Usually when the various preseason college football publications release their preseason All-Conference teams, they stop at one all-conference team. Sometimes two, three at the most. But college football guru Phil Steele takes preseason all-conference teams to a new level, coming up with FOUR Preseason All-ACC teams for offense, defense and even the specialists. Really think he's just showing off here a bit ...
Just two Boston College players found themselves on Steele's 2011 All-ACC first team -- running back Montel Harris and linebacker Luke Kuechly. However, both players likely have a decent shot at landing preseason ACC player of the year honors for their respective sides of the ball.
No Eagles made Steele's second team All-ACC, but four made the third team -- TE Chris Pantale, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, CB Donnie Fletcher and P Ryan Quigley -- and two made the fourth team -- OT Emmett Cleary and K Nate Freese. Nice to see KPL get recognized for the solid freshman year he had last season.
Can't say I have many complaints about Steele's selections. My eyes start to glaze over after the All-ACC 2nd Team, anyway. However, a few things did jump out at me:
- First Year Starting Quarterbacks. Interesting to see both Florida State's E.J. Manuel and Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas on the list as the ACC's first-team and third-team selections, respectively. Earlier this week, we debated which ACC quarterback would throw for the most yards in 2011, noting the youth and inexperience at QB throughout the conference. Kinda scary to think about two first-year starting QBs already being the best in the conference. Hope springs eternal in the ACC, and all that good stuff, but without a strong performance by ACC quarterbacks this year, it's hard to imagine the conference turning the corner in terms of national relevance. Not taking anything away from Manuel or Thomas here, but when two of your four best QBs in the conference are first-year starters (and a third plays for Duke), it's kinda hard to be optimistic about the ACC's chances in 2011.
- O-Line U? When was the last time you saw just one BC offensive linemen selected for an All-Conference team ... out of a possible 20 selections? I know we all have high hopes for Rettig this year, but will a newly reconstituted BC O-Line give Chase enough time to operate? This year's line has big shoes to fill after losing Anthony Castonzo, Thomas Claiborne and Rich Lapham all to graduation.
- Special Teams. Not that I expected any BC players to make this list, but the Eagles really need to recruit special teams players, particularly in the return game. Our offense was abysmal last season, and the return game didn't help out one bit in the field position battle (fair catches inside the 10, letting the ball roll, etc.). This seems like it's a huge recruiting gap for BC, aside from, you know, landing A recruit for the Class of 2012. Instead of throwing wide outs and running backs back there, shouldn't we make a concerted effort to recruit a kid who has experience returning punts and kicks in high school? Contrast the lack of BC returners receiving any preseason accolades with Virginia Tech and Florida State, who placed kick and punt returners in five of Steele's eight spots (David Wilson, Jayron Hosley, Greg Reid x2 and Dyrell Roberts).