QB: Justin Thomas – Georgia Tech (5-11, 190) Prattville, Alabama. Jr: This unbiased site loves Justin Thomas. Thomas is one of the more exciting Quarterbacks in the country. He runs the option like the Wishbone Quarterbacks of old. Thomas threw for 1,719 yards for 18 Touchdowns in 2014 while leading Georgia Tech to the ACC Coastal Division championship and then a shocking win over Mississippi State in the Orange Bowl. Thomas and his Georgia Tech teammates were unstoppable at times in 2014. Thomas also ran for 1,086 yards and 8 Touchdowns.
QB: Marquise Williams – North Carolina (6-2, 220) Charlotte, North Carolina. Sr: Williams has come a long way the last 2 seasons. He finished with 3,073 yards passing with 21 Touchdowns. His mobility was proven by his 783 yards and 13 Touchdowns. Williams also caught 2 passes with one going for another Touchdown. If the Tarheels can fix their defense they could be pretty good this season and Williams will have a big year.
RB: James Conner – Pittsburgh (6-2, 250) Erie, Pennsylvania. Jr: Conner led the ACC in rushing in 2014 with 1,765 yards rushing at 5.92 and had 26 Touchdowns. No one will ever confuse Conner with Duke Johnson of Miami because he is not a speed back. However, at 250 pounds Conner is huge and he runs well enough to be productive. He had over 200 yards rushing in 3 games. But, he was held in check by Syracuse and he did not reach 100 yards rushing against several other opponents. Conner is probably the best power back in the country going into next season.
RB: Dalvin Cook – Florida State (6-0, 200) Miami, Florida. Soph: Cook was a sensational freshman from Miami that got more and more playing time as the year advanced and the job will be completely his for the 2015 season. Cook is a burner that rushed for 1,008 yards and 8 Touchdowns at 5.93 yards per carry. Cook also had 22 receptions for 202 yards.
RB: Joseph Yearby – Miami (5-9, 190) Miami, Florida. Soph: Don’t try to tell me that the best football talent does not come out of Miami, Florida. Joseph Yearby and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook were high school teammates at Miami Central High School and now they are big rivals at Florida State and Miami and both are All Conference Candidates and outstanding Running Backs. Yearby backed up Duke Johnson last season and almost looked like his double when he got playing time. He ran for 509 yards and a Touchdown at 5.92 yards per carry. He also caught 9 passes for 118 yards and a Touchdown. Yearby and Dalvin Cook will be 2 fun backs to watch over the next couple of years.
WR: Tyler Boyd – Pittsburgh (6-2, 190) Clairton, Pennsylvania. Jr: Boyd was Pittsburgh’s big play guy last season hauling in 78 receptions for 1,261 yards and 8 Touchdowns. He averaged 16,17 per catch in 2014. This came a season after catching 85 as a freshman for well over 1,000 yards. There’s no reason to believe he won’t have a similar season in 2015 and then declare for the NFL afterwards.
WR: Mike Williams – Clemson (6-4, 210) Vance, South Carolina. Jr: Big play Wide Receiver for the Clemson Tigers in their transition season. Williams did not totally ease the Clemson pain of losing Sammy Watkins, but Watkins averaged 14.50 per catch in 2013, while Williams averaged 18.07 on 57 catches. His receptions totaled 1,030 yards and 6 Touchdowns. Williams is a very tall and athletic Wide Receiver.
WR: Artavis Scott – Clemson (5-10, 190) Oldsmar, Florida. Fr: One of the best true freshmen in the country in 2014. Was highly recruited and expected to be a good one, but maybe not quite so fast. Scott is not a burner like a Sammy Watkins, but he is more than fast enough to get it done for Clemson. Great hands, runs good routes and seems pretty tough. Scott had 76 receptions as a true freshman going for 965 yards and 8 Touchdowns. Taking nothing away from Florida State and all of their stars, but the Clemson Wide Receivers are the toast of the ACC.
WR: Travis Rudolph – Florida State (6-2, 185) West Palm Beach, Florida. Soph: Rudolph was yet another good true freshman last season in a year that had so many outstanding freshmen. Rudolph had 38 catches for 555 yards and 4 Touchdowns. He did not get going really until the 5th game of the season when he had 4 receptions against Wake Forest. Don’t scoff at that, Wake Forest had a good secondary with a potential 1st round pick in Kevin Johnson. Rudolph should be the top Seminole Receiver in the 2015 season.
TE: Bucky Hodges – Virginia Tech (6-6, 250) Virginia Beach, Virginia. Soph: Converted Quarterback, Hodges had a spectacular freshman year hauling in 45 passes for 526 yards and 7 Touchdowns. Hodges was probably the best Tight End in the country as a redshirt freshman and this guy has a bright, bright future. Clearly, he’s a good blocker or he would not play for Virginia Tech long time coach Frank Beamer.
