UVA Football: Hall, Thornhill, Zaccheaus highlight eight ‘Hoos All-ACC Honorees
Cornerback Bryce Hall, strong safety Juan Thornhill and receiver Olamide Zaccheaus highlight eight UVA football players named to the 2018 All-ACC Football Team, announced Monday by the league. Hall, Thornhill and Zaccheaus were all named to the first team, while outside linebacker Chris Peace and kick returner Joe Reed were both named to third team. Quarterback Bryce Perkins, running back Jordan Ellis and tight end Evan Butts were all named honorable mention.
Hall is the first UVA cornerback to receive first-team honors since Chase Minnifield in 2011, while Zaccheaus is the first UVA wide receiver to earn first-team accolades since Billy McMullen in 2002.
This is the second career All-ACC honor for Thornhill, Peace, Reed and Zaccheaus. Last season, Zaccheaus earned second-team honors, Thornhill earned third-team accolades, while Peace and Reed were named honorable mentions. Butts, Ellis, Hall and Perkins all earned their first career honors this year.
The eight Cavaliers named to the All-ACC team are the most by a Virginia squad since the 2014 team had 10 honorees.
Hall (Jr., Harrisburg, Pa.) leads the nation with 22 passes defended and 20 pass breakups. He boasts 59 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, two interceptions, forced two fumbles and recovered another fumble. Hall was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week after making five tackles, breaking up three passes and intercepting another at Duke. Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranks him No. 4 in the nation among defensive backs in regards to forcing an incompletion and he is the highest graded ACC cornerback through 12 games, per PFF.
Thornhill (Sr., Altavista, Va.) is No. 4 in the nation and No. 3 in the ACC with five interceptions. He leads UVA with 92 tackles and five interceptions, while breaking up six passes. Thornhill was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after making six tackles and intercepting two passes against No. 16 Miami. Thornhill also recorded 3.0 tackles for loss, blocked a PAT and returned it for a two-point score.
Zaccheaus (Sr., Plainfield, N.J.) is No. 2 in the ACC and No. 11 in the nation with 81 receptions. He is also No. 3 in the ACC with 958 receiving yards. Zaccheaus is the only ACC player to have at least 70 receptions in 2017 and 2018. He set a UVA single-game record with 247 receiving yards against Ohio, which also serves as the most receiving yards in a game this season by an ACC player and is tied for No. 3 in all of FBS in 2018. Zaccheaus needs only 42 receiving yards to become just the third Cavalier to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
Peace (Sr., Newport News, Va.) leads the ACC’s linebackers with 6.0 sacks, which also ranks No. 9 among the nation’s linebackers. He is second on the team with 63 tackles and leads UVA with 13 quarterback hurries. Peace is part of a pass rush that assists the UVA secondary, which ranks No. 3 in the ACC and No. 16 in the nation with 180.1 passing yards allowed per game.
Reed (Jr., Charlotte Court House, Va.) is No. 1 in the ACC and No. 12 in the nation with a 27.2-yard kick return average. He ranks No. 5 in the nation and No. 2 in the ACC in kick returns for a touchdown. Reed is UVA’s all-time kick return yardage leader with 2,246 return yards, which also ranks No. 6 all-time in ACC history. Reed leads UVA in special teams tackles (7). His coverage on punts has helped UVA rank No. 1 in the ACC and No. 9 in the nation in punt return defense (3.21 yards per return), forcing many players to wave for a fair catch. Reed also ranks No. 4 in the ACC and No. 17 in the nation with 18.96 yards per reception.
Perkins (Jr., Queen Creek, Va.) is No. 1 in the ACC and No. 16 in the nation with 188 points responsible for. His 3,314 yards of total offense is a UVA single-season record and it currently ranks No. 2 in the ACC and No. 18 in the nation. Perkins and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray are the only players in the nation with at least 2,400+ passing yards and 800+ rushing yards. Perkins is the only ACC player with at least 20 passing touchdowns and nine rushing touchdowns. Perkins also set a UVA single-season record with 31 touchdowns (22 passing, nine rushing) responsible for. He was clutch on third down passing (65 percent) and rushing, where he averaged 7.6 yards per rush with 15 first downs and four rushing touchdowns. Perkins rushed for 1,032 yards when you adjust for sacks.
Ellis (Sr., Suwanee, Ga.) is No. 7 in the ACC with 920 rushing yards and tied an ACC single-best in 2018 with three rushing touchdowns against Ohio. Ellis needs 80 rushing yards to become the 15th Cavalier to rush for 1,000 yards in season. He has also accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game.
Butts (Sr., Springfield, Pa.) is No. 8 among ACC tight ends with 15 receptions. He scored key touchdowns in ACC wins at Duke and against North Carolina. Butts is a key blocker for Bryce Perkins, who is one of two players in the nation with 2,400+ passing yards (2,2472) and 800+ rushing yards (842), joining Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray. Perkins is No. 1 in the ACC and No. 14 in the nation with 188 points responsible for. Perkins is also No. 2 in the ACC and No. 18 in the nation with 3,314 yards of total offense.