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ACC Football 2021 Predictions

Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers Football

Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers Football

Clemson is once again the unquestioned favorite atop the ACC predictions for the 2021 college football season. Coach Dabo Swinney’s team is loaded for another run at the national title and won’t face many obstacles in conference play this year. North Carolina and Miami are both trending up entering the fall and rank as the only other top 25 teams from the conference in Athlon’s predictions.

The Atlantic Division after Clemson is a bit jumbled. NC State gets the nod at No. 2 in Athlon’s projections, but a strong case could be made for Florida State, Wake Forest, Boston College, NC State or Louisville. Syracuse checks in at No. 7 in the Atlantic. The middle is a toss-up in the Coastal as well. Not much separates Virginia Tech, Virginia and Pitt this year. Georgia Tech is improving, while Duke was a clear No. 7 in the predictions for 2021.

ACC 2021 Predictions

Atlantic Division

1. Clemson

Clemson is once again the overwhelming favorite in the ACC this season. The Tigers have won six league titles in a row and all of the pieces are in place to contend for the national title.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is primed for a breakout season. Travis Etienne is gone, but the running back depth is in good shape and receiver Justyn Ross is on track to return after missing 2020 due to injury. Clemson has led the ACC in scoring for three consecutive years and all of the pieces are in place to own one of the nation’s top offenses once again.

Concern: Depth behind Uiagalelei is a concern after Taisun Phommachanh suffered an Achilles injury in the spring. The offensive line has room to improve after rushers averaged 4.5 yards per carry last fall.

True Freshman to Watch: RB Will Shipley

Incoming Transfers: None

Breakout Player: QB D.J. Uiagalelei

Previewing the Defense

Strength: Clemson’s defensive line is arguably the best in college football. There’s depth and talent off the edge and on the interior. James Skalski passed on the NFL to anchor the linebacker unit, while rising star Trenton Simpson is poised to add to the depth and talent of this group. Despite losing cornerback Derion Kendrick, the Tigers will be tough against the pass.

Concern: Not much. Clemson has ranked in the top four of the ACC in fewest yards per play allowed for eight straight years and will continue that run into 2021. After giving up 385 passing yards to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, the secondary has to play better in big games.

True Freshman to Watch: CB Nate Wiggins/S Andrew Mukuba

Incoming Transfers: None

Breakout Player: LB Trenton Simpson

Related: Athlon Sports' College Football Top 25 for 2021

2. NC State

The Wolfpack rebounded in a big way last season. After a 4-8 finish in 2020, NC State went 8-4 and lost two of those games by three points or less. The schedule features a tough crossover (Miami and North Carolina), along with a road trip to Mississippi State in non-conference play this year.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: NC State returns one of the ACC’s top backfields and receiving corps. Quarterback Devin Leary is back after missing the last seven games due to injury. The pieces are also in place to have one of the conference’s top offensive lines, especially with left tackle Ikem Ekwonu and center Grant Gibson anchoring the group.

Concern: The offense improved under new play-caller Tim Beck last year but more is needed. NC State averaged 5.5 yards a play in 2020 – up from 5.18 in ’19. Also, the scoring average jumped to 30.2 – up from 22.1. The Wolfpack need to produce more big plays and could use more consistency from the ground game (3.4 ypc). The offense also lost 19 turnovers last year.

True Freshman to Watch: QB Aaron McLaughlin

Incoming Transfers: OL Chandler Zavala

Breakout Player: WR Devin Carter/Porter Rooks

Previewing the Defense

Strength: The Wolfpack improved on defense last season, and nine returning starters provide a foundation to take another step forward in ’21. The linebacker unit is strong thanks to the return of Payton Wilson, Isaiah Moore and Drake Thomas.

Concern: The departure of lineman Alim McNeil leaves a void up front, especially after NC State ranked seventh in the ACC versus the run last year. This unit has room to improve after allowing 31.3 points in ACC matchups in 2020.

True Freshman to Watch: LB Jordan Poole

Incoming Transfers: DB Derrek Pitts; DL Cory Durden; DB Cyrus Fagan

Breakout Player: LB Drake Thomas

Order a Copy of Athlon Sports' 2021 College Football National and SEC Preview Editions

3. Boston College

The Eagles exceeded expectations in coach Jeff Hafley’s first year with a 6-5 mark. Now with an experienced roster and one of the ACC’s top quarterbacks in place, a favorable schedule should allow Boston College to push for eight wins. Winnable matchups in crossover play (Virginia Tech and at Georgia Tech) and home dates against NC State, Wake Forest and Florida State dot the slate for 2021.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: Quarterback Phil Jurkovec returns after a strong debut in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles return all five starters up front to form one of the top offensive lines in the ACC. Tight end Hunter Long will be missed, but Jurkovec won’t lack for targets with Kobay White, Zay Flowers and Jaelen Gill on the outside.

