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Next up in the ACC?

We've got a pretty good idea of who's leaving (I would say Clemson running back Andre Ellington is still the biggest undecided name still out there), and while those departures will be significant losses for the ACC, there's always the "next man up" mentality. Who will make the best run to replace the 2010 offensive and defensive players of the year?

I think one or two quarterbacks will emerge as something special in 2012, and Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas and NC State's Mike Glennon come to mind first. The quarterbacks will get a lot of attention this offseason because the group should be better after what was collectively a rookie season in the ACC. Three players who should be at the front of some preseason ballots, though, are:

North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard: In his rookie season, he finished No. 28 in the country with 96.38 yards per game. He was third in the ACC in rushing behind two players who are leaving for the NFL -- David Wilson and Lamar Miller -- and had more touchdowns (13) than either of them.

Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins: As a true freshman, he finished fourth in the country in all-purpose yards and had 176 per game. He was 16th in the country in receiving yards per game with 93.77. He is already a record-setter. What's next?

NC State cornerback David Amerson: He had a breakout season this year, and while it's unlikely he repeats his nation-leading and ACC-record 13 interceptions, he will undoubtedly be one of the ACC's top defenders in 2012.