GREENSBORO, N.C. – Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel, offensive lineman Menelik Watson, and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner headline a list of eight players named as the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Players of the Week, announced by the conference on Monday. Manuel passed for a career-high 380 yards and had 482 total yards, Watson helped the Seminoles accumulate 667 total yards, and Joyner sparked a comeback as Florida State defeated No. 10 Clemson, 49-37.
Miami’s Phillip Dorsett, the Receiver of the Week, set a new career high with nine receptions for 184 yards to help the Hurricanes win at Georgia Tech in overtime, 42-36. Teammate Eddie Johnson was named the Linebacker of the Week for tallying a career-high nine tackles, including a stop on 4th-and-1 in overtime on Miami’s 2-yard line.
Wake Forest’s Zach Thompson, the Defensive Lineman of the Week, recorded a career-high 12 tackles in the Deacons’ 49-37 win over Army. North Carolina’s Jabari Price is the Defensive Back of the Week for his performance in the Tar Heels’ 27-6 victory over East Carolina. Maryland’s Stefon Diggs, the Rookie of the Week, posted 113 yards and two touchdowns on only three receptions as the Terrapins fell to No. 8 West Virginia, 31-21.
OFFENSIVE BACK – EJ Manuel, Florida State, Senior, QB, 6-5, 240, Virginia Beach, Va.
Manuel turned in one of the most complete performances by a Seminole quarterback in ACC play, passing for a career-high 380 yards (27-35-0) and two touchdowns, while adding 102 rushing yards on 11 carries in the 49-37 victory over No. 10 Clemson. He is the first Seminole quarterback since Charlie Ward in 1992 against Maryland to pass for more than 300 yards and rush for more than 100 yards. Manuel calmly led the Seminoles back from a 14-point, second half deficit, completing 12 of 17 second half attempts for 199 yards and a pair of scores. The Seminoles erased a 28-14 deficit by outscoring Clemson 28-3, a streak that included TD passes of nine yards to Rashad Green and 29 yards to Rodney Smith. Manuel was named National Offensive Player of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards. His performance was also notable because he moved to the No. 1 spot in ACC career history in completion percentage (67.2) and passing efficiency (151.41).
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Menelik Watson, Florida State, Junior, OL, 6-6, 320, Manchester, Great Britain
Making just his second career start at the Division I level, Watson was a force from his right tackle position for the Seminoles. Florida State amassed 667 yards of total offense – 287 rushing and 380 passing – against the Tigers. Watson was often at the point of attack on a day when the Seminoles pounded out five rushing touchdowns, pushing their ACC-leading total to 20 on the year. It was Florida State’s most productive effort in an ACC game since compiling more than 700 yards against Clemson in 2000. Watson graded out at 82 percent with just one missed assignment in 78 snaps. He was flawless in pass protection as the Tigers managed just one sack, which came on a blitz from the opposite side.
RECEIVER – Phillip Dorsett, Miami, Sophomore, WR, 5-9, 187, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Dorsett tallied career highs with nine receptions for 184 yards and a touchdown in Miami’s thrilling 42-36 come-from-behind overtime win at Georgia Tech. His first catch of the game came on a career-long 65-yard TD reception in the first quarter, and his 184 receiving yards are the seventh-most in a single game in school history. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., native also added a 41-yard reception in the second quarter. Dorsett entered the game with 12 catches for 89 yards through first three games of season and only 236 receiving yards in 15 career games.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Zach Thompson, Wake Forest, Junior, DE, 6-5, 255, Ashburn, Va.
Thompson, a 6-5, 255-pound redshirt junior defensive end from Ashburn, Va., recorded a career-high 12 tackles and tied for the team high as Wake Forest downed Army, 49-37. Thompson had seven solo stops and five assists versus the Black Knights.
LINEBACKER – Eddie Johnson, Miami, Freshman, LB, 6-1, 238, Atlanta, Ga.
The Atlanta native had a career-high nine tackles (six solo) and assisted on a tackle-for-loss in front of his hometown crowd during Miami’s 42-36 overtime road win at Georgia Tech. The biggest tackle came on 4th-and-1 on Miami’s 2-yard line in overtime as Johnson stopped Yellow Jacket quarterback Tevin Washington for no gain, giving the ball to Miami that led to the eventual game-winning overtime drive.
DEFENSIVE BACK – Jabari Price, North Carolina, Junior, CB, 6-0, 195, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Price posted eight tackles (five solo, three assists), had a 13-yard sack, and broke up a pass in Carolina's 27-6 victory over East Carolina. Price's sack was the first of his career and it forced ECU to punt. The Tar Heels accumulated seven sacks on the day, the most since 2000 vs. Wake Forest. Price was part of a defensive effort that limited the Pirates to 233 total yards.
SPECIALIST – Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State, Junior, DB, 5-8, 195, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Joyner was responsible for perhaps the biggest momentum changing play of the 49-37 victory over No. 10 Clemson when he raced 90 yards with a third quarter kickoff return in response to the Tigers taking a 31-21 lead with 7:32 remaining in the quarter. Joyner, who finished with 185 kickoff return yards on five attempts, was brought down at the Clemson 10-yard line. Two plays later, EJ Manuel completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene as the Seminoles reeled off 28 unanswered points. In addition to his return work, Joyner was also instrumental on defense, contributing three tackles.
ROOKIE – Stefon Diggs, Maryland, Freshman, WR, 6-1, 185, Gaithersburg, Md.
Diggs made the most of his three touches on offense, turning three receptions into 113 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Maryland’s 31-21 loss to No. 8 West Virginia. The freshman had a 42-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter on a highlight-reel play in which he raced down the sideline and dove into the end zone from four yards out. In the fourth quarter, he had a 56-yard touchdown catch. Diggs also added 63 kickoff return yards and 25 punt return yards to total 201 all-purpose yards, his second straight game with 200-plus.