July 25, 2012
Three Hokies named to preseason All-ACC squad
Gayle, Taylor, Fuller earn nods from media

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Florida State, Clemson and North Carolina led all Atlantic Coast Conference schools each with four players selected to the 2012 Preseason All-ACC Football team in voting conducted by the media at the annual ACC Football Kickoff, which was held July 22-23 at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro.

The Preseason All-ACC team was announced Wednesday.

Virginia Tech, selected by the media to capture its sixth Coastal Division title in eight years, placed three players on the team, all from its defense, in defensive end James Gayle (Hampton, Va.), linebacker Bruce Taylor (Riceboro, Ga.) and cornerback Kyle Fuller (Baltimore, Md.).

All three Hokies have been named to the preseason watch list for the Nagurski Trophy, with Fuller and Taylor also named to the Bednarik watch list. Fuller is also on the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list.

In all, 19 of the 25 honorees on the team earned first or second-team All-ACC honors last fall, with eight having been selected to the All-ACC first team. Four of the selections are returning first-team or second-team 2012 All-Americas.

One of those returning All-America selections, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins (Fort Myers, Fla.), who was named by the media as the ACC preseason Player of the Year on Monday, was the only unanimous selection on the team, being named on all 68 ballots.

Florida State, tabbed by the media at the ACC Football Kickoff to win its first ACC Football title since 2005, was represented by defensive end Brandon Jenkins (Tallahassee, Fla.), safety Lamarcus Joyner (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), placekicker Dustin Hopkins (Houston, Texas) and cornerback Greg Reid (Valdosta, Ga.), who was named as the specialist for his abilities as a punt and kickoff returner.

Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami and Wake Forest each had one player selected. The four 2011 first-team All-Americas chosen were first-teamers David Amerson of NC State (Walter Camp) and Sammy Watkins of Clemson (AP) and second-team All-Americas Joe Vellano of Maryland (AP, Walter Camp) and Omoregie Uzzi (Si.com) of Georgia Tech.

Those chosen first-team All-ACC last fall included Sammy Watkins, Tajh Boyd and Dalton Freeman of Clemson; Dustin Hopkins of Florida State; Omoregie Uzzi of Georgia Tech, Joe Vellano of Maryland, Giovani Bernard of North Carolina and David Amerson of NC State.

The 11 selections who were named to the second team 2011 All-ACC squad were Conner Vernon of Duke, Brandon Jenkins and Lamarcus Joyner of Florida State; Andre Ellington of Clemson; James Hurst and Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina; Oday Aboushi and Steve Greer of Virginia, James Gayle and Kyle Fuller of Virginia Tech and Nikita Whitlock of Wake Forest.

Three of the selections were named Honorable Mention All-ACC in 2011 in Florida State’s Greg Reid, NC State’s Earl Wolff and Virginia Tech’s Bruce Taylor.

Five members of the 2012 preseason team were repeaters from 2011 in Brandon Jenkins and Greg Reid of Florida State; Conner Vernon of Duke, Omoregie Uzzi of Georgia Tech and Andre Ellington of Clemson.

In all, eleven of the 12 ACC schools were represented on the preseason All-ACC team. A total of 68 ballots were turned in from the more than 362 media members in attendance at the 2011 ACC Football Kickoff.

2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Team

Pos. Name (Votes) Ht Wt Class Hometown
WR Conner Vernon, Duke (41) 6-2 195 Senior Miami, Fla.
WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson (68) 6-1 200 Sophomore Fort Myers, Fla.
TE Matt Furstenburg, Maryland (35) 6-4 245 Senior Flemington, N.J.
T James Hurst, North Carolina (48) 6-7 300 Junior Plainfield, Ind.
T Oday Aboushi, Virginia (29) 6-6 310 Senior Brooklyn, N.Y.
G Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech (57) 6-3 300 Senior Lithonia, Ga.
G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (55) 6-3 295 Senior Wilmington, N.C.
C Dalton Freeman, Clemson (58) 6-3 285 Senior Pelion, S.C.
QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson (29) 6-1 225 Junior Hampton, Va.
RB Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (60) 5-10 205 Sophomore Davie, Fla.
RB Andre Ellington, Clemson (53) 5-10 190 Senior Moncks Corner, S.C.

Pos. Name (Votes) Ht Wt Class Hometown
DE Brandon Jenkins, Florida State (59) 6-3 265 Senior Tallahassee, Fla.
DE James Gayle, Virginia Tech (31) 6-4 250 Junior Hampton, Va.
DT Joe Vellano, Maryland (58) 6-1 285 Senior Rexford, N.Y.
DT Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest (33) 5-11 260 Junior Wylie, Texas
LB Kevin Reddick, North Carolina (49) 6-3 240 Senior New Bern, N.C.
LB Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech (42) 6-2 253 Senior Riceboro, Ga.
LB Steve Greer, Virginia (32) 6-2 225 Senior Solon, Ohio
CB David Amerson, NC State (63) 6-3 194 Junior Greensboro, N.C.
CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (25) 6-0 181 Junior Baltimore, Md.
S Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (45) 5-8 204 Junior Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
S Earl Wolff, NC State (30) 6-0 207 Senior Raeford, N.C.

Pos. Name (Votes) Ht Wt Class Hometown
PK Dustin Hopkins, Florida State (54) 6-2 190 Senior Houston, Texas
P Dalton Botts, Miami (65) 6-3 198 Senior Taft, Calif.
SP Greg Reid, Florida State (35) 5-8 186 Senior Valdosta, Ga.

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