Top 25 player countdown: No. 18

No. 18. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson

2011 stats: He had 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns on 223 carries, 22 receptions for 109 yards, five kickoff returns for 131 yards and 1,418 all-purpose yards. He played 754 snaps over 13 starts. He had 90.6 rushing yards per game and five 100-yard rushing games.

Previous ranking: Not ranked.

Making the case for Ellington:When he’s healthy, he’s effective not only as a running back, but also in the return game and in the passing game. Coach Dabo Swinney has said repeatedly this offseason that Ellington is looking the best he has in two years, and that it could be a special season for him. His 2,355 rushing yards are the most among active players in the ACC and 785 more than the next-closest league player (Virginia’s Perry Jones). He has a career average of 5.8 yards per carry and nine career 100-yard rushing games, which is the most among active ACC players. He has already separated himself from the rest of the pack, and he still has yet to reach his potential.

  • No. 19 Lamarcus Joyner, S, Florida State

  • No. 20 Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest

  • No. 21 Jeremiah Attaochu, LB, Georgia Tech

  • No. 22 Omoregie Uzzi, OG, Georgia Tech

  • No. 23 Bruce Taylor, LB, Virginia Tech

  • No. 24 Bud Noel, DB, Wake Forest

  • No. 25 Nikita Whitlock, NG, Wake Forest