ESPN is doing their countdowns of the top 100 players in college football and the top 25 players in each of the power 5 conferences with their conference blogs. The Hokies are expected to have a few players make the ACC Top 25 with a few coming close.
Today, ESPN’s ACC blog revealed their honorable mentions along with spots 21 through 25 on the list.
Redshirt sophomore tight end Bucky Hodges was the first Hokie to make the top 25, coming in at number 21 on the list after having a great freshman season with 45 receptions for 526 receiving yards and 7 receiving touchdowns.
Hodges adds this honor to a number of major honors including Preseason All-ACC and a spot on the John Mackey Award Watch List. Hodges is one of the best tight ends in all of college football, and is a matchup nightmare for just about every defensive coordinator in the country.
Hodges has huge potential, and should be a more-developed route runner after having another full offseason at the tight end position. Hodges is definitely one of the top 25 players in the ACC, and could be in the top 10 next year depending on how the 2015 season plays out.
Three Hokies also made the list of honorable mentions: Wyatt Teller, Ken Ekanem, and Luther Maddy.
Teller was not a starter at the beginning of the season but the defensive end turned offensive guard immediately became the Hokies’ best offensive linemen once he got his chance. Teller nearly earned Preseason All-ACC honors, and is not only a solid pass blocker, but also a difference maker as a run blocker that can open up some huge holes, just ask J.C. Coleman.
Ken Ekanem nearly earned Preseason All-ACC honors, but the junior defensive end has proven to form the ACC’s best defensive end duo with Dadi Nicolas. Last season, Ekanem had 53 tackles, 14.5 total tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks in 2014, and should be able to continue to build on those numbers as a part of college football’s best defensive line in 2015.
Luther Maddy was definitely one of the top 25 players in the ACC last year, but falls off the list due to injuries. However, Maddy deservingly received Preseason All-ACC honors and is ready to shine in what is his second chance to finish his collegiate career right after early-season injuries allowed him to get the medical redshirt he needed to return in 2015.
Kendall Fuller and Dadi Nicolas are certain to make this top 25 higher up the list soon while we’ll have to wait and see if Brandon Facyson gets on this list.