Eight Virginia Tech football student-athletes were recognized Tuesday as the Atlantic Coast Conference announced its 2019 All-ACC football teams, which were compiled from a vote