Watson and Boulware will attend ACC Kickoff


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GREENSBORO, NC –The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Monday the names of the 28 football student-athletes who have been chosen by its 14 league schools to attend the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff, July 21-22 at the Westin Charlotte located in Charlotte, N.C.

Coaches and student-athletes from ACC Coastal Division schools will be available on Thursday, July 21, with the head coaches and student-athletes from Atlantic Division teams available on Friday, July 22.

The football student-athletes who will be attending the 2016 ACC Football Kickoff are:

Boston College: Myles Willis, Running Back, 5-9, 294, Senior, Conyers, Ga. Matt Milano, Linebacker, 6-1, 218, Senior, Orlando, Fla.

Clemson: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, 6-2, 210, Junior, Gainesville, Ga. Ben Boulware, Linebacker, 5-11, 240, Senior, Anderson, S.C.

Duke: Thomas Sirk, Quarterback, 6-4, 220, Senior-R, Glen St. Mary, Fla. DeVon Edwards, Cornerback, 5-9, 180, Senior-R, Covington, Ga.

Florida State: Dalvin Cook, Running Back, 5-11, 206, Junior, Miami, Fla. DeMarcus Walker, Defensive End, 6-3, 273, Senior, Jacksonville, Fla.

Georgia Tech: Justin Thomas, Quarterback, 5-11, 185, Senior-R, Prattville, Ala. Patrick Gamble, Defensive Line, 6-5, 277, Senior, Carrollton, Ga.

Louisville: Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, 6-3, 196, Sophomore, Boynton Beach, Fla. Keith Kelsey, Linebacker, 6-1, 236, Senior, Gainesville, Fla.

Miami: Brad Kaaya, Quarterback, 6-4, 210, Junior, Los Angeles, Calif. Justin Vogel, Punter, 6-4, 208, Senior, Tampa, Fla.

North Carolina:
Ryan Switzer, Wide Receiver-Punt Returner, 5-10, 185, Senior, Charleston, W.Va. Des Lawrence, Cornerback, 6-1, 185, Senior, Charlotte, N.C.

NC State:
Matthew Dayes, Running Back, 5-9, 203, Senior, Weston, Fla. Jack Tocho, Cornerback, 6-0, 200, Senior, Charlotte, N.C.

Pitt:
Nathan Peterman, Quarterback, 6-2, 225, Senior-R, Jacksonville, Fla. Ejuan Price, Defensive End, 6-0, 250, Senior-R, Rankin, Pa.

Syracuse: Jason Emerich, Center, 6-3, 284, Senior-R, New Ringgold, Pa. Zaire Franklin, Linebacker, 6-0, 229, Junior, Philadelphia, Pa.

Virginia: Jackson Matteo, Center, 6-5, 290, Senior-R, Ashburn, Va. Micah Kiser, Linebacker, 6-2, 245, Junior-R, Baltimore, Md.

Virginia Tech: Sam Rogers, Fullback, 5-10, 228, Senior, Mechanicsville, Va. Ken Ekanem, Defensive End, 6-3, 255, Senior-R, Centreville, Va.

Wake Forest: Tyler Hayworth, Offensive Tackle, 6-4, 325, Senior-R, Kingsport, Tenn. Marquel Lee, Linebacker, 6-3, 235, Senior, Waldorf, Md.
R-Denotes player was redshirted.

In all, the ACC Kickoff student-athletes hail from 11 states with nine from Florida, four from Georgia; three each from Virginia and Pennsylvania, two from North Carolina and Maryland and one each from Alabama, California, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Two cornerbacks will be returning to their hometown in Charlotte in NC State’s Jack Tocho and North Carolina’s Des Lawrence.

Three student-athletes are making their second appearance at the Kickoff in Georgia Tech QB Justin Thomas, Miami QB Brad Kaaya and Syracuse LB Zaire Franklin. All three were at the 2015 Kickoff, the other 25 are making their first appearance.

As of Monday, 18 of the 28 had been chosen to a preseason watch list for a national award.

Dalvin Cook of Florida State, Matthew Dayes of NC State, Lamar Jackson of Louisville, Brad Kaaya of Miami, Thomas Sirk of Duke, Justin Thomas of Georgia Tech, and Deshaun Watson of Clemson were named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top player.

Ben Boulware of Clemson, DeVon Edwards of Duke, Keith Kelsey of Louisville, Micah Kiser of Virginia, Matt Milano of Boston College, Ejuan Price of Pitt and DeMarcus Walker of Florida State were all chosen for the preseason watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is given to the nation’s top defensive player.

Additionally, Ken Ekanem of Virginia Tech was named to the preseason watch list for the Nagurski Trophy, along with Boulware, Kiser and Walker.

Jason Emerich of Syracuse and Jackson Matteo of Virginia were each named to the Rimington Award preseason watch list. The Rimington is presented to the nation’s top center.

Miami punter Justin Vogel was named to the preseason watch list for the Ray Guy Award.

Among the offensive players in attendance will be six quarterbacks, four running backs, three offensive linemen and one wide receiver. Defensively, six linebackers, three defensive ends, one defensive tackle and three defensive backs. Miami’s Vogel is the lone special teams player.

A total of 12 of the 28 student-athletes were chosen first, second or third team All-ACC in 2015.

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