Coaches give nod to Cutcliffe, Duke stars on all-ACC team

Dec. 11, 2013 @ 06:10 PM

Duke coach David Cutcliffe was voted the 2013 ACC Coach of the Year and Blue Devils junior Jamison Crowder was named first-team All-ACC at two different positions by the conference’s football head coaches, the league announced on Wednesday.

Offensive guard Laken Tomlinson also earned first-team recognition for Duke, whose 10 first, second or third team selections were tied with Clemson for the second-most behind ACC champion Florida State.

Defensive end Kenny Anunike, linebacker Kelby Brown, cornerback Ross Cockrell and safety Jeremy Cash made the second team from Duke, the Coastal Division champions, and tight end Braxton Deaver, offensive tackle Perry Simmons and punter Will Monday made the third team.

Also Wednesday, Cash was named to the USA Today All-America second team.

Junior tight end Eric Ebron made the first team from North Carolina, while left tackle James Hurst, defensive end Kareem Martin, safety Tré Boston and punt returner Ryan Switzer made the second team. Cornerback Jabari Price received honorable mention.

Cutcliffe, who was earlier named 2013 Walter Camp Foundation National Coach of the Year, became the seventh coach in league history to be named ACC Coach of the Year in consecutive seasons. The Blue Devils’ school-record 10 wins in 2013 are as many victories as the program had for the 2000 through 2007 seasons combined prior to Cutcliffe’s arrival for the 2008 season.

Crowder broke Duke’s single-season receptions and receiving yardage records, totaling an ACC-best 96 catches for 1,197 yards. He also averaged 16 yards per punt return with scoring returns of 76 and 82 yards this season.

Tomlinson anchors an offensive line that allowed Duke to surpass 20 rushing and 20 passing touchdowns in the same season for the first time in school history while surrendering just 16 sacks, the third fewest in the ACC.

Crowder and Tomlinson helped Duke make a bowl game for a second straight year for the first time in program history. The Blue Devils will face Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve.

Ebron, who will turn pro after UNC faces Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte on Dec. 28, led the Tar Heels in catches (55) and receiving yards (895). Both marks set school records for his position, and he broke the ACC record for receiving yards by a tight end previously held by Maryland’s Vernon Davis.

The coaches agreed with the media’s picks for all the major conference awards. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was voted ACC Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Offensive Rookie of the Year, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller picked up ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Winston was one of three unanimous first-team selections to the All-ACC team along with national rushing leader and fellow Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams of Boston College and Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

Winston received 10 votes for player of the year to four for Williams. Cutcliffe had 11 votes for the coach of the year award and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher had three.

MACKEY AWARD WINNER

Washington junior Austin Seferian-Jenkins was announced as the 2013 John Mackey Award recipient on Wednesday, beating out juniors Ebron and Florida State’s Nick O’Leary for the award that goes to the nation’s top tight end.

Seferian-Jenkins, who was named to the Pac-12 second-team by that league’s coaches, had 33 receptions for 413 yards and seven touchdowns.

UNC players are not available this week because of final exams, but Ebron posted a response to the news on Twitter.

“It Wasn’t Meant To Be,” Ebron wrote. “I Will Continue To Grind And Trust God. My Awards Will Come Later In Life.”