GREESNBORO, N.C. - Virginia Tech’s David Wilson, whose climb up the ACC’s single-season rushing yards list helped keep the Hokies atop the Coastal Division, is the conference’s Offensive and Overall Player of the Year for 2011.
Wilson, who is pursuing the ACC’s single-season rushing yardage record and is fifth nationally in yards per game, was named on 18 of 45 ballots cast by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
“I want to thank all of my teammates and all of my coaches for sticking with me and helping me to achieve this award,” Wilson said. “This award means a lot because any player who wins it definitely worked hard for it because it’s not something that you can just stumble upon. You have to put a lot of hard work into it. But you also can’t do it by yourself, so I have to specifically give thanks to the other guys on the offense, especially the offensive line and other blockers; but I also have to thank the whole team because you have to be successful as a squad to have someone win this award.”
Wilson immediately follows a former teammate, quarterback Tyrod Taylor, in winning the award. Virginia Tech is the first program to produce consecutive Players of the Year since Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward was honored in 1992 and 1993. It’s the fifth time that different players from the same school have won in consecutive years; that happened most recently with the selections of Virginia QBs Shawn Moore (1990) and Matt Blundin (1991).
Wilson, a junior from Danville, Va., was elevated to the starting job when two accomplished teammates left school early for the NFL. But the Hokies, who seek their fifth ACC championship in eight years of membership on Saturday, quickly learned they would remain dynamic in the running game even without Ryan Williams and Darren Evans.
Wilson ran for 100 or more yards in all but two of the Hokies’ 12 regular-season games. His total of 10 games at 100 or more ties an ACC record last established by Williams, then a freshman, in 2009. In one stretch of especially consistent play, he rushed for 132, 123, 128, 136 and 134 yards in consecutive starts.
Wilson joins a pair of Tech quarterbacks to win the award: Bryan Randall (2004) and Tyrod Taylor (2010).
In 2011, Wilson outpaced Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, named by nine electors and Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins, who was named by eight voters. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd received seven votes and Tech quarterback Logan Thomas received three. Balloting for Offensive Player of the Year was a wider margin; Wilson earned 26 votes to Boyd’s nine, Watkins’ eight and Thomas’ two.
This season, Wilson leads the team and is third nationally with 1,595 yards rushing, an average of 132.9 yards per game, which is fifth in the nation. He is on pace to break the school and ACC records for rushing yards in a season.
Boston College’s Luke Kuechly won the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year.
ACC PLAYER OF THE YEAR
David Wilson, TB, Virginia Tech, 18 votes
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College, 9 votes
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson, 8 votes
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson, 7 votes
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech, 3 votes
ACC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
David Wilson, TB, Virginia Tech, 26 votes
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson, 9 votes
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson, 8 votes
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech, 2 votes
ACC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College, 30 votes
David Amerson, CB, NC State, 14 votes
Matt Daniels, SS, Duke, 1 vote
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