Concern: Who steps up at tight end? Boston College needs to run the ball a lot better after posting just 3.1 yards per carry in 2020.

True Freshman to Watch: RB Xavier Coleman

Incoming Transfers: RB Alec Sinkfield; TE Trae Berry

Breakout Player: WR Jaelen Gill

Previewing the Defense

Strength: Hafley’s background on defense, combined with nine returning starters, should help Boston College take a step forward on this side of the ball in 2021. This defense successfully limited big plays and forced 21 takeaways last year.

Concern: The Eagles have room to improve here after giving up 28.4 points a game, finishing sixth in the ACC against the run and surrendering 6.1 yards per play. Two key linebackers – Max Richardson and Isaiah McDuffie – departed after 2020.

True Freshman to Watch: LB Bryce Steele

Incoming Transfers: DT Khris Banks; LB Isaiah Graham-Mobley; S Jaiden Lars-Woodbey; DL Jake Byczko

Breakout Player: DL Cam Horsley

4. Florida State

The Seminoles are only 21-26 over the last four years. Can coach Mike Norvell get this team on track in his second season? A normal offseason should help the staff get both sides of the ball on track. However, a brutal schedule doesn’t leave much room for error to get to a bowl.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: If UCF transfer McKenzie Milton is back to full strength from a serious leg injury suffered in the 2018, it’s a huge boost to the quarterback room for Florida State. The backfield looks solid with Jashaun Corbin and Lawrance Toafili competing for carries. The offensive line isn’t where it needs to be but is on the right track going into ’21.

Concern: Improving along the offensive line and getting better quarterback play would be huge for Florida State. Can Norvell get a big jump out of both positions in 2021? The Seminoles are thin on proven options at receiver.

True Freshmen to Watch: WR Destyn Hill/Malik McClain

Incoming Transfers: QB McKenzie Milton; OL Dillan Gibbons; RB D.J. Williams; WR Andrew Parchment

Breakout Player: OL Robert Scott

Previewing the Defense

Strength: The transfer portal will provide instant help. Linemen Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas, along with defensive backs Brandon Moore and Jammie Robinson, will help a unit that surrendered 36 points a game and 6.5 yards per play last season.

Concern: As mentioned above, this group struggled mightily last season. How much improvement can coordinator Adam Fuller generate in one year? The pass rush also needs a spark (just 10 sacks in 2020), while the secondary ranked 14th in the ACC in pass efficiency defense.

True Freshman to Watch: CB Kevin Knowles II

Incoming Transfers: DL Jermaine Johnson; CB Brandon Moore; DL Keir Thomas; DB Jammie Robinson; LB Cortez Andrews; DB Jarques McClellion

Breakout Player: DL Jermaine Johnson

Order a Copy of Athlon Sports' 2021 College Football National and SEC Preview Editions

5. Louisville

The Cardinals slipped to 4-7 in coach Scott Satterfield’s second year, but a look at the numbers shows this team was hit by some bad fortune. Louisville ranked 14th in the ACC with an unlucky minus-12 turnover margin, struggled with field position and lost four games by seven points or less.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: The Cardinals ranked fourth in the ACC with an average of 6.65 yards per play last year. If quarterback Malik Cunningham can return to his 2019 form, this offense should easily improve on the scoreboard (29.5 ppg). The offensive line is promising, and tight end Marshon Ford should be a preseason All-ACC pick.

Concern: Cunningham’s numbers regressed and his interceptions increased last year. Getting the junior back on track is a must. How will Satterfield replace two key receivers – Tutu Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick – and running back Javian Hawkins?

Redshirt Freshman to Watch: WR Jordan Watkins

Incoming Transfers: WR Shai Werts; OL Bryan Hudson

Breakout Player: RB Jalen Mitchell

Previewing the Defense

Strength: Louisville’s defense was trending in the right direction in the second half of last season. After giving up 6.5 yards per play against ACC opponents in 2019, this defense cut that total to 5.9 last fall. Each level of the defense returns solid pieces to build around in ’21. Cornerback Kei’Trel Clark is underrated.