TE: Cam Serigne – Wake Forest (6-3, 235) Ashburn, Virginia. Soph: Talented Redshirt Freshman Serigne led his team in receptions in 2014 with 54 which accounted for 535 yards and 5 Touchdowns. Serigne is a bit on the small side at 6-3, 235, but he is a good receiver.
OT: Roderick Johnson – Florida State (6-7, 330) Florissant, Missouri. Soph: One of the most highly recruited Offensive Tackles in the nation last season and was pressed into duty last season when Cameron Erving was forced to move to Center. Johnson filled in nicely for Erving and the Offensive Line actually got better. Johnson will now be the only returning starter for the Seminoles and he is a good and dependable Left Tackle.
OT: Adam Bisnowaty – Pittsburgh (6-6, 305) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jr: The home grown man is an impressive physical specimen and played Left Tackle for the Panthers in 2014. Bisnowaty played opposite of soon to be early NFL draft pick J.T. Clemmings and both impressed. He will probably also declare for the draft after next season and be picked pretty high as well. Part of the reason that James Conner had such a huge year.
OT: Isaiah Battle – Clemson (6-7, 280) Brooklyn, New York. Jr: Very athletic Offensive Tackle for the Clemson Tigers. This is a big man that can move. Battle received some All ACC mention before and after last season and should be one of the better tackles in the conference in 2015. Battle needs to bulk up slightly more if he wants to be a force on the next level.
OT: Bryan Chamberlain – Georgia Tech (6-4, 295) Albany, Georgia. Sr: Georgia Tech had one of the top Offensive Lines in the ACC last season and Chamberlain was a solid Left Tackle. He won some All ACC honors but Honorable Mention. He started at Right Tackle in 2013, but moved to the Left Tackle position this past year and played well. Just doesn’t give up many sacks.
OG: Trey Braun – Georgia Tech (6-5, 295) Tallahassee, Florida. Sr: Shaquille Mason was Georgia Tech’s best Offensive Lineman last year, but Chamberlain and Braun were also really good. Braun will be a 3 year starter this season. Tech allowed just 0.79 sacks per game last season which was 2nd in the nation. These guys are good in the run game and the pass. Georgia Tech was second in the nation in rushing offense as well.
OG: Landon Turner – North Carolina (6-4, 315) Harrisonburg, Virginia. Sr: North Carolina’s most consistent Offensive Lineman in 2014. Earned All ACC honors last season. Nephew of OJ Simpson’s blocking Fullback in Buffalo, Jim Braxton. Turner is big strong and aggressive.
OG: Joe Thuney – North Carolina State (6-5, 295) Centerville, Ohio. Sr: Thuney missed some playing time in 2014 due to illness, but while he played he was good. He’s back for his senior season and the Wolfpack should be an improved team this season with all of their returnees.
C: Ryan Norton – Clemson (6-3, 280) Simpsonville, South Carolina. Sr: Slightly undersized Center but will be a 3 year starter and a very consistent lineman for the Tigers. The Tigers are looking to make a move with the healthy Deshaun Watson returning at Quarterback.
DE: Ken Ekanem -Virginia Tech (6-3, 250) Centreville, Virginia. Jr: The Hokies have always excelled on defense and Ekanem had 10.5 sacks in 2014. Almost as impressively, Ekanem had 14 Quarterback hurries, plus 15.5 tackles for loss. 54 tackles total. Ekanem is good coming off the edge but is also good against the run.
DE: Dadi Nicolas – Virginia Tech (6-4, 235) Delray Beach, Florida. Sr: On the other side of the line from Ekanem is almost as dangerous Dadi Nicolas. Nicolas had 71 total tackles with 18 tackles for loss and 8.5 Quarterback sacks. Nicolas also had an incredible 26 Quarterback hurries and 2 kicks blocked. The Hokies still have a tough defense even if their offense has struggled for the last few years.
DT: B.J. Hill – North Carolina State (6-4, 300) Oakboro, North Carolina. Soph: The big freshman, Hill, was solid against the run last season with 39 tackles with 6.5 for loss and 1.5 Quarterback sack. Hill broke up a pass and had another couple of Quarterback hurries. Hill did not put up huge numbers, but he did clog up the middle of the line.
DT: Adam Gotsis – Georgia Tech (6-5, 280) Abbotsford, Australia. Jr. Gotsis is the only Australian playing in college football that is not a punter. He was 2nd team all ACC last year. Gotsis finished with 36 tackles, with 6.5 tackles for loss and 3 Quarterback sacks. He played Nose Guard in 2013 and moved to Tackle in 2014.
LB: Paul Davis – Georgia Tech (5-11, 220) Cairo, Georgia. Jr: Slightly undersized but very productive Linebacker for the Rambling Wreck. The super quick Davis led the team in tackles with 119 with 8.5 for loss and 4 Quarterback sacks. Davis also picked off a pass and forced 3 fumbles and had 2 more Quarterback hurries.
