GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Defensive Player of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the league’s all-purpose yardage leader and eight players who earned first or second-team, All-Conference honors this past season secured spots on the 40-member 2008 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Football Team, as announced Monday by Commissioner John Swofford.
To be eligible for consideration, a player must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career. All 12 ACC schools were represented by at least one selection on the team.
Leading the team were Boston College junior linebacker Mark Herzlich (Wayne, Pa.), who was named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year after a sterling junior campaign leading the nation’s 5th-ranked defense and Clemson’s C. J. Spiller (Lake Butler, Fla.), one of the ACC’s most versatile offensive threats, who led the league in all-purpose yardage. Herzlich finished the year tied for the nation’s lead in interceptions by a linebacker with six, while Spiller accumulated 1,770 all-purpose yards and earned first-team All-ACC honors.
Joining them on the All-Academic team were six other ACC players who earned first or second-team all-conference honors in first-team honorees Maryland center Edwin Williams (Washington, D.C.) and punter Travis Baltz (Whitehouse, Ohio) as well as second-team selections Clemson center-guard Thomas Austin (Camden, S.C.), Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (Hawthorn Wood, Ill.), Florida State safety Myron Rolle (Galloway, N.J.) and Georgia Tech defensive tackle Darryl Richard (Destrehan, La.).
Additionally, two members of the All-Academic team were named honorable mention All-ACC in Virginia Tech placekicker Dustin Keys (Stafford, Va.), who finished 7th nationally in fields goals, and Maryland tight end Dan Gronkowski (Amherst, N.Y.).
Richard, who actually received his MBA degree this past December, was honored at the 2008 ACC Football Championship Game as the Conference’s top senior scholar-athlete and the winner of the prestigious 2008 Jim Tatum Award.
Rolle, one of two three-time Academic All-ACC honorees on the team, was awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship this past fall, and will continue his graduate education this coming year at Oxford University in England.
Boston College placekicker Steve Aponavicius (Easton, Pa.) also earned selection for the third year in a row, while 13 other players were selected to the Academic All-ACC team for the second time including Austin, Baltz, Gronkowksi, Herzlich, Richard, Williams, Clemson placekicker Mark Buchholz (Alpharetta, Ga.), North Carolina center Lowell Dyer (Durham, N.C.), Maryland placekicker Obi Egekeze (Augusta, Ga.), Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon (Centreville, Va.), NC State tackle Meares Green (Wilmington, N.C.), Clemson punter Jimmy Maners (Rock Hill, S.C.) and Wake Forest tight end Ben Wooster (Atlanta, Ga.).
Four quarterbacks earned selection to the team led by Florida State sophomore Christian Ponder (Colleyville, Tx.), who has already received his bachelor’s degree and is currently in graduate school. Joining Ponder were Virginia Tech’s Glennon, Georgia Tech’s Jaybo Shaw (Flowery Branch, Ga.), and NC State’s Harrison Beck (Clearwater, Fla.).
Maryland led all ACC schools with eight selections, followed by Clemson with five and Florida State, Georgia Tech and Boston College with 4 each. In all, nine members of the team have already graduated and were in graduate school or pursuing a second bachelor’s degree this past fall.
The 2008 All-ACC Academic Football team is as follows:
2008 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Football Team
Player School Class Pos. Major Hometown
Steve Aponavicius Boston College Sr. PK Finance Easton, Pa.
Thomas Austin Clemson Jr. OL Political Science Camden, S.C.
Travis Baltz Maryland So. P Business Whitehouse, Ohio
Harrison Beck NC State Jr. QB Communications Clearwater, Fla.
Brent Bowden Virginia Tech Jr. P Interdisciplinary Stu Centreville, Va.
Mark Buchholz Clemson Sr*. PK Marketing Alpharetta, Ga.
LaRon Byrd Miami Fr. WR Undeclared Boutte, La.
Anthony Castonzo Boston College So. OL Biochemistry Hawthorn Wood, Ill.
Phil Costa Maryland Jr.. OL Criminal Justice Moorestown, N.J.
Rick Costa Maryland Sr. LB Criminal Justice Moorestown, N.J.
Adrian Aye-Darko Duke Sr. FS Sociology Stevenson Ranch, Calif.
Andrew Datko Florida State Fr. T Business Weston, Fla.
Andrew Devlin Virginia Fr. TE Undeclared Pittsburgh, Pa.
Lowell Dyer North Carolina Sr. OL English Durham, N.C.
Obi Egekeze Maryland Sr. PK International Business Augusta, Ga.
Sean Glennon Virginia Tech Sr. QB Marketing Centreville, Va.
Cameron Goldberg Duke Sr. T History Luthersville, Md.
Meares Green NC State Sr. OL Biochemistry Wilmington, N.C.
Dan Gronkowski Maryland Sr.* TE MBA Amherst, N.Y.
Brandon Harris Miami Fr. CB Sports Administration Miami, Fla.
Montel Harris Boston College Fr. RB Undeclared Jacksonville, Fla.
Mark Herzlich Boston College Jr.. LB Finance Wayne, Pa.
Kevin Jones Duke So. P Psychology Austin, Tex.
Roddy Jones Georgia Tech Fr. AB Management Stone Mountain, Ga.
Dustin Keys Virginia Tech Sr.* PK MPE Stafford, Va.
Jimmy Maners Clemson Sr. P Philosophy Rock Hill, S.C.
Brandon Maye Clemson Fr. LB Sociology Mobile, Ala.
Dean Muhtadi Maryland Sr.* DL MBA Alexandria, Va.
Christian Ponder Florida State So.* QB MBA Colleyville, Tx.
Shane Popham Wake Forest Fr. P/PK Undecided Crestview Hills, Ky.
Dane Randolph Maryland Sr.* T Health Services Columbia, Md.
Darryl Richard Georgia Tech Sr.* DT MBA Destrehan, La.
Myron Rolle Florida State Jr.* S Public Administration Galloway, N.J.
Xavier Shannon Miami Sr. C Enrollment Management Miami, Fla.
Jaybo Shaw Georgia Tech Fr. QB Management Flowery Branch, Ga.
C.J. Spiller Clemson Jr. RB Sociology Lake Butler, Fla.
Kendrick Stewart Florida State Sr. DT Sports Management Lakeland, Fla.
Cooper Taylor Georgia Tech Fr. S Management Atlanta, Ga.
Edwin Williams Maryland Sr*. C Sports Management Washington, D.C.
Ben Wooster Wake Forest Jr.. TE Health & Exercise Sci Atlanta, Ga.
* Denotes student-athlete has already graduated and were in graduate school this past fall. Class refers to athletic eligibility