ACC players of the week
Clemson senior running back C.J. Spiller racked up a career-high and ACC season-best 312 all-purpose yards en route to being named this week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Back of the Week, announced today. The honor is Spiller’s first Offensive Back of the Week selection, but third overall this season, as he was named Specialist of the Week twice.
In addition to Spiller, four other player of the week selections are appearing on the list for at least their second time this season. Miami senior offensive tackle Jason Fox, Virginia Tech senior outside linebacker Cody Grimm and freshman running back Ryan Williams, and Maryland sophomore wide receiver Torrey Smith have all been honored at least twice this season. Spiller set a school record, while Smith set an ACC mark in their performances over the weekend.
North Carolina garnered two picks in this week’s group, with sophomore defensive end Robert Quinn and sophomore kicker Casey Barth garnering the Defensive Lineman and Specialist of the Week honors, respectively.
OFFENSIVE BACK – C.J. Spiller, Clemson, RB, Sr., 5-11, 195, Lake Butler, Fla. (Union County)
Clemson senior running C.J. Spiller earned his third player of the week nod by rushing for a career-high 165 yards on 22 carries (7.5 yards per rush), hauling in three passes for 67 yards—including a 58-yard touchdown—and totaling 71 yards on three kickoff returns in Clemson’s 40-24 win against Florida State. Overall, Spiller totaled a school-record 312 all-purpose yards, which is the top mark in the ACC this season. In addition to his 58-yard touchdown reception, Spiller carried the ball for a five-yard touchdown run to seal the win for the Tigers, and has scored in all nine of Clemson’s games this season.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Jason Fox, Miami, OT, Sr., 6-7, 314, Fort Worth, Texas (North Crowley)
Miami senior offensive tackle Jason Fox’s second Offensive Lineman of the Week honor came after he helped anchor an offensive line that made space for a Hurricane offense that piled up season-highs of 515 yards and 268 rushing yards in Miami’s 52-17 win over visiting Virginia. Fox graded out at 98 percent, had five pancake blocks, and did not allow a sack.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Robert Quinn, North Carolina, DE, So., 6-5, 270, Ladson, S.C. (Ft. Dorchester)
North Carolina sophomore defensive end Robert Quinn found his way into the Blue Devil backfield for three sacks, another 1.5 tackles for loss, and six quarterback hurries in the Tar Heels’ 19-6 win over Duke. Quinn had seven total tackles, a forced fumble, and a fourth-down pass break-up to lead the North Carolina defense in limiting Duke’s potent passing attack to 113 yards and giving up just 125 yards overall. Quinn is ranked fifth nationally with 15.5 tackles for loss and sixth with 10.0 sacks.
DEFENSIVE BACK – Cody Grimm, Virginia Tech, OLB, Sr., 5-11, 202, Fairfax, Va. (Oakton)
Virginia Tech senior outside linebacker Cody Grimm took his second Defensive Back of the Week honor after helping the Hokie defensive cause with a game-high 12 tackles, including seven solo stops, and a late-game sack in Virginia Tech’s 16-3 win against East Carolina. Additionally, Grimm forced a fumble that he recovered deep in Pirate territory, and broke up a pass as Virginia Tech limited East Carolina’s offense to just 277 yards
SPECIALIST – Torrey Smith, Maryland, WR, So., 6-1, 200, Colonial Beach, Va. (Stafford)
Maryland sophomore wide receiver Torrey Smith was honored as the Specialist of the Week for the second time in 2009 after he returned an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown—his second this season and third of his career—to set the Terrapin record for career kickoff returns for touchdowns in a 38-31 loss to NC State. Smith totaled 268 all-purpose yards, a career-high 204 of which came on kickoff returns. With three games to play, Smith already owns the league’s single-season record with 1,113 kickoff return yards, breaking his own record which he set last season (1,089), and currently sits in fourth place all-time in ACC history with 2,202 kickoff return yards.
ROOKIE – Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech, RB, Fr. 5-9, 205, Manassas, Va. (Stonewall Jackson)
Virginia Tech freshman running back Ryan Williams earned his sixth Rookie of the Week accolade as he became the first running back in the ACC to eclipse the 1,100-yard mark this season with a season-high 179 rushing yards on 26 carries (6.9 yards per rush) against East Carolina. Williams’ sixth 100-yard rushing performance of 2009 was just the second against the Pirate defense this season. He also caught three passes for nine yards. This season, Williams is leading all ACC ball carriers with 1,109 rushing yards. Only two former ACC freshmen have won as many or more Rookie honors, as NC State’s Philip Rivers was named Rookie of the Week eight times in 2000, and North Carolina’s Darian Durant earned six awards in 2001.