GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina State quarterback Devin Leary is the preseason pick to finish as Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, while league favorite Clemson leads all schools with six players on the league’s preseason all-conference team.
The league released the team following voting by media members at last week’s ACC media days in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Leary, a redshirt junior, ranked 10th in the Bowl Subdivision last year with 35 touchdown passes while also ranking in the top 20 nationally in passing yards per game and passing efficiency. He earned 40 of 164 votes for preseason player of the year to beat out Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman, who earned 30 votes after guiding the Demon Deacons to last year’s ACC title game.
North Carolina receiver Josh Downs led all players with 128 points in voting from the panel for the preseason all-ACC team, followed by Clemson offensive tackle Jordan McFadden (127) and Syracuse running back Sean Tucker (125).
N.C. State – which received the second-most votes for league favorite despite being in the same division with Clemson – had five players selected with Leary – center Grant Gibson, linebackers Drake Thomas and Payton Wilson, and safety Tanner Ingle.
Preseason Coastal Division favorite Miami and Boston College each had three all-ACC picks.