There’s now a new ignominious distinction associated with Virginia Tech’s worst season in 20 years. For the first time since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004, no players were named first team all-conference. .
The league announced its all-ACC teams Monday afternoon, and Virginia Tech linebacker Jack Tyler, defensive end James Gayle and cornerback Antone Exum all earned second team honors. Linebacker Bruce Taylor, cornerback Kyle Fuller and defensive tackles Antoine and Derrick Hopkins were recognized as honorable mention all-ACC.
But after Virginia Tech players earned ACC player of the year honors the past two seasons (Tyrod Taylor and David Wilson) no Hokies offensive players even made the honorable mention list. The voting was done by 46 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. You can view the full results here.
Tyler, a former All Met from Oakton who initially walked on at Virginia Tech, led the Hokies with 112 tackles, assuming the mike linebacker spot with redshirt junior Tariq Edwards sidelined much of the season due to a shin/leg injury. He also finished with a team-high 11 tackles for loss.
Exum was moved to cornerback this past spring after leading the team in tackles and earning all-ACC honorable mention distinction as a safety in 2011. After suffering some bumps early on adjusting to a new position, the redshirt junior emerged as Virginia Tech’s top cornerback down the stretch.
Exum led the team with four interceptions, 15 pass break ups and two forced fumbles to go along with 47 tackles.
Gayle didn’t match his sack totals from a year ago when he was also named second team all-ACC, finishing with just five this season. But the redshirt junior was a constant presence in the backfield, leading the team with 27 quarterback hits in addition to 40 tackles.