Without question, one of the keys to the resurgence of the Florida State Seminoles the past few years has been the emergence of some of the most powerful defenses throughout the country. Consistently ranked in the top-10 in most defensive categories, the ‘Noles defensive squad has been one of the most feared units in the nation. And although defensive coordinator Mark Stoops has moved on to become the head man for the Kentucky Wildcats, new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has the pieces to keep this trend up.
This is further proven by the fact that Florida State leads in number of players from the ACC on this year’s preseason Bednarik Award Watch List.
When the list was released on Monday, FSU had three players named as possibly being recognized as the best defensive player in college football in 2013. Junior DT Timmy Jernigan, senior LB Christian Jones and senior CB Lamarcus Joyner represent the vaunted Seminoles’ defense on this year’s watch list. All three have proven to be significant driving forces behind the defense’s success in the past and look to further that this season.
Only one other team from the ACC is represented in double-digits, and it may not be who you would think.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets land two on the list in seniors DE Jeremiah Attaochu and CB Jemea Thomas.
Rounding out the rest of the ACC players recognized this preseason are Clemson Tigers junior DE Vic Beasley, Wake Forest Demon Deacons senior NG Nikita Whitlock, North Carolina Tar Heels senior DE Kareem Martin, Virginia Tech Hokies senior DE James Gayle and Pittsburgh Panthers senior DT Aaron Donald.
Jack is the ACC College Football Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14RS