Duke, N.C. State land two players each on preseason All-ACC team

N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley (15), running against Clemson in 2017 game, was named to the All-ACC preseason team on July 24, 2018.
N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley (15), running against Clemson in 2017 game, was named to the All-ACC preseason team on July 24, 2018.

Duke and N.C. State each have two selections and North Carolina one on the preseason All-ACC football team, which was announced on Tuesday.

The team was selected by 148 media members who attended the league’s ACC Football Kickoff event in Charlotte last week.

N.C. State’s two players are on offense as quarterback Ryan Finley and wide receiver Kelvin Harmon were selected. Duke’s representatives are on defense -- linebacker Joe Giles-Harris and cornerback Mark Gilbert.

UNC’s one representative is on special teams, where junior returner Anthony Ratliff-Williams was picked as a specialist. Ratliff-Williams averaged 26.3 yards per kickoff return last season, bringing two kicks back for touchdowns.

A redshirt senior, Finley threw for 3,518 yards with 17 touchdowns last season for the Wolfpack. Harmon caught 69 passes for 1,017 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore, helping N.C. State to a 9-4 record (6-2 in ACC).

Both Giles-Harris and Gilbert were first-team All-ACC selections last season as sophomores as Duke went 7-6 (3-5 in ACC). Giles-Harris led Duke with 125 tackles, placing third in the ACC. He’s the league’s leading returning tackler.

Gilbert intercepted six passes last season for the Blue Devils to lead all ACC cornerbacks. Last year’s ACC interceptions leader was Boston College’s Lukas Denis with seven. Denis is a preseason All-ACC selection at safety.

Clemson, the overwhelming pick to win the ACC championship in voting announced on Monday, has eight players on the preseason All-ACC team. That includes the Tigers’ entire starting defensive line in defensive ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant and defensive tackles Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins.

Other Clemson players on the team are wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, center Justin Falcinelli and linebacker Kendall Joseph.

Coastal Division favorite Miami has three players on the team in linebacker Shaquille Quarterman, cornerback Michael Jackson and safety Jaquan Johnson.

Boston College running back A.J. Dillon edged Wilkins and Finley in voting for ACC player of the year.

A sophomore, Dillon rushed for 1,589 yards last season for the Eagles. He received 45 first-place votes for player of the year, followed by Clemson’s Wilkins (42) and Finley (37).

2018 All-ACC Preseason Football Team

(Total votes in parenthesis)


WR – Jaylen Smith, Louisville (90)

WR – Kelvin Harmon, NC State (71)

WR – Hunter Renfrow, Clemson (62)

TE – Tommy Sweeney, Boston College (106)

AP – Greg Dortch, Wake Forest (64)

OT – Mitch Hyatt, Clemson (130)

OT – Chris Lindstrom, Boston College (72)

OG – Parker Braun, Georgia Tech (83)

OG – Phil Haynes, Wake Forest (65)

C – Justin Falcinelli, Clemson (56)

QB – Ryan Finley, NC State (102)

RB – AJ Dillon, Boston College (112)

RB – Cam Akers, Florida State (94)


DE – Clelin Ferrell, Clemson (122)

DE – Austin Bryant, Clemson (80)

DT – Christian Wilkins, Clemson (122)

DT – Dexter Lawrence, Clemson (119)

LB – Joe Giles-Harris, Duke (103)

LB – Shaquille Quarterman, Miami (98)

LB – Kendall Joseph, Clemson (84)

CB – Mark Gilbert, Duke (79)

CB – Michael Jackson, Miami (68)

S – Jaquan Johnson, Miami (103)

S – Lukas Denis, Boston College (64)

Special Teams

PK – Ricky Aguayo, Florida State (119)

P – Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse (33)

SP – Anthony Ratliff-Williams, North Carolina (97)

ACC Player of the Year

AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College – 45

Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson – 42

Ryan Finley, QB, NC State – 37

Cam Akers, RB, Florida State – 13

Greg Dortch, WR, Wake Forest – 3

Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke – 2

TaQuon Marshall, QB, Georgia Tech – 2

Zach Allen, DE, Boston College – 1

Eric Dungey, QB, Syracuse – 1

Olamide Zaccheaus, HB, Virginia – 1

Jaylen Smith, WR, Louisville – 1