Ranking the Top 10 ACC Players for the 2015 Season
The Atlantic Coast Conference lost some great players to the NFL draft this year, but there are plenty of excellent young talents rising through the ranks all around the Atlantic Coast states. The Florida State Seminoles have enjoyed two 12-0 seasons in a row, but they have just lost the Heisman Trophy-winning signal caller Jameis Winston, undoubtedly one of the team’s superstars. Can they recover from the loss of such a big player, and hold off the up-and-coming Clemson Tigers or can another team take advantage?
The season will be an interesting one, and below we’ll take a look at the top ten players we’re excited about for the upcoming ACC season.
Jamal Golden, FS, Georgia Tech
Safeties are always interesting to watch and Golden has been one of the most effective players in that role in recent times. He had a great season last year where he didn’t go in the red in a single game. He is ranked third in the nation for coverage and has put up some great numbers in other areas. He’ll play a vital role in Georgia Tech’s season.
Jacoby Brissett, QB, NC State
Brissett made a few mistakes with his passing last year, but he has such explosive potential that NC State will desperately need him in 2015. He is the top graded running QB in the conference and still remains a decent passer overall, but he’ll need to improve that side of his game in order to really fulfil his potential.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Dalvin Cook came into his freshman season with plenty of hype, but was expected to spend a season playing behind Karlos Williams. However, when push came to shove and the first ever NCAA Playoffs came around, it was Cook, not Williams that was taking first team snaps and leading the Seminoles in rushing. With a new quarterback, we can expect Jimbo and co to lean heavily on Cook, who looked great in the spring game.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Moving on to another Pittsburgh star, Boyd is one of the most exciting players to watch alongside Conner. He was third for ACC receivers last season with some decent stats: 16.2 yards per reception and 1,261 receiving yards in total. Fans are already expecting Boyd to be one of the top picks in next year’s draft, but before then he’ll have another season to prove himself as one of the best up-and-coming receivers in the nation.
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Williams is an excellent playmaker and put together a nice season last year. He made it to the top five in the conference for yards (1,030) with 18.1 yards per reception. He should be able to develop a good understanding with the Tigers’ signal caller Deshaun Watson, and the pair of them will hopefully be able to have impressive seasons in 2015.
Jeremy Cash, CB, Duke
Jeremy Cash is a similar player to Jalen Ramsey in that he has a good range of abilities that allow him to fit into various roles, making him an effective linebacker and a solid slot cornerback as well. He has some good stats overall, leading cornerbacks in terms of stops last season and he’ll be hoping to improve this year.
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh
It doesn’t take a genius to work out why Conner is on this list. With an incredible 26 touchdowns and 1,758 yards last season, he’s clearly a star in the making. What really makes him stand out is his awareness and agility, with the RB forcing a total of 88 missed tackles throughout last season. He’s certainly one of the hardest RBs in the ACC to catch and will be hoping to build on an impressive 2014 as we head into the new season.
Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
The only member of the stunning Florida State line-up to make this list, Ramsey had a fantastic season last year, adequately filling the role left by Lamarcus Joyner. A dynamic player, fans certainly appreciate the good range of options Ramsey brings to the team and will point to his performance against Miami last year as one of the best displays you’ll ever see from a cornerback. His role in the team might change a little this season, reducing his output slightly, but he has the technical skill and awareness to have a great season nonetheless.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
From one half of the Clemson duo to the other, Watson is a player that many fans will be looking out for in the new season. He made a few little errors here and there in 2014 but he has all of the potential to be a superstar quarterback. People are already seeing him as one of the top draft picks in 2017, but he’s got a long way to go before then. The stats show him to be an excellent QB and he has all of the attributes necessary to go the distance. Keep an eye on him this season.