Boston College's Matt Ryan Named ACC Player of the Year
Nov. 28, 2007
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Matt Ryan is ending the season the same way he started it - as the best player in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Boston College quarterback was named Wednesday as the ACC's Player of the Year by a vote of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
Ryan, picked as the preseason player of the year pick, also was an overwhelming choice for offensive player of the year. He received 50 of 71 first-place votes, well ahead of Virginia defensive lineman Chris Long (18). Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper, Maryland linebacker Erin Henderson and Georgia Tech running back Tashard Choice each had one first-place vote.
Long was a near-unanimous selection as defensive player of the year, receiving 69 first-place votes. Henderson and Georgia Tech's Philip Wheeler had one vote apiece.
"It's a great honor. There are so many great players in the league, and to receive this honor, I'm very flattered," Ryan said. "It's very special, and I think it's something my teammates will share, because we've had some great team success this year, and those guys are definitely a part of it as well."
Nobody was a bigger part of the Eagles' ascent to No. 2 nationally than Ryan, who set school single-season records with 28 touchdowns and 3,953 yards in leading his team to a 10-2 record and the Atlantic Division title, and taking it to the brink of the first league title in the program's history.
Ryan started fast under new coach Jeff Jagodzinski, throwing for five touchdowns in a season-opening victory against Wake Forest, and cemented his legend in school history by leading the Eagles to two touchdowns in the final 2:05 of their come-from-behind 14-10 victory against Virginia Tech. But his most important victory came Nov. 17 at Clemson when he led Boston College past the Tigers 20-17 in a division-clinching win.
"We had a bunch of great wins this year. Each game had a different point at it in which we kind of made a play to give ourselves a chance to win," Ryan said. "You look at the night at Virginia Tech, that was a great comeback for our team, and then at Clemson as well, to be able to win with everything that was on the line - that was a very special night, not only for myself, but for the entire team."
But Ryan isn't about to start looking back at his brilliant career just yet. Not with a chance at the FedEx Orange Bowl on the line Saturday in a rematch with the Hokies for the league title.
"I still feel like we have a lot of work to do," Ryan said. "We've got a big game this weekend against a very, very good Virginia Tech football team. We know that we've done some really good things at this point in the year, but our goal from the beginning of the year was to win an ACC championship, and we've got a chance to do that on Saturday. After Saturday, everybody will be able to look back and reflect a little bit."
Voting results for the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, as voted on by 71 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR