BLACKSBURG - As summer camp quickly approaches, a trio of Virginia Tech football players are rapidly gaining national recognition as they prepare for the upcoming season. Kendall Fuller, A.J. Hughes and Luther Maddy have all been named to various watch lists and All-America squads, earning preseason accolades from several awards and magazines.
Maddy leads the way with four preseason Watch List nods. The senior defensive tackle from Delray Beach, Florida, is being tracked for the Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year), the Nagurski Award (defensive player of the year), the Outland Trophy (top interior lineman) and the Lombardi Award (top lineman or linebacker).
A third-team All-ACC selection by ACSMA and the coaches last year, Maddy started all 13 games and totaled 55 tackles, including 13.5 for loss and 6.5 sacks, and 16 hurries.
Fuller, a sophomore cornerback from Baltimore, is on three watch lists: the Bednarik, the Nagurski and the Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back).
A second-team All-ACC selection by both the coaches and ACSMA, he was the league’s defensive rookie of the year by both groups. He was also named a first-team freshman All-American by the FWAA, Sporting News, 247Sports and College Football News after intercepting six passes and recording 58 tackles in his first season. Fuller was named a Phil Steele’s Preseason All-America second-team selection last month.
Hughes, a junior from Terre Haute, Indiana, is up for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top punter.
A second-team All-ACC selection by ACSMA and the coaches in 2013, Hughes punted 78 times for an average of 44.1 yards, placing 24 inside the 20 with 22 punts of 50 yards or longer. He is currently second all-time at Tech in career punting average (42.3 ypp).
Maddy and senior receiver Willie Byrn will represent the Hokies this weekend at the ACC Media Kickoff in Greensboro, North Carolina. They will be joined by representatives from the other 13 ACC schools, as well as each team’s head coach. The players will talk with the media on Sunday and the coaches will take their turns on Monday.
Catch all of the action from the Grandover Resort on hokiesports.com.
The entire Tech football squad will report to Blacksburg on Sunday, Aug. 3 and the first practice will be on Aug. 4.
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