Concern: Can coordinator Bryan Brown continue to bring improvement to this group in 2021? Improving against the run (179.9 ypg allowed last year) is a must. Louisville also needs to generate more of a pass rush.

True Freshman to Watch: DB Benjamin Perry

Incoming Transfers: DL Jacques Turner; S Kenderick Duncan; DB Qwynnterio Cole

Breakout Player: DL YaYa Diaby

6. Wake Forest

Picking Wake Forest to finish sixth is probably too low. The Demon Deacons should earn their sixth consecutive bowl trip in 2021 and could finish as high as second in the Atlantic Division if the defense improves.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: This is one of the best offenses in the ACC. Quarterback Sam Hartman is back and Jaquarii Roberson leads one of the top receiving corps in the conference. All five starters are slated to return up front, and running back Christian Beal-Smith ran for 732 yards last fall.

Concern: Pass protection has to improve after Wake Forest gave up 27 sacks over nine games last year. The offense could use more punch out of the ground game (3.86 per carry) and big runs after generating just four of 30-plus yards.

Redshirt Freshman to Watch: RB Quinton Cooley

Incoming Transfers: RB Christian Turner

Breakout Player: WR Donavon Greene

Previewing the Defense

Strength: Experience. Eight starters are back for 2021, and tackle Miles Fox returns after registering 10.5 tackles for a loss last season. The Demon Deacons gave up the fewest plays of 40-plus yards (eight) in the conference and forced 17 takeaways. The pieces are in place for the secondary to take a step forward this fall.

Concern: Overall production has to improve. Wake Forest has ranked eighth or worse in yards per play allowed in the ACC for seven straight years. This unit surrendered 32.8 points a game last season and generated only 17 sacks. End Carlos Basham will be missed.

Redshirt Freshman to Watch: DB Gavin Holmes

Incoming Transfers: DL Kevin Pointer; CB Malik Mustapha; CB KJ Trujillo; DL Luiji Vilain; DB Chelen Garnes; DB Isaiah Wingfield

Breakout Player: S Nick Andersen

7. Syracuse

It’s a big year for coach Dino Babers after Syracuse went 1-10 last season. Outside of the team’s 10-3 mark in 2018, the Orange are only 14-33 in four years under Babers. Injuries and the unusual nature of last offseason hindered this team in 2020, but a normal spring and fall should help this program show some improvement.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: Receiver Taj Harris quietly had a strong 2020 season (58 catches). The backfield is deep, and the offense has experience to lean on at quarterback and along the offensive line.

Concern: Will Garrett Shrader or Tommy DeVito claim a clear hold on the starting job under center? Improved quarterback play is a must for Syracuse to challenge for a bowl trip. The offensive line has to play a lot better after giving up 88 sacks over the last two years. The Orange averaged only 4.5 yards per play and scored 17.8 points a game last season.

Redshirt Freshman to Watch: WR Damien Alford

Incoming Transfers: QB Garrett Shrader; OL Chris Bleich

Breakout Player: OL Matthew Bergeron

Previewing the Defense

Strength: With 10 returning starters, and a full offseason to learn under second-year coordinator Tony White, there should be a jump in production for Syracuse’s defense. Linebacker Mikel Jones is underrated. While the line needs to play better, three seniors could start for this unit in 2021. The Orange allowed only nine plays of 40-plus yards last year and led the conference by forcing 24 turnovers. Also, this defense held ACC opponents to 5.7 yards per play – down from 6.5 in ’19.

Concern: How big of a jump can this defense make on the stat sheet in 2021? Syracuse ranked 14th in the ACC against the run, 11th in pass efficiency defense and ranked last in third-down defense. Three key players depart the secondary.

Redshirt Freshman to Watch: CB Neil Nunn

Incoming Transfers: DB Jason Simmons

Breakout Player: CB Garrett Williams

Coastal Division

1. North Carolina

The Tar Heels have made significant strides in just two years under coach Mack Brown. With quarterback Sam Howell returning, this program should take another step forward this fall, as North Carolina is Athlon’s pick to win the Coastal Division in 2021.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: Howell is one of the top quarterbacks in the nation and guided the offense to an average of 41.7 points a game last year. The Tar Heels have an improving starting group in the trenches. While the turnover at the skill spots is a concern, this unit doesn’t lack for talent.

Concern: Not much. The new faces at receiver and running back are worth monitoring early in the year.

