Defensive players Brandon Jenkins and Lamarcus Joyner, kicker Dustin Hopkins and specialist Greg Reid represent FSU on the annual list.
By Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Team features four Florida State football players, a total that is tied for most among league schools with Clemson and North Carolina.
All four of FSU’s selections are on the defensive side of the ball and on special teams as Brandon Jenkins (defensive end), Lamarcus Joyner (safety), Dustin Hopkins (kicker) and Greg Reid (specialist) generated the most votes from gathered media at ACC Football Kickoff in Greensoro, N.C. earlier this week.
Jenkins’ ACC nod is another in a long line of preseason accolades this summer. Florida State’s powerful pass rusher has already been named to watch lists for the Walter Camp, Lombardi and Bednarik awards and the Nagurski Trophy after finishing the 2011 season as a second-team All-ACC selection.
Joyner joined Jenkins on that second team last season after a breakout year as the ‘Noles’ new starter at safety. This year he is also on watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award as well as the Jim Thorpe Award given to the nation’s top defensive back.
Hopkins finished his junior year last season as a first-team All-ACC selection and ran away with the most votes among kickers for the preseason team. Clemson’s Chandler Catanzaro was second to Hopkins’ 54 total votes with eight. A Lou Groza Award finalist a season ago, Hopkins is just 68 points shy of becoming the ACC’s all-time leading scorer.
Reid generated 15 more specialist votes than the Tigers’ standout wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who was the only player in the league to earn a unanimous spot (all 68 votes) on the ACC’s preseason team.
Reid enters his senior year fifth on the ACC’s career punt-return yardage list and is just 180 punt-return yards away from setting the new league record.
FSU nearly had five members on this year’s preseason team but Xavier Rhodes finished four votes behind Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller (25 to 21) for the second cornerback spot. Quarterback EJ Manuel (16 total votes), defensive end Bjoern Werner (12 total votes) and defensive tackle Everett Dawkins (22 total votes) were also in the top four vote-getters at their respective positions.
Florida State opens fall camp Aug. 6.