Thanks in large part to his first-quarter punt return for a touchdown against N.C. Central, Duke's Jamison Crowder was named the ACC Specialist of the Week. Crowder, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound receiver from Monroe, N.C., scored his first career special teams touchdown with the 76-yard return. It's the second time Crowder has received ACC Player of the Week honors—he was the receiver of the week in last year's regular season finale against Miami after recording a 99-yard touchdown reception.
Here are the rest of the awards—guess who is Rookie of the Week—as voted on by a panel of ACC writers, which includes Andrew Carter and myself:
OFFENSIVE BACK – Tajh Boyd, Sr., QB, 6-1, 225 Hampton, Va.
Boyd completed 18 of 30 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in Clemson’s 38-35 win over fifth-ranked Georgia. He also had 13 rushes for 42 yards and two scores, giving him 312 yards of total offense. He finished the game with five total touchdowns rushing and passing. It was the seventh win for Boyd against a top 25 team as the starting quarterback, tying the school record.
CO-OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Ryan Norton, Clemson, So., C, 6-3, 270, Simpsonville, S.C.
Norton, the only first-year starter in Clemson’s veteran offensive line, played all but one snap (78 total) at center in his first career start and was Clemson’s highest graded offensive lineman at 91 percent with four knockdown blocks. He was a big reason Clemson gained 467 yards and scored 38 points on offense and controlled the clock for 9:08 of the fourth quarter.
CO-OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Brandon Linder, Miami, Sr., RG, 6-6, 317, Southwest Ranches, Fla.
Linder, a preseason All-ACC selection, anchored Miami’s offensive line that paved the way for 303 yards rushing – 8.0 yards per carry – and three rushing TDs in the Hurricanes’ 34-6 win over Florida Atlantic. Liner led an offensive line that produced 503 yards of total offense, the Hurricanes’ third consecutive game with 500-plus yards of total offense dating back to the 2012 season. Linder graded out at 94 percent with five cut blocks, three pancakes and no sacks allowed.
RECEIVER – Sammy Watkins, Clemson, Jr., WR, 6-1, 205, Fort Myers, Fla.
Watkins had six receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown in Clemson’s win over fifth-ranked Georgia. That performance included a 77-yard touchdown reception from Tajh Boyd in the first quarter that gave Clemson a 14-7 lead. It was the longest reception of Watkins’ career. The play took place on Clemson’s first play after Georgia had scored on a 75-yard run by Todd Gurley and provided an important momentum swing. Watkins finished the game with 154 all-purpose yards.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Robert Welsh, Syracuse, Jr., DE, 6-3, 2596 Bay Shore, N.Y.
Against Penn State, Welsh recorded six tackles, including four solo and a sack for a loss of four yards, and added an interception in his first career start. Welsh returned the interception 31 yards to the Penn State 1-yard line, setting up Syracuse’s touchdown that brought the Orange to within six, 23-17, with just less than seven minutes to play. His first tackle during the Nittany Lions’ first offensive series was on a 3rd-and-1 play on which he stopped the ball-carrier for no gain.
LINEBACKER – Spencer Shuey, Clemson, Sr., LB, 6-3, 230, Charlotte, N.C.
Shuey’s 12 tackles were a team-high and five more than any other defender as he led the Clemson defense in the win over Georgia. He also had a key fumble recovery that led to a Clemson touchdown. Shuey’s tackles were important during a 10-possession stretch from the second quarter to the fourth period, when the Bulldogs scored just one touchdown and had six possessions of four plays or less.
DEFENSIVE BACK – Anthony Harris, Virginia, Jr., SS, 6-1, 185, Chesterfield, Va.
Harris was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation Defensive Player of the Week after recording 11 tackles, including three solo stops, one quarterback sack (first in his career), a blocked punt and an intercepted a pass in Virginia’s season-opening 19-16 victory over visiting BYU. Harris’ blocked punt in the third quarter set up Virginia’s first touchdown. Then, with the Cavaliers trailing 16-12 and three minutes left to play, Harris picked off a third-down BYU pass, returned it 10 yards and then pitched the ball to linebacker Henry Coley, who ran another 23 yards. Virginia scored the winning touchdown on the next play.
SPECIALIST – Jamison Crowder, Duke, Jr., WR, 5-9, 175, Monroe, N.C.
Crowder sparked the Blue Devils in Saturday’s 45-0 win over North Carolina Central with 113 yards on five punt returns, including a 76-yarder for a touchdown. The 76-yard runback was the seventh-longest punt return in Duke history. Crowder also logged a 25-yard punt return to set up Duke’s first scoring drive. The 113 punt return yards marked the fourth-highest total in Duke school history and the highest Week 1 total in 2013 NCAA action. Crowder’s 22.6 yards per punt return average was the sixth-highest single-game mark in school history. Crowder also registered team-highs of six pass receptions and 62 receiving yards for 175 all-purpose yards on the day.
ROOKIE – Jameis Winston, Florida State, Fr., QB, 6-4, 225, Hueytown, Ala.
Winston delivered a school-record setting performance as the 11th-ranked Seminoles opened their season with a 41-13 ACC road win at Pitt on Monday night. Winston completed 25 of 27 passes for a 92.6 completion percentage, topping the previous Florida State single-game record of 87.5 posted by Danny Kannell against NC State in 1995. Winston finished the game with 356 passing yards while throwing for four touchdowns and running for one more.
Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/accnow/dukes-jamison-crowder-among-acc-players-of-the-week#storylink=cpy
David Scott has been with the Observer for 28 years and has written about ACC, SEC and other college sports in the Charlotte region. He covers Wake Forest, South Carolina and college soccer for the Observer and (Raleigh) News & Observer.
J.P. Giglio covers the ACC for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1997, and the Observer.
Andrew Carter covers the North Carolina Tar Heels for the Observer and News & Observer.
Laura Keeley covers the Duke Blue Devils for the Observer and News & Observer. Follow her on Twitter.
Chip Alexander covers the Carolina Hurricanes and college football for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1979, and the Observer.
Luke DeCock has worked for The News & Observer since 2000. He covered the Carolina Hurricanes and the NHL before becoming a sports columnist for the Observer and News & Observer in August 2008.