True Freshman to Watch: WR Gavin Blackwell

Incoming Transfers: RB Ty Chandler

Breakout Player: WR Josh Downs

Previewing the Defense

Strength: The overall trajectory of this group is in good shape. The Tar Heels generated 36 sacks and finished sixth in the ACC in pass efficiency defense. Brown’s work on the recruiting trail has added talent to the two-deep and eight returning starters provide a good foundation. Cornerbacks Storm Duck and Tony Grimes are one of the best duos in the ACC.

Concern: Cutting down on the big plays allowed (18 of 40-plus yards) is a must. Linebacker Chazz Surratt leaves big shoes to fill. North Carolina allowed 5.8 yards per play and 29.4 points a game in 2020. There’s room to improve here.

True Freshman to Watch: DL Keeshawn Silver/Jahvaree Ritzie

Incoming Transfers: None

Breakout Player: CB Tony Grimes

Related: Athlon Sports' College Football Top 25 for 2021

2. Miami

The Hurricanes were a much-improved team in coach Manny Diaz’s second year at the helm. Quarterback D’Eriq King gives this team a chance to earn a trip to a New Year’s Six bowl, but the defense has to reload in order to defeat North Carolina at the top of the division.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: King is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the bowl loss to Oklahoma State, but all signs point to a full recovery. The Houston transfer is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the nation. An improving offensive line is in place, and the receiving corps is deeper with the addition of Charleston Rambo. The ‘Canes also have a couple of options at running back.

Concern: Getting King back to full strength is a must if Miami wants to win the Coastal Division. The line still has room to improve in pass protection (30 sacks allowed), and the ground game needs to take a step forward after generating just 4.2 yards per carry in 2020.

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True Freshman to Watch: K Andres Borregales

Incoming Transfers: WR Charleston Rambo; OL Justice Oluwaseun

Breakout Player: TE Will Mallory

Previewing the Defense

Strength: After Miami’s defense gave up 27 points a game and 5.8 yards per play last season, Diaz hopes to improve this unit by taking over the play-calling duties. The line has potential with Nesta Jade Silvera leading the way up front, and the secondary gets a boost at cornerback with the arrival of Georgia transfer Tyrique Stevenson.

Concern: How much improvement can Diaz get out of this group in one offseason? Miami struggled versus the run (174.5 ypg allowed) and forced only 16 turnovers last year. The ‘Canes need better linebacker play, and ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche (12.5 sacks) must be replaced.

True Freshman to Watch: DL Leonard Taylor

Incoming Transfers: DB Tyrique Stevenson; DL Deandre Johnson

Breakout Player: DL Jahfari Harvey

3. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech went 19-8 in coach Justin Fuente’s first two years but is only 19-18 over the last three seasons. The Coastal Division is always unpredictable, so an experienced team like the Hokies could surprise if the pieces fall into place.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: The Hokies have a strong trio of options in the passing game for quarterback Braxton Burmeister with receivers Tre Turner, Tayvion Robinson and tight end James Mitchell. The offensive line should be solid thanks to three returning starters. Burmeister has also played well in limited time in Blacksburg.  

Concern: Can Burmeister translate his solid play overall full season? Which running back steps up to replace Khalil Herbert? The Hokies need to develop more depth along the offensive line.

Redshirt Freshman to Watch: WR Jaden Payoute

Incoming Transfers: OL Johnny Jordan; QB Connor Blumrick

Breakout Player: OL Luke Tenuta

Previewing the Defense

Strength: Coordinator Justin Hamilton should benefit from a full offseason to work with the defense. The return of a healthy Jermaine Waller at cornerback is a big boost to the pass defense. End Amare Barno (6.5 sacks) is likely to rank among the ACC’s top pass rushers. Clemson transfer Jordan Williams is a key pickup for the trenches.

Concern: Virginia Tech has work to do on this side of the ball after giving up 32.1 points and just over 180 rushing yards a contest last year. Also, the Hokies allowed 6.2 yards a play – up from 5.23 in 2019.

Redshirt Freshman to Watch: DB Dorian Strong

Incoming Transfers: DB Tae Daley; DL Jordan Williams; LB C.J. McCray

Breakout Player: S Keonta Jenkins

Order a Copy of Athlon Sports' 2021 College Football National and SEC Preview Editions

4. Pittsburgh

The Panthers are coming off their third consecutive season of a .500 or better record under coach Pat Narduzzi. Contending for the Coastal Division title is likely out of reach this year, but with an improved offense, Pitt could push for eight wins this fall. 

