Following the graduation of such ACC mainstays as Matt Ryan and Chris Long, a new set of superstars looks to carry the struggling conference. Despite overall struggles, the ACC has produced NFL ready talent and this year's All-ACC list should feature many future stars.
Quarterback—Cullen Harper (Clemson)
Debated back and forth between Harper and Riley Skinner, but it came down to the fact that Harper just has a plethora of weapons around him this season. Another season like last year (27 TDs and 6 INTs) and Harper could be leading the Tigers to a BCS bowl appearance.
Running Back—James Davis (Clemson)
James Davis flirted with the idea of entering the NFL Draft but decided to return to Clemson for his senior campaign. The fact that he's averaged five yards per carry all three seasons in Death Valley and was named a first Team All-ACC player last year makes this selection a no-brainer.
Wide Receiver—Greg Carr (Florida State) and Aaron Kelly (Clemson)
Carr had 45 catches for almost 800 yards last season and his 6'6" frame makes him a perfect target for struggling Drew Weatherford. Kelly was a first team selection last season after an amazing 88 catch, 1,000 yard effort last season. These two are the cream of a pretty formidable ACC receiver crop.
Tight End—Ryan Purvis (Boston College)
Purvis was another first team selection last year as he served as Matt Ryan's prime red zone target. He should continue to get looks this year as new quarterback Chris Crane will lean on Purvis's reliable hands.
Tackle—Andrew Gardner (Georgia Tech) and Scott Burley (Maryland)
Gardner earned first team honors last season clearing the way for now professional Tashard Choice. Scott Burley battled some injuries last year but should carry the Terps upfront this season.
Guard—Sergio Render (Virginia Tech) and Clif Ramsey (Boston College)
Sergio Render has a monstrous 6'4" and 310 pound frame that dominates the Hokie rushing attack. Clif Ramsey is a flier to be the next one chosen in a long line of effective Boston College linemen.
Center—Ryan Shuman (Virginia Tech)
Shuman was serviceable last year for the Hokies and leads the way in a thin center class this year.
Defensive End—Everette Brown (Florida State) and Eric Moncur (Miami)
Brown led the 'Noles in sacks last season and should spearhead an always dominant defensive unit. Moncur totaled 5.5 sacks last season and should work on bolstering that number in '09.
Defensive Tackle—Ron Brace (Boston College) and Vance Walker (Georgia Tech)
Brace starts the season on the preseason Outland Trophy Watch List for top interior linemen. Vance Walker was a first team player last year and should help lead a new look Yellow Jackets squad.
Linebacker—Brian Toal (Boston College), Dave Philistin (Maryland), and Aaron Curry (Wake Forest)
Toal is coming off a red-shirt, injury season but should lead a revamped Eagles defense this season. Dave Philistin will have to fill in some of the holes left by the departed Erin Henderson. Aaron Curry had a very nice '08 season and should be the anchor for this year's Deacon defense.
Cornerback—Victor "Macho" Harris (Virginia Tech) and Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest)
These two paired up to be last year's first team All-ACC corners and there is no reason they shouldn't repeat in '09.
Safety—Myron Rolle (Florida State) and Michael Hamlin (Clemson)
Rolle had 67 tackles last season and is one of the few Seminoles who has found a way to avoid trouble down in Tallahassee. Michael Hamlin will be the leader of the Tigers defense and is a big key in their BCS hopes this year.
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