Georgia Tech placed one player on the preseason All-ACC team, defensive tackle Adam Gotsis.
The senior received the most votes of any defensive tackle (87). It follows a number of preseason honors that Gotsis has received, namely mentions on the watch lists for the Bednarik Award (top defensive player), Bronko Nagurski Trophy (top defensive player), Outland Trophy (top interior lineman) and Lombardi Award (top lineman or linebacker).
It’s a little unusual for the team picked to win the division to have such little representation. Clemson, picked to win the Atlantic, had five. Virginia Tech and Florida State had four each.
It’s easy to ring the “disrespect” ball, but I don’t find a lot of reason in this instance. For one thing, there’s a handful of positions where it would be difficult to vote for any Tech players (running back and wide receiver, specifically). Also, I think preseason all-conference teams are largely a reflection of the previous year’s all-conference teams or other preseason teams.
The selection of Clemson’s Eric Mac Lain (36 votes, behind UNC’s Landon Turner with 108) at guard speaks to the somewhat dubious nature of preseason all-conference teams, or at least this one. Mac Lain has started one game in his career, compared to 22 for Tech guard Trey Braun (fifth with 30), 21 for N.C. State’s Joe Thuney (fourth with 31) and 16 for Pitt’s Dorian Johnson (sixth with 29).
Mac Lain may well be the most deserving selection, but I’m going to guess what helped his candidacy most was being at the ACC Kickoff in Pinehurst, N.C., and giving, from what I was told, entertaining interviews. This isn’t so much a comment on Mac Lain as the voting process (of which I was not part. AJC writers are prohibited from taking part in voting in polls.)
Interestingly, quarterback Justin Thomas received the second-most votes (33, after the 100 for Clemson’s DeShaun Watson). North Carolina’s Marquise Williams, who easily outdistanced Thomas for second-team All-ACC last season, was third with 13 votes. It speaks against the possible bias towards North Carolina-based players and towards, I’d guess, the impression Thomas made in the Orange Bowl (after All-ACC voting was done).
2015 All-ACC Preseason Football Team
WR – Tyler Boyd, Jr., Pitt
WR – Mike Williams, Jr., Clemson
WR – Artavis Scott, So. Clemson
TE – Bucky Hodges, r-So., Virginia Tech
OT – Roderick Johnson, So., Florida State
OT – Adam Bisnowaty, r-Jr., Pitt
OG – Landon Turner, r-Sr., North Carolina
OG – Eric Mac Lain, Gr., Clemson
C – Matt Skura, r-Sr., Duke
QB – Deshaun Watson, So., Clemson
RB – James Conner, Jr., Pitt
RB – Shadrach Thornton, Sr., NC State
DE – Dadi Lhomme Nicolas. r-Sr., Virginia Tech
DE – Shaq Lawson, Jr., Clemson
DE – Sheldon Rankins, Sr., Louisville
DT – Adam Gotsis, Sr., Georgia Tech
DT – Luther Maddy, r-Sr., Virginia Tech
LB – Terrance Smith, r-Sr., Florida State
LB – Brandon Chubb, r-Sr., Wake Forest
LB – James Burgess, Sr., Louisville
CB – Jalen Ramsey, Jr., Florida State
CB – Kendall Fuller, Jr., Virginia Tech
S – Jeremy Cash, r-Sr., Duke
S – Quin Blanding, So., Virginia
PK – Roberto Aguayo, r-Jr., Florida State
P – Alex Kinal, r-Sr., Wake Forest
KR – Ryan Switzer, So., North Carolina
2015 All-ACC Preseason Team Voting
Deshaun Watson, Clemson 100; Justin Thomas, Georgia Tech 33; Marquise Williams, North Carolina 13; Brad Kaaya, Miami 10; Jacoby Brissett, NC State 6; Michael Brewer, Virginia Tech 1.
James Conner, Pitt 148; Shadrach Thornton, NC State 37; Dalvin Cook, Florida State 36; Jon Hilliman, Boston College 33; Wayne Gallman, Clemson 19; Brandon Radcliff, Louisville 15; Shaquille Powell, Duke 12; T.J. Logan, North Carolina 9; Matt Dayes, NC State 6, J.C. Coleman, Virginia Tech 5; Joe Yearby, Miami 4; Gus Edwards, Miami 2.
Tyler Boyd, Pitt 137; Mike Williams, Clemson 98; Artavis Scott, Clemson 86; Ryan Switzer, North Carolina 32; Travis Randolph, Florida State 23; James Quick, Louisville 23; Quinshad Davis, North Carolina 23; Stacy Coley, Miami 21; Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech 16; Max McCaffrey, Duke 8; Jesus Wilson, Florida State 8; Steve Ishmael, Syracuse 5; Canaan Severin, Virginia 4; Ja’Quay Savage, Louisville 3; Mack Hollins, North Carolina 3.
Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech 75; Braxton Deaver, Duke 28; Cam Serigne, Wake Forest 21; David Grinnage, NC State 13; Jordan Leggett, Clemson 12; Ryan Malleck, Virginia Tech 6; J.P. Holtz, Pitt 5; Chris Herndon, Miami 3.