Previewing the Offense

Strength: Quarterback Kenny Pickett will be a rare fifth-year starter and will be throwing to a group of receivers that includes Jordan Addison, Taysir Mack and Shocky Jacques-Louis. Israel Abanikanda could give the ground game a needed spark in 2021. Three starters return up front.

Concern: The Panthers have ranked near the bottom of the ACC in yards per play in each of the last two seasons and finished 10th in scoring (29.0) last fall. The offense generated only one run of 40-plus yards and averaged just 3.2 yards per carry in 2020. Center Jimmy Morrissey will be missed.

Redshirt Freshman to Watch: K Ben Sauls

Incoming Transfers: WR Melquise Stovall; OL Marcus Minor

Breakout Player: RB Israel Abanikanda

Previewing the Defense

Strength: Pitt paced the ACC by limiting offenses to 4.88 yards per play in 2020. Also, the Panthers held teams to 24.5 points a game, led the conference in rush defense and generated 46 sacks. Narduzzi and coordinator Randy Bates have some retooling to do, but this unit should remain one of the better groups in the ACC. A healthy return from cornerback Damarri Mathis is a boost to the secondary. The linebacker unit could be among the best in the conference.

Concern: A few key cogs in last year’s group – ends Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones and safeties Damar Hamlin and Paris Ford – have departed. The Panthers also need to cut down on the big plays allowed (13 of 40-plus yards).

True Freshman to Watch: DL Elliott Donald

Incoming Transfers: CB MJ Devonshire

Breakout Player: DL Deslin Alexandre

5. Virginia

The Cavaliers are just a year removed (2019) from winning the Coastal Division. Injuries and personnel turnover on both sides of the ball were a problem last season, but coach Bronco Mendenhall’s team could surprise – provided it can navigate a difficult schedule in ’21.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: Quarterback Brennan Armstrong ranked third in the ACC by averaging 296.6 total yards a game last year. He should be even better in 2021. The offensive line should be solid with four returning starters, and Armstrong will have a couple of options on the outside with the return of Billy Kemp IV and the addition of Artie Henry via the transfer portal.

Concern: Armstrong tossed an interception in eight of Virginia’s 10 games last year. Cutting down on turnovers and finding more efficiency would be a plus for this group. The Cavaliers need more out of their ground game (4.5 ypc), and the offense as a whole must produce big plays. Losing receiver Lavel Davis Jr. to a torn ACL in the spring was a big loss.

True Freshman to Watch: RB Amaad Foston

Incoming Transfers: WR Artie Henry; RB Devin Darrington; TE Jelani Woods

Breakout Player: QB Brennan Armstrong

Previewing the Defense

Strength: Virginia’s defense regressed last year, but with better luck in the health department, this group can improve in 2021. Linebacker Nick Jackson is one of the best in the ACC, and an experienced group returns up front. The additions of Anthony Johnson and Josh Hayes help a thin secondary.  

Concern: How big of a rebound can the Cavaliers make on this side of the ball? Virginia ranked last in the ACC against the pass, gave up too many big plays, finished 12th in the conference in third-down defense and surrendered the most yards per play (6.64) of any team in the league last year.

True Freshman to Watch: DL Bryce Carter

Incoming Transfers: CB Anthony Johnson; CB Josh Hayes

Breakout Player: LB Noah Taylor

Related: Athlon Sports' College Football Top 25 for 2021

6. Georgia Tech

Geoff Collins inherited a major rebuilding project here in 2019, and while Georgia Tech has just six wins over the last two years, there are signs of progress going into ’21. However, a brutal schedule might prevent a run at bowl eligibility.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: The Yellow Jackets increased their per-play average to 5.64 in 2020 – up from 4.8 the previous year. Quarterback Jeff Sims is promising and will only get better with more experience. The offensive line is deeper, which should clear plenty of running lanes for running backs Jordan Mason and Jahmyr Gibbs.

Concern: This unit is on the right track but still finished 14th in the ACC in scoring last year. The Yellow Jackets also lost 25 turnovers (14th in the ACC) in 2020.

True Freshman to Watch: WR James BlackStrain

Incoming Transfers: OL Kenneth Kirby; K Brent Cimaglia; WR Kyric McGowan; OL Nick Pendley; OL Devin Cochran

Breakout Player: QB Jeff Sims

Previewing the Defense

Strength: After giving up 36.8 points a game and 5.86 yards per play, this unit can only improve in 2021. With six starters back, along with a few key additions through the transfer portal, a step forward on the stat sheet is likely this fall. Improved depth up front should bolster the run defense. Collins and his defensive staff have experience to lean on at linebacker and in the secondary.

