The time has come for the slow trickling of preseason all-conference teams from outlets across the country. Among the most trusted comes from noted college football guru Phil Steele, whose yearly preview is packed to the hilt with every bit of information you could possibly want.
Steele unveiled his preseason all-ACC team Thursday, featuring many of the expected names on the first team -- Tajh Boyd at quarterback, Duke Johnson at running back, Sammy Watkins and Stefon Diggs at receiver, Jeremiah Attaochu at defensive end. But there was plenty to note on all four teams Steele selected. Here are a few observations:
Florida State receiver Rashad Greene made the first team, ahead of BC receiver Alex Amidon, Duke receiver Jamison Crowder and Pitt receiver Devin Street. By all accounts, Greene is poised for a big season and he is on a more prolific offense than the other three. But Crowder could have another 1,000-yard receiver as the go-to guy; Amidon is about all the Eagles have; and Street could also get 1,000 yards as the go-to guy in Pitt. Looking at the players Steele selected, there is no question receiver is a position of strength in the league this year. After all, Wake Forest's Mr. Reliable, Michael Campanaro, made the third team.
Florida State should have one of the best -- if not the best -- offensive lines in the league. Center Bryan Stork and guard Tre' Jackson made the first team; and guard Josue Matias and tackle Cameron Erving made the second team.
Behind Boyd, second-team quarterback is ... Logan Thomas. Somehow, Miami's Stephen Morris is listed in the running back slot. And Florida State freshman Jameis Winston gets a nod on the fourth team. Ahead of Morris.
Hard to argue with the first-team selections on the defensive line. I would have the same players -- Attaochu and Kareem Martin at end, Timmy Jernigan and Aaron Donald at tackle. Virginia Tech defensive end James Gayle made the second team. He could easily be a first-team selection at the end of the year.
Syracuse linebacker Dyshawn Davis made the first team. I have watched Davis the last two years in the Big East, and can tell you he belongs on the first team.
For those scoring at home in the Duke Johnson versus Stefon Diggs debate, Johnson made the first-team at kick returner ahead of Diggs (second team).
Now for the tally that matters most: total first-team selections. Florida State leads the way with seven, an indication that the Noles are set to reload and not rebuild. Preseason favorite Clemson only has two -- Boyd and Watkins. North Carolina is next with five. Miami, a team many believe could win the Coastal, has three. Here are the others: Virginia Tech, BC and Duke with two each; Maryland, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Pitt, Syracuse with one each.