Forest
9. Maryland
10. Miami
11. NC State
12. Duke

Special Teams

1. Miami
Thanks in large part to the leg of Matt Bosher, Miami has the best special teams in the ACC. If returner Travis Benjamin begins to fulfill all of his potential, the ‘Canes will have a huge advantage and should win at least two games by being special on special teams.

2. Maryland
3. Virginia Tech
4. North Carolina
5. Florida State
6. NC State
7. Clemson
8. Duke
9. Wake Forest
10. Georgia Tech
11. Virginia
12. Boston College