Concern: Similar to the offense, Georgia Tech’s defense has a long ways to go on the stat sheet. More pass rush is needed after registering just 21 sacks last season.

True Freshman to Watch: DB Kaleb Edwards

Incoming Transfers: LB Ayinde Eley; DL Makius Scott; LB Kevin Harris; DL Keion White; CB Kenyatta Watson II

Breakout Player: DL Jordan Domineck

7. Duke

Duke is one of the toughest Power 5 jobs in college football, and David Cutcliffe’s overall record (74-88) probably doesn’t indicate just how successful his tenure has been in Durham. But after recording six bowls in seven years (2012-18), the Blue Devils are just 7-16 over the last two seasons.

Previewing the Offense

Strength: Mataeo Durant (6.8 per carry) is one of the ACC’s top returning running backs. Duke returns four out of its top five statistical receiving options from 2020. The line is experienced and gets a boost at center with Jack Wohlabaugh returning from injury.

Concern: Duke averaged only 4.85 yards per play and 22 points a game in ACC contests last year. Quarterback play is a big concern with Chase Brice transferring to Appalachian State. The Blue Devils lost 39 turnovers and allowed 37 sacks in 2020.

Redshirt Freshman to Watch: QB Luca Diamont

Incoming Transfers: OL Carson Van Lynn; OL Kade Parmelly; OL Brian Foley; WR Scott Boylan

Breakout Player: OL Graham Barton

Previewing the Defense

Strength: Linebacker Shaka Heyward should push for All-ACC honors, and the Blue Devils return some experience in the secondary.

Concern: Everything. Duke gave up 38.1 points a game and 6.3 yards a snap last year. The run defense was gashed for 213.2 yards a contest, and the unit’s best players – Chris Rumph II, Marquis Waters, Michael Carter, Derrick Tangelo and Victor Dimukeje – have departed Durham.

True Freshman to Watch: DL Aaron Hall

Incoming Transfers: DL Ja’Mion Franklin; LB Colby Campbell; DB Dominique Long

Breakout Player: DL DeWayne Carter

ACC Championship: Clemson over North Carolina


Offensive POY

Pick by Steven Lassan: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Pick by Ben Weinrib: D.J. Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson

Pick by Mark Ross: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Defensive POY

Pick by Steven Lassan: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

Pick by Mark Ross: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

Coach of the Year

Pick by Steven Lassan: Mack Brown, North Carolina

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Manny Diaz, Miami

Pick by Mark Ross: Jeff Hafley, Boston College

Coach on the Hot Seat

Pick by Steven Lassan: Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Scott Satterfield, Louisville

Pick by Mark Ross: Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

Top Freshman

Pick by Steven Lassan: Malik McClain, WR, Florida State

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Pick by Mark Ross: Keeshawn Silver, DL, North Carolina

Top Newcomer

Pick by Steven Lassan: McKenzie Milton, QB, Florida State

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Charleston Rambo, WR, Miami

Pick by Mark Ross: McKenzie Milton, QB, Florida State

Sleeper Team

Pick by Steven Lassan: Wake Forest

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Pitt

Pick by Mark Ross: Florida State

Key Position to Watch

Pick by Steven Lassan: Clemson OL

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Florida State QBs

Pick by Mark Ross: Clemson OL

Hardest Team to Evaluate

Pick by Steven Lassan: Florida State

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Florida State

Pick by Mark Ross: Duke

Coach on the Rise

Pick by Steven Lassan: Tony Elliott, OC, Clemson

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Brent Venables, DC, Clemson

Pick by Mark Ross: Jeff Hafley, DC, Boston College

Must-See Game

Pick by Steven Lassan: Clemson vs. Georgia (Charlotte)

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Clemson vs. Georgia (Charlotte)

Pick by Mark Ross: Clemson vs. Georgia (Charlotte)

Breakout Player

Pick by Steven Lassan: D.J. Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Georgia Tech

Pick by Mark Ross: D.J. Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson

Comeback Player

Pick by Steven Lassan: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

Pick by Ben Weinrib: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

Pick by Mark Ross: McKenzie Milton, QB, Florida State

Podcast: ACC Preview and Predictions