Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More ACC Football Awards

Wake Forest cornerback Merrill Noel is the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and Virginia Tech’s Blake DeChristopher has earned  the 2011 Jacobs Blocking Trophy.

Noel led the nation in passes defended for the Demon Deacons, and received 31 votes for the defensive honor. Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan was second with seven, followed by Miami defensive end Anthony Chickillo with five.

The redshirt freshman from Pahokee, Fla., has one interception and 19 break-ups for the Demon Deacons. His total of 20 defended passes is the highest by an FBS freshman in the nine seasons in which the NCAA has kept the statistic on a weekly basis.

DeChristopher is the Hokie to win the Jacobs Trophy which has been awarded annually since 1953 to the player voted the most outstanding blocker in the ACC by a poll of the league’s head coaches and defensive coordinators. The trophy is given in memory of William P. Jacobs, who served as president of Presbyterian College from 1935 to 1945.  

DeChristopher, a 6-5, 312-pound fifth-year senior, was named on six of 12 ballots and totaled 10 points in one of the closest votes for the Jacobs Trophy. He outdistanced Florida State senior offensive tackle Zebrie Sanders (9 points) and North Carolina junior guard Jonathan Cooper (9).  In all, 18 different ACC offensive linemen received votes in the balloting.

A four-year starter for Virginia Tech at tackle, DeChristopher was a 2nd-team All-ACC honoree in 2010 and earned Honorable Mention All-ACC accolades as a sophomore in 2009.

The Midlothian, Va., native was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week twice during the 2011 season: first for his play on Oct. 8 against Miami, in the Hokies’ dramatic 38-35 win over the Hurricanes, and then for his play on Nov. 17 in Virginia Tech’s 24-21 win over North Carolina.

He has started 49 games in his career and Tech is 38-11 in those games.

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