LB: Reggie Northrup – Florida State (6-1, 220) Jacksonville, Florida. Sr: Northrup was very productive last year with 122 total tackles with 4 more for loss and a Quarterback sack. Northrup forced a fumble and returned another one 31 yards for a Touchdown and another Interception. The Seminoles had an outstanding defense in 2013, but not quite so good in 2014. In spite of that, Northrup played really well.
LB: Brandon Chubb – Wake Forest (6-1, 245) Powder Springs, Georgia. Sr: Chubb is a solid inside Linebacker for Wake Forest and he totaled 109 tackles. Chubb also had 6.5 tackles for loss and 3 Quarterback sacks, with also 3 passes broken up, 2 fumbles forced and 6 Quarterback hurries. As far as I know, he is not related to incredible Georgia Runningback Nick Chubb.
LB: Jeff Schoettmer – North Carolina (6-2, 235) Dallas, Texas. Sr: The Tar Heel defense was amazingly bad last season, but head coach Larry Fedora hired Gene Chizek as his new Defensive Coordinator. Chizek was an amazing Coordinator at Auburn and Texas before becoming a head coach. He will make a huge difference in Chapel Hill. Schoettmer had 74 tackles in 2014, with 6 tackles for loss. Schoettmer had 2 Interceptions and he returned both for Touchdowns. Expect the Tar Heels to improve on defense and Schoettmer should be their leading tackler.
CB: Kendall Fuller – Virginia Tech (6-0, 190) Baltimore, Maryland. Jr: Fuller is one of the best defensive players in the country and definitely one of the top Cornerbacks. Fuller had 54 total tackles, 4.5 for loss and 2 Quarterback sacks. He also had 2 Interceptions with 1 returned for a Touchdown and he had 15 passes broken up. Great player.
CB: D.J. White – Georgia Tech (5-11- 190) McDonough, Georgia. Sr: Excellent Corner for the Yellowjackets. White had 66 tackles last season with 2.5 tackles for losses. White had 4 Interceptions and took one back for a Touchdown and he broke up 8 passes.
CB: Artie Burns – Miami (6-0, 195) Miami, Florida. Jr. Miami has been a bit of a disappointment of late, but Burns is a talent. Burns had 40 tackles, with 2 tackles for loss and 2 Quarterback sacks and he also broke up 6 more passes. Miami may continue to struggle on the field in 2015, but Burns is a good player and will declare for the NFL after the 2015 season.
CB: Nate Andrews – Florida State (5-11, 210) Fairhope, Alabama. Jr: Andrews has played both Corner and Safety and the Seminoles lost both Corners from last year and he may have to return to Cornerback. Last season, Andrews made 93 tackles and picked off 3 passes returning 1 for a Touchdown. Andrews also broke up 5 passes and forced a fumble. The guy is a player whether he stays at Safety or really does move back to Cornerback.
DB: Quin Blanding – Virginia (6-4, 215) Virginia Beach, Virginia. Soph: Blanding was one of the top recruits in the country in 2014. He went out on the field in the Fall of 2014 and easily proved his ranking was legit. Blanding led the Cavaliers in tackles as a true freshman with 123 total. He had 2.5 tackles for loss and 1 Quarterback sack. Blanding had 3 Interceptions and 6 passes broken up. Blanding is a future star at this level and more than likely the next.
DB: Jalen Ramsey – Florida State (6-1, 205) Smyrna, Tennessee. Jr: The Seminoles lost stars P.J. Williams and Ronald Darby in their defensive backfield, but they return Nate Andrews and Jalen Ramsey who are also stars. Ramsey was the fourth leading tackler on the Seminole defense last season with 80 tackles. Ramsey had 9.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 1 blocked kick and an amazing 12 passes defended. Ramsey might be one of the best safeties in the nation next season.
DB: DeVon Edwards – Duke (5-9, 175) Covington, Georgia. Jr: The pint sized safety was one of the more productive players in the country in spite of lack of size. He had 133 total tackles with 7.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 Quarterback sacks. He also had 1 Interception, an amazing 5 fumbles forced, 9 passes broken up and 2 Quarterback hurries. Edwards also returned kickoffs and had a Touchdown while averaging 25.69 per return.
DB: Jayron Kearse – Clemson (6-4, 210) Fort Myers, Florida. Jr: The Clemson Tigers had the top defense in the country last season, but they lost a lot of talent in their front 7. Their secondary is still solid with guys like Kearse leading the way. Kearse is a physical specimen that had 60 tackles in 2014 with 2 Interceptions and 1 Fumble return. He had 5 passes broken up as well. Kearse was effective near the line of scrimmage also with 5 tackles for loss and 3 Quarterback sacks. The NFL is going to love Kearse after this next season.