ACC Leads All Conferences in NFL Pro Bowl Selections

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Greensboro, N. C.--There were multiple winners this week when the National Football League announced its 2008 Pro Bowl Football Teams.
One of the winners was the New York Jets, which led all NFL teams with 7 selections, and another was the Manning family which saw two sons tabbed for the prestigious teams--accomplishments impressive under any light.

Perhaps the biggest winner, though, from this week’s Pro Bowl selections was the Atlantic Coast Conference which saw more players who played for its current 12 league schools named to the NFL’s Pro Bowl teams than any other conference.

In all 20 former standouts who played for current ACC schools were honored by selection to this year’s NFL Pro Bowl, tabbed as the best of the best in the highest level of the game of football.

The next closest collegiate athletic conference was the Southeastern Conference with 13 Pro Bowl selections, followed by the Big 12 (8) and the Big Ten (7).

Miami led all the ACC and all schools with seven of its former players honored in wide receivers Andre Johnson (Houston) and Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis), running back Clinton Portis (Washington), linebackers Ray Lewis (Baltimore) and Jon Beason (Carolina), safety Ed Reed (Baltimore) and punter Jeff Feagles (New York Giants).

Florida State was next with five honorees including kick return specialist Leon Washington (New York Jets), wide receiver Anquan Boldin (Arizona), offensive tackle Walter Jones (Seattle), linebacker Derrick Brooks (Tampa Bay) and safety Chris Hope (Tennessee).

Virginia, with running back Thomas Jones (New York Jets) and linebacker James Farrior (Pittsburgh), and NC State, with defensive end Mario Williams (Houston) and safety Adrian Wilson (Arizona) were next with two selections each.

Four ACC schools each had one former player tabbed in offensive guard Chris Snee of Boston College, defensive end Julius Peppers of North Carolina (Carolina), nose tackle Kris Jenkins of Maryland (New York Jets) and safety Brian Dawkins of Clemson (Philadelphia).

Perhaps there should have been no surprise that the ACC would have more former players selected to the National Football League Pro Bowl team in that, over the past three years, the league has led all conferences in terms of most players selected on the first round of the annual NFL Draft (25) and the most players drafted overall (115).

An ACC player has also been tabbed as the top defensive player in the NFL Draft in each of the past three years—an unprecedented feat for a conference in the history of the draft.

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