College Football

Renfree named top ACC scholar-athlete

Posted February 27, 2013

Duke quarterback Sean Renfree, the winner of the Jim Tatum Award as the ACC’s top scholar-athlete; first-team All-Americas Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina, Dustin Hopkins of Florida State and Dalton Freeman of Clemson; the all-time leading pass receiver in Atlantic Coast Conference history, Conner Vernon of Duke; as well as record-setting quarterback Mike Glennon of NC State, headline the 52-member 2012 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Football Team, announced Wednesday by Commissioner John Swofford.

To be eligible for consideration, a student-athlete must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career. All 12 ACC schools were represented by at least one selection on the team. The ACC has selected an All-ACC Academic Football team every year since 1954.

The team was chosen from a pool of 105 ACC football student-athletes who were nominated by their schools.

Duke’s Renfree (Scottsdale, Ariz.) was named the ACC’s Jim Tatum Award-winner last November as the conference’s top football scholar-athlete. He was also honored as a National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete and was the winner of the Pop Warner National College Football Award. He finished his career ranked seventh on the ACC’s career list for passing yardage (9,465) and third in career pass completions (898).

North Carolina’s Cooper (Wilmington, N.C.), earned consensus first-team All-America honors and was named the winner of the ACC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given annually the league’s top blocker, as an offensive guard for Tar Heels’ offense which set a school record and was ranked eighth nationally in scoring offense. He was also the first Outland Trophy finalist in UNC history.

Florida State’s Hopkins (Houston, Texas), who completed his career as the NCAA’s all-time career leader in field goals made (88) and points by kicking (466), was a first-team All-America pick by the AFCA. He is the ACC’s all-time leading scorer and finished third on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list.

Clemson’s Freeman (Pelion, S.C.), a first-team All-America selection by the AFCA, helped lead the Tigers to school and ACC records in points scored (533), while finishing sixth nationally in scoring offense and ninth nationally in total offense.

Duke’s Vernon (Miami, Fla.), a first-team All-ACC selection, shattered the conference’s career records for pass receptions (283) and pass receiving yards (3,749) and set a new league record for most consecutive games with a pass reception, making a catch in 48 straight contests—every game of his collegiate career.

NC State’s Glennon (Centreville, Va.) became only the second player in ACC history to throw for more than 30 touchdown passes in back-to-back seasons, tossing for 31 TDs in each of his two years (2011, 2012) as a starter for the Wolfpack. Glennon’s per-game passing yard average (310.1) in 2012 was the sixth-best mark in league history.

Both Hopkins and Freeman were named to the All-ACC Academic team for the fourth time in their careers, becoming only the 13th and 14th four-time All-ACC Academic Football Team honorees in history.

In all, 14 members of the All-ACC Academic team earned some kind of All-ACC Football recognition including seven first-team honorees including Cooper, Hopkins, Freeman, Vernon, Clemson tight end Brandon Ford (Wando, S.C.), Duke cornerback Ross Cockrell (Waxhaw, N.C.) and Duke punter Will Monday (Flowery Branch, Ga.).

Clemson placekicker Chandler Catanzaro (Greenville, S.C.) earned 2nd-team All-ACC honors while six were named Honorable Mention All-ACC including Glennon, Georgia Tech offensive tackle Will Jackson (Knoxville, Tenn.), and four members of Duke’s football team in defensive end Kenny Anunike (Galena, Ohio), offensive guard David Harding (Orlando, Fla.), placekicker Ross Martin (Solon, Ohio) and offensive tackle Perry Simmons (Raleigh, N.C.).

A total of 24 of this year’s selections were repeat choices with nine earning a spot on the All-ACC Academic team for the third time in Renfree, Cockrell, Harding, Jackson, Simmons, Clemson senior wide receiver Jaron Brown (Cheraw, S.C.), Duke senior cornerback Lee Butler (Anderson, S.C.), Maryland senior guard Bennett Fulper (Gretna, Va.), and Duke senior center Brian Moore (Coral Gables, Fla.).

Earning selection to the All-ACC Academic team for the second time were Catanzaro, Ford, Glennon, Harding, Duke junior safety Brandon Braxton (Charlotte, N.C.); Maryland sophomore fullback Tyler Cierski (Dacula, Ga.); Duke sophomore linebacker C.J. France (Columbus, Ga.); NC State senior defensive end McKay Frandsen (American Fork, Utah); Duke sophomore linebacker David Helton (Chattanooga, Tenn.); Duke sophomore defensive end Dezmond Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.); Wake Forest junior strong safety Duran Lowe (Plant City, Fla.), North Carolina senior defensive back Pete Mangum (Raleigh, N.C.); Virginia Tech senior fullback Joey Phillips (Blacksburg, Va.); Wake Forest junior quarterback Tanner Price (Austin, Texas); Duke junior running back Juwan Thompson (Fairburn, Ga.); and Duke sophomore guard Laken Tomlinson (Chicago, Ill.).

In addition to Cooper, Hopkins and Freeman earning first-team All-America honors, three members of the All-ACC Academic team earned Honorable Mention accolades from in Cockrell and Martin of Duke and Ford of Clemson.

Three others earned some form of Freshman All-America honors as Duke placekicker Ross Martin was a consensus first-team selection and Duke freshman punter Will Monday was a first-team Freshman All-America pick by Phil Steele. Virginia Tech freshman safety Michael Cole (Roanoke, Va.) received Honorable Mention Freshman All-America honors by

Duke led all ACC schools with 21 selections, followed by Clemson with six and NC State with five. Maryland had four players chosen, followed by North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech with three each. Georgia Tech and Wake Forest each had two players chosen, with Boston College, Florida State and Miami with one.

A total of six members of the team—Renfree, Butler and Moore of Duke, Glennon of NC State, Ford of Clemson and Phillips of Virginia Tech-- graduated prior to the 2012 season and either were in graduate school or pursuing a second bachelor’s degree this past fall.


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  • StunGunn Feb 28, 2013

    Congrats to Renfree and all those named to the list. Good to see those who put "student" ahead of "athlete" recognized for their efforts.

  • uncsuckz Feb 27, 2013

    This is why Duke has the following it has. Academics matter, just as it does for the non-athlete in college....the way it should.

  • kkevin7048 Feb 27, 2013

    Congrats Renfree !!!!

  • Hammerhead Feb 27, 2013

    Congrats to all of the honorees. I will always pull for the true student athletes and the schools that emphasize academics.

  • DurhamDevil Feb 27, 2013

    Congratulations to all. They keep the word STUDENT in front of the word ATHLETE.

    GO DEVILS!!!

  • VT1994Hokie Feb 27, 2013

    Congratulations to Renfree. He has the total package with football skills and the intellect to excel in the classroom. Met him a few years ago. Congrat's to all of these guys that made a strong effort in the classroom.

  • lanecc Feb 27, 2013

    Great representative for Duke. Great kid. Great student.

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