Free safety Quin Blanding and inside linebacker Micah Kiser highlight Virginia’s seven players named to the 2015 All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Football team, as announced Monday by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).
Blanding and Kiser were named to the first team. Wide receiver Canaan Severin was named to the second team, while running back Taquan Mizzell was named to the third team. Offensive guard Ross Burbank, defensive tackle David Dean and punter Nicholas Conte were named honorable-mention honorees.
The All-ACC accolades are the second career nods for Blanding and Dean. Blanding was a second-team honoree in 2014 and the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. Dean earned honorable mention honors in 2014.
UVA First-Team Honorees
Blanding (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) finished the regular season No. 2 in the ACC and No. 20 in the nation with 115 tackles. It’s the second year in a row Blanding finished No. 2 in the ACC in tackles after posting 123 as a true freshman in 2014. Blanding registered double-digit tackles in seven of 12 games and led UVA with 38 tackles on passing plays. The sophomore also recorded 76 of his tackles on rushing plays. He was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week after leading UVA with 15 stops against Georgia Tech.
Kiser (So., Baltimore, Md.) finished the regular season No. 1 in the ACC and No. 17 in the nation with 117 tackles. Kiser led UVA with 82 tackles on rushing plays and recorded double-digit tackles in seven of 12 games. He was named ACC Player of the Week after setting a career high with 17 tackles against Duke.
Blanding and Kiser the only teammates in all 10 FBS conferences to finish the regular season ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in tackles in their respective leagues.
Blanding and Kiser are the first UVA sophomores to be named first-team All-ACC since Heath Miller in 2003. They are the first defensive Cavaliers to be named first-team All-ACC as sophomores since Anthony Poindexter in 1996. They are the first Cavalier sophomore duo to be named first-team All-ACC since Terry Kirby and Chris Slade in 1990.
UVA Second-Team Honoree
Severin (Sr., Marlborough, Mass.) led UVA with 759 receiving yards, which ranks No. 3 in the ACC this year and No. 15 all-time in the UVA record book for a season. Severin caught 54 passes and eight touchdowns. The 54 receptions tie him with Herman Moore (1990) for No. 11 all-time in the UVA annals for catches in a season. In 2015 Severin became the 20th player in program history with 100 receptions and finishes his career No. 19 all-time with 102 catches, 96 of which came over the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Severin finishes his career with 1,383 receiving yards, which ranks No. 15 all-time in the UVA record book.
UVA Third-Team Honoree
Mizzell (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) broke the ACC record for receiving yards in a season by a running back with 721. His 75 receptions rank No. 2 all-time in ACC history for catches by a running back, just one off the record by Boston College’s Andrew Callender in 2007. Mizzell’s 75 receptions also rank No. 2 all-time in UVA history for catches in a season, trailing only Billy McMullen’s 83 receptions in 2001. Mizzell finished the regular season No. 2 in the ACC with 1,488 all-purpose yards, No. 3 in the ACC with 75 receptions and No. 5 with 721 receiving yards. He also led UVA with 671 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. Mizzell also scored four times via the pass. In 2015 Mizzell became only the fifth Cavalier to reach 1,000 career rushing yards and 1,000 career receiving yards.
UVA Honorable Mention Honorees
Burbank (Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.) allowed zero sacks in 2015 on 413 passing plays. He started all 12 games, including eight games at left guard and four games at right guard.
Conte (Jr., Roanoke, Va.) through the regular season led the ACC in punting with a 44.7 punting average. He booted 14 balls of 50 yards or more and placed 15 kicks inside the 20.
Dean (Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.) was a key cog in the middle of UVA’s defensive front seven. He led all UVA defensive linemen with 49 tackles and collected 4.5 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss.