For the first time since the Clinton administration, the Maryland football team had zero players selected to the all-ACC first, second or third teams. The Terrapins, despite three players earning honorable mention, were shut out when the awards list was released Monday. The last time that happened was in 1997.
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs, inside linebacker Cole Farrand and outside linebacker Marcus Whitfield all received enough votes to warrant honorable mention honors. Whitfield, who ranks fifth in the ACC with 9.5 sacks, came the closest to cracking the list; he received 45 points, 12 behind the last linebacker — Clemson’s Spencer Shuey — selected to the third team.
Farrand, a junior, received 22 votes. He ranks second on the Terps with 84 tackles despite missing two games, and his 8.4 tackles per game are second in the ACC. Farrand has battled several injuries this season, including a wrist ailment that forced him to play with tape tightly wrapped around it, and earned some glowing praise from Coach Randy Edsall on Sunday.
“I can’t say enough about Cole Farrand’s toughness and grit and wanting to play for this team,” said Edsall, after announcing that Farrand received the defensive game ball for the season finale against North Carolina State. “That guy is just a warrior. What he did yesterday, the Virginia Tech game and everything else, it’s very impactful having him on the field for us. The leadership he has and how he plays, with the aim that he has and everything else, my hat’s off to that kid. He played another good game and helped us out yesterday, and playing is very important to him. He’s really sold it out for his teammates and for the program.”
With three receivers chosen to the first, second and third teams, Diggs was effectively voted by 65 voting members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA) as the conference’s 13th-best receiver this season, despite appearing in just seven games before suffering a season-ending broken leg. Despite missing the season’s final five games, Diggs still led the Terps with 587 receiving yards and caught 34 passes. He was selected to the preseason all-ACC team as a specialist, after a freshman season during which he tallied the second-most all-purpose yards in program history.
An honorable mention case could have been made for sophomore kicker Brad Craddock, who is tied for the ACC lead with 19 field goals this season and is fourth with a 82.6 conversion rate. There were no quarterbacks named honorable mention after Florida State’s Jameis Winston (first team), Clemson’s Tajh Boyd (second) and Miami’s Stephen Morris (third).
Virginia safety Anthony Harris was the only player from a local squad chosen to the first team, though Cavaliers running back Kevin Parks and Virginia Tech’s Derrick Hopkins (defensive tackle), Jack Tyler (linebacker), Kendall Fuller (cornerback) and A.J. Hughes (punter) were all named to the second team.
Boston College running back Andre Williams, the nation’s rushing leader and a darkhorse Heisman Trophy candidate, was the only unanimous first-team selection, though Winston and Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins finished within four points of it.