No. 5. Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
2011 stats: He had 50 receptions for 598 yards and eight touchdowns (tied for fourth-most in school history) in 890 snaps over 14 games (14 starts).
Previously ranked: Not ranked.
Making the case for Allen: Quarterback Tajh Boyd orchestrated the offense, but if you ask many of Clemson’s opponents, they’d probably tell you Allen was the X-factor. He was the program’s first winner of the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end, and his 93 career catches tied for the most in school history by a tight end. His receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns were the most by a tight end in school history. Three of his best games last season came against Florida State and Virginia Tech. He had two catches -- both for touchdowns -- in the ACC title game against the Hokies. He’s got big-play ability, and was a mature, dependable leader for last year’s young team, not to mention an All-American.
No. 6 Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
No. 7 Matt Daniels, S, Duke
No. 8 Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
No. 9 Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
No. 10 Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
No. 12 Blake DeChristopher, OT, Virginia Tech
No. 13 Shawn Powell, P, Florida State
No. 14 Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina
No. 15 Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
No. 16 Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
No. 17 Sean Spence, LB, Miami
No. 18 Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State
No. 19 Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland
No. 20 Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
No. 21 Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest
No. 22 Terrell Manning, LB, NC State
No. 23 Matt Conrath, DT, Virginia
No. 24 Omoregie Uzzi, RG, Georgia Tech
No. 25 Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State