We have been counting down the top players in the ACC every day this week.
Up today: The top five.
5. Louisville linebacker Devonte Fields
Fields led the Cardinals in sacks (11) and led the nation in tackles for loss per game (1.73) in his first season with Louisville. But it was Fields' late-season surge -- when he had 8.5 sacks and 13 TFLs over the final four games -- that makes him as dangerous as anyone on the defensive side of the ball in the ACC.
4. Florida State safety Derwin James
James is as likely to be found breaking up plays in the secondary as he is to be spotted blowing up plays in the opposing backfield. The 6-foot-3, 213-pounder was a monster as a freshman (91 tackles), and the only mystery is where he’ll make big plays on any given snap.
3. Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya
Is it too early to debate whether the top two NFL prospects are in the ACC? Kaaya makes that a legitimate discussion after posting 3,238 passing yards and 16 touchdowns last season despite missing a game, second in the ACC to Clemson's Deshaun Watson. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Kaaya has the tutelage of new coach Mark Richt working for him this season, too.
2. Florida State running back Dalvin Cook
All Cook did last season was lead the ACC with 1,691 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns -- and that was despite missing one game and playing hurt in several more. FSU’s offensive line should be better this season, and that should mean bigger things for the junior Cook in 2016.
1. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson
The 2016 Heisman Trophy front-runner is looking to close the deal after finishing third in the award voting last season, and after the Tigers came oh-so-close to upsetting Alabama in the title game. Watson posted the nation’s first 4,000-yard passing, 1,000-yard rushing season, and with so many pieces around him, he has his sights set on leading one of the best attacks in the sport’s history in 2016.