Making the Case: ACC Football Player of the Year

We are almost half way through the regular season in the ACC and the race for ACC Player of the Year is heating up. Running back Dalvin Cook has been the early leader for the award with his recent play but with several conference games coming ahead, it is really anyone’s race right now.

Let’s take a look at a few of the candidates that are in contention early on for the award. Certainly though, these can change from week to week as players make their marks each week.

Dalvin Cook | Running Back | Sophomore | Florida State

    • 2015 Stats: 88 Attempts, 792 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns/ 7 receptions, 71 yards, 1 touchdown
      • Already posting two 200 yard games and coming off 222 yard performance against Miami, Cook has easily positioned himself early on as the ACC Player of the Year and is now rising up the ranks in the Heisman race.

Deshaun Watson | Quarterback | Sophomore | Clemson

    • 2015 Stats: 990 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 69 percent completion
      • Watson might not be putting up league leading stats but he has his Clemson Tigers in the playoff hunt with an undefeated season still looming.  If he can continue to lead this team like he has, possibly getting the Tigers into the BCS discussion, Watson will obviously be in the discussion until the end of the season.

Brad Kaaya | Quarterback | Sophomore | Miami (FL)

    • 2015 Stats: 1499 passing yards, 8 touchdowns, 1 interception, 60.8 percent completion
      • Kaaya leads the league in passing but the one blemish on his record is that the Hurricanes are sitting at 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the conference.  He certainly is on pace those to replicate his stats from his 2014 season but Miami will have to get back on the winning side of things.

Everett Golson | Quarterback | Senior | Florida State

    • 2015 Stats: 1077 passing yards, 8 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
      • Cook has been getting most of the praise this season for Florida State’s start this season but the Notre Dame transfer has played pretty well early on this season.  One has to be impressed with some of the stats he has posted, including 66.9 completion percentage and zero interceptions (had 22 total interceptions at Notre Dame). 

Marquise Williams | Quarterback | Senior | North Carolina

    • 2015 Stats: 845 passing yards, 6 touchdowns, 4 interceptions/ 346 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns
      • Williams started out rough against South Carolina but now has his Tar Heels sitting at the top of the Coastal Division, doing it with both his arms and legs.  Williams ranks in the Top 10 in both passing and rushing and with the offensive fire power North Carolina possesses, he certainly could move his name up the list of ACC Player of the Year.

Thomas Sirk | Quarterback | Junior | Duke

    • 2015 Stats: 1,260 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 3 interceptions/ 325 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns
      • Sirk hasn’t posted over 200 yards passing in the last four games for the Blue Devils but Duke is sitting at 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.  He also has been getting it down on the ground as well and will be a key factor in Duke retaining another Coastal Division.

Matthew Dayes | Running Back | Junior | NC State

    • 2015 Stats: 588 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns
      • Dayes was posting over 100 yards a game in the first four games of the season, but that number has dropped since conference play, averaging 67 yards per game in the ACC.  He still has 10 touchdowns and has scored in every game except last week against Virginia Tech.

Other Players To Watch:

    • Quarterback Jacoby Brissett – NC State
    • Running Back Wayne Gallman – Clemson
    • Wide Receiver Isaiah Ford – Virginia Tech