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ACC 2014 Season Awards and All-Conference Team

James Conner

James Conner

Florida State didn’t dominate its conference opponents in the fashion it did last season, but the Seminoles were still the best team in the league and feature nine first-team selections on Athlon’s All-ACC team for 2014. 

Quarterback Jameis Winston tossed 17 interceptions but is still the conference’s most talented option under center. Winston earns first-team All-ACC honors at quarterback, with offensive teammates in receiver Rashad Greene (first), running back Dalvin Cook (second), tackle/center Cameron Erving (first) headlining the rest of the offensive selections.

Outside of Florida State, Clemson, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Miami and Pittsburgh were the big winners in Athlon’s postseason awards. Pittsburgh running back James Conner earns offensive player of the year honors, while Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley is the Athlon ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

2014 Season Awards and All-Conference Teams:
Big 12|Big Ten|Pac-12|SEC

ACC 2014 Season Awards

Coach of the Year: Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech

It’s a close call between Johnson and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher for the ACC Coach of the Year award. Johnson gets a slight edge over Fisher, as Georgia Tech improved its win total by three games, beat rival Georgia and claimed the Coastal Division title. The Yellow Jackets also earned a spot in the Orange Bowl and recorded their first double-digit win total since 2009. Johnson’s track record at Georgia Tech doesn’t factor into the 2014 coach of the year honor, but it’s notable the Yellow Jackets have finished at least .500 or above in ACC play in each of the last seven seasons.

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Offensive Player of the Year: James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh

Conner was the workhorse for coach Paul Chryst’s offense this season and overcame a late-season hip injury to lead Pittsburgh back to a bowl. The sophomore finished the year with 1,675 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. Conner averaged a healthy 6.1 yards per carry on 277 attempts and recorded three games of at least 200 rushing yards. The Pennsylvania native ranked first among running backs in the ACC in carries, rushing yards and touchdowns. Conner's 24 rushing scores tied for third nationally.

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Defensive Player of the Year: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson

It’s always tough to gauge statistics for defensive linemen since their impact goes beyond the box score. In Beasley’s case, it’s evident the senior is one of nation’s top ends by the film and on the stat sheet. The senior finished with only 29 tackles but recorded 18.5 for a loss and 11 sacks. Beasley also forced two fumbles and returned one recovered turnover for a 16-yard touchdown against NC State. The senior is considered one of the top defensive prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft.

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Newcomer of the Year: Tyler Murphy, QB, Boston College

Murphy came to Boston College after four seasons at Florida and was immediately inserted as the starting quarterback in time for spring practice. Despite having just one offseason to get acclimated with his teammates and the program, Murphy was a driving force behind the Eagles’ 7-5 record. The senior finished third in the ACC with 1,074 rushing yards and recorded 10 touchdowns on 169 carries. Murphy also passed for 1,526 yards and 11 scores. The senior’s rushing ability was a valuable asset for coach Steve Addazio and nearly led Boston College to upset wins over Clemson and Florida State this year.

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Freshman of the Year: Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami

Florida State’s Dalvin Cook made a strong run at this award late in the year, but Kaaya gets the nod as Athlon’s ACC Freshman of the Year. The true freshman completed 202 of 345 passes for 2,962 yards and 25 touchdown passes. Kaaya led the ACC in quarterback rating (148.2) and averaged 14.6 yards per completion.

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Coordinator of the Year: Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator, Louisville

Despite returning only four starters and changing schemes, Louisville’s defense ranked second in the ACC in fewest yards allowed per play (4.6) and held opponents to just 19.3 points in league play. The Cardinals generated 27 sacks in ACC games and finished second in the conference with 28 takeaways. Grantham’s defense also ranked first in the ACC against the run, while safety Gerod Holliman emerged as one of the top defensive breakout players in the conference by recording 14 interceptions and 37 tackles in 2014.

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Breakout Player of the Year: Gerod Holliman, S, Louisville

Holliman had a breakout year under the watch of coordinator Todd Grantham. The junior recorded 37 tackles (three for a loss), one sack and led the nation with 14 interceptions in 12 games. On those 14 interceptions, Holliman recorded 245 return yards and returned one for a score against FIU. The junior also recorded one fumble for a loss and defeated 17 passes. Holliman is a first-team Athlon Sports All-ACC selection for 2014. 

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ACC 2014 All-Conference Team

First-Team Offense

Second-Team Offense

QB Jameis Winston
Florida State 

QB Marquise Williams
North Carolina 

RB James Conner
Pittsburgh 

RB Dalvin Cook
Florida State 

RB Duke Johnson
Miami 

RB Zach Laskey
Georgia Tech 

WR Tyler Boyd
Pittsburgh 

WR DeVante Parker
Louisville 

WR Rashad Greene
Florida State 

WR Artavis Scott
Clemson 

TE Nick O'Leary
Florida State 

TE Clive Walford
Miami 

C Andy Gallik
Boston College 

C Shane McDermott
Miami 

OG Tre Jackson
Florida State 

OG Shaquille Mason
Georgia Tech 

OG Laken Tomlinson
Duke 

OG Josue Matias
Florida State 

OT T.J. ClemmingsPittsburgh 

OT Jamon Brown
Louisville 

OT/C Cameron Erving
Florida State 

OT Ereck Flowers
Miami 

AP Jamison Crowder
Duke 

AP Shadrach Thornton (RB)
NC State 

 

 

First-Team Defense

Second-Team Defense

DE Mario Edwards Jr.
Florida State 

DE Dadi Nicolas
Virginia Tech 

DE Vic Beasley
Clemson 

DE Ken Ekanem
Virginia Tech 

DT Eddie Goldman
Florida State 

DT Corey Marshall
Virginia Tech  

DT Grady Jarrett
Clemson 

DT Adam Gotsis
Georgia Tech 

LB Denzel Perryman
Miami 

LB Lorenzo Mauldin
Louisville 

LB Stephone Anthony
Clemson 

LB Henry Coley
Virginia 

LB David Helton
Duke 

LB Max Valles
Virginia 

CB Kendall Fuller
Virginia Tech 

CB Kevin Johnson
Wake Forest 

CB P.J. Williams
Florida State 

CB D.J. White
Georgia Tech 

S Jalen Ramsey
Florida State 

S Jeremy Cash
Duke 

S Gerod Holliman
Louisville 

S Quin Blanding
Virginia 

 

 

First-Team Specialists

Second-Team Specialists

K Roberto Aguayo
Florida State 

K Ian Frye
Virginia 

P Will Baumann
NC State 

P Alex Kinal
Wake Forest  

KR Darius Jennings
Virginia 

KR DeVon Edwards
Duke 

PR Jamison Crowder
Duke 

PR Tyler Boyd
Pittsburgh