Roderick Johnson, Florida State 104; Adam Bisnowaty, Pitt 70; Bryan Chamberlain, Georgia Tech 63; Jon Heck, North Carolina 22; Eric Smith, Virginia 17; Errin Joe, Georgia Tech 16; KC McDermott, Miami 12; Casey Blaser, Duke 12; Trevor Darling, Miami 7; Ivan Foy, Syracuse 3.
Landon Turner, North Carolina 108; Eric Mac Lain, Clemson 36; Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech 33; Joe Thuney, NC State 31; Trey Braun, Georgia Tech 30; Dorian Johnson, Pitt 29; Lucas Patrick, Duke 20; Caleb Peterson, North Carolina 18; Danny Isidora, Miami 18; Tony Adams, NC State 3.
Matt Skura, Duke 111; Ryan Norton, Clemson 18, Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech 11; Rob Trudo, Syracuse 7; Lucas Crowley, North Carolina 5; Nick Linder, Miami 5; Ross Burbank, Virginia 4; Quinton Schooley, NC State 2.
Dadi Lhomme Nicolas, Virginia Tech 108; Shaq Lawson, Clemson 56; Sheldon Rankins, Louisville 56; Ken Ekanem, Virginia Tech 50; DeMarcus Walker, Florida State 21; Mike Rose, NC State 9; Mike Moore, Virginia 8; KeShun Freeman, Georgia Tech 6; Dajaun Drennon, North Carolina 3; Ron Thompson, Syracuse 3; Quan Muhammad, Miami 2, Ufomba Kamalu, Miami 2; Kevin Kavalec, Boston College 2.
Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech 87, Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech 66; Corey Marshall, Virginia Tech 27; Connor Wujciak, Boston College 27; Derrick Mitchell, Florida State 25; Nile Lawrence-Stample, Florida State 22; D.J. Reader, Clemson 19; David Dean, Virginia 11; Nazair Jones, North Carolina 10; B.J. Hill, NC State 9; Jabari Hunt-Days, Georgia Tech 6; Kentavius Street, NC State 5; Calvin Heurtelou, Miami 4; Truman Gutapfel, Boston College 3; Carlos Wray, Duke 3; Khaynin Mosely-Smith, Pitt 2.
Terrance Smith, Florida State 99; Brandon Chubb, Wake Forest 75; James Burgess, Louisville 67; Reggie Northrup, Florida State 58; Keith Kelsey, Louisville 38; Ben Boulware, Clemson 36; P.J. Davis, Georgia Tech 33; Rafael Kirby, Miami 19; Jeff Schoettmer, North Carolina 16; Steve Daniels, Boston College 14; Jermaine Grace, Miami 9; Deon Clarke, Virginia Tech 8; Zaire Franklin, Syracuse 7; Mike Strizak, Boston College 3; Darrion Owens, Miami 2; Jerod Fernandez, NC State 2; Marqez Hodge, Syracuse 2; Demond Smith, Georgia Tech 1.
Jalen Ramsey, Florida State 115; Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech 112; Mackensie Alexander, Clemson 28; Maurice Canady, Virginia 12; D.J. White, Georgia Tech 10; Breon Borders, Duke 7; Shaq Wiggins, Louisville 7; Jack Tocho, NC State 5; Tracy Howard, Miami 5; Juston Burris, NC State 5; Artie Burns, Miami 4; Justin Simmons, Boston College 3; Bryon Fields, Duke 3; Demetrious Nicholson, Virginia 3; Chris Milton, Georgia Tech 3; Brian Walker, North Carolina 2; Lafayette Pitts, Pitt 1; Des Lawrence, North Carolina 1.
Jeremy Cash, Duke 116; Quin Blanding, Virginia 92; Jayson Kearse, Clemson 21; Deon Bush, Miami 20; Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville 18; Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech 16; DeVon Edwards, Duke 13; Nate Andrews, Florida State 10; Tyler Hunter, Florida State 8; Hakim Jones, NC State 4; Ryan Janvion, Wake Forest 3; Deondre Singleton, Duke 2; Josh Jones, NC State 2; Dallas Crawford, Miami 1.
Roberto Aguayo, Florida State 141; Ross Martin, Duke 8; John Wallace, Louisville 6; Ian Frye, Virginia 4; Cole Murphy, Syracuse 2; Harrison Butker, Georgia Tech 1; Chris Blewitt, Pitt 1.
Alex Kinal, Wake Forest 89; Will Monday, Duke 38; Cason Beatty, Florida State 11; Justin Vogel, Miami 9; Riley Dixon, Syracuse 6; Ryan Rodwell, Georgia Tech 3; A.J. Hughes, Virginia Tech 3; Ryan Winslow, Pitt 2; Alex Howell, Boston College 2.
Ryan Switzer, North Carolina 62; DeVon Edwards, Duke 42; Tyler Boyd Pitt 32; Stacy Coley, Miami 9; Kermit Whitfield, Florida State 7; Myles Willis, Boston College 6; Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech 4; T.J. Logan, North Carolina 1.