We recently named the top 5 ACC players at each position, but who are the players that just missed the list, waiting to cash in on potential, or are little bit more under the radar, that still deserve mention. Keep an eye on these players. Maybe you don’t know them as well as some of the others, but you will by the end of the year.
Vad Lee has all the tools to the perfect option quarterback for Paul Johnson. He is the most gifted passer at Georgia Tech since George Godsey, and after running for nearly 6 yards a carry last year he’s got good feet too. Johnson smartly gave Lee considerable playing time last season, and if Lee can put things together you’ll truly see how prolific Johnson’s option offense can be.
Nikita Whitlock, DL, Wake Forest
Nikita Whitlock struggled with injuries last year, but when healthy he can be a very disruptive force for Wake Forest along the defense line. Playing nose guard last season he had 51 tackles and was name 2nd team All-ACC. The year before he was College Football News Sophomore All-American.
Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh,
There’s not a position any deeper in the ACC than WR. Devin Street of Pittsburgh just missed my top 5 WR list, but he’s a talent. At 6-4 he’s big, and he is fast. He caught 73 passses last season for 975 yards. He’s capable of ending 2013 as a first team All-ACC player.
Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
Here’s another of the those high quality ACC WR’s. Phillip Dorsett had 58 receptions in 2013. He’s a bit undersized at 5-9, but he’s a versatile who can also return punts and kickoffs. If he can be a little bit more consistent catching the ball, he could have a special year.
Roderick Mcdowell, RB, Clemson
Roderick Mcdowell has been patiently waiting behind Clemson’s Andre Ellington for his chance to start at RB. In 2013 he averaged 5.4 yards per carry, and has shown flashes of quickness and tough running when given the opportunity. He played well against LSU in the Chick Fil A Bowl, and would give the Tigers an added dimension to an already potent offense.
Anthony Chickillo, DL, Miami
If the Hurricanes are to go the next level this year, they’ll need the defense to take step forward. It will start with Anthony Chickhillo who was the Hurricanes best defensive lineman. He led Miami with with 4 sacks. Highly recruited out of High School, I think Chickhillo will have a a very good year.
Josue Matias, OL, Florida State
When you play for Florida State it’s not hard to get lost among the shuffle of talented players. Josue Matias is one those talented players. Matias is a 6-6 322 lbs junior. Last season saw Matias come into his own, where he began to play extremely well down the stretch. He’s already considered one of the top offensive linemen for 2015 NFL draft.
Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Antone Exum gets a little more notoriety but his CB partner Kyle Fuller is an excellent corner. He was an honorable mention All-ACC selection. Fuller is strong cover corner who’s projected as a 4th or 5th round NFL pick.
Art Norman, DL, North Carolina State
At 6-0 243 Art Norman doesn’t sound like your typical defensive end, but he’s one of the ACC’s better pass rushers. Last year he led NC State with 5.5 sacks and is extremely quick off the line. Norman came primarily off the bench in 2013, and is working to be a full time starter. Opposing quarterbacks better always know where Art Norman is on the field.
Quinshad Davis, WR, North Carolina
Quinshad Davis is a future start at WR for North Carolina. The freshman had a very solid 2013 finishing with 61 receptions and 776 receiving yards. UNC QB Bryn Renner has a lot of confidence in him. At 6-4 he’s a big target. He won’t be missing my top 5 WR list next year.