With all the Heisman focus being put on Tebow, McCoy, and Bradford, several players in the ACC are being overlooked. While they may not be Heisman worthy, these players deserve recognition for their value to their teams.
Jonathan Dwyer —Running Back—Georgia Tech
With the new-option offense Paul Johnson brought to Georgia Tech in 2008, Jonathan Dwyer proved his worth as the featured rusher. Dwyer saw 200 touches last year on his way to 1,395 yards rushing and an astounding 7.0 yards per attempt.
The Yellow-Jacket offense will continue to force the rushing game on opposing defenses and Dwyer should emerge as one of the leading rushers in the nation in 2009. The offense will only improve with more time and repetition under a very confusing but effective system.
Quite possibly no player means more to their team than Thaddeus Lewis. The quarterback has put up three seasons of 2,100 yards passing or more. 2008 was no exception to Lewis’s brilliance as he threw for 2,171 and 15 touchdowns.
Lewis will have a weak receiving corps and offensive line around him. However, he is a solid player and should post another 2,000 yard passing season with a good touchdown to interception ratio.
Russell Wilson—Quarterback—NC State
The NC State quarterback had a freshman year for the ages as he threw for 1,955 yards and 17 touchdowns. Russell Wilson also ran for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns.
Wilson will challenge many ACC defenses this year as a duel threat under center. He has a decent group of receivers who should evolve into very strong receiving targets for him.
Tyrod Taylor—Quarterback—Virginia Tech
While some would doubt the pick of Tyrod Taylor as an ACC MVP candidate, the argument stands. With the loss of Darren Evans, the weight of Hokie nation is all on the shoulders of Taylor.
Taylor’s numbers weren’t overly impressive in 2008 as he threw for 1,036 yards and two touchdowns. The impressive part of his season was the 738 yards rushing and seven touchdowns Taylor accounted for on the ground.
If the Hokies are going to contend for an ACC title in 2009, Taylor will have to step up as a dominating quarterback. If he can control his interceptions and increase the rushing statistics then Taylor has a chance to lead the Hokies to a special year.
For more articles and discussion visit ACC SEC Football. "Stand Up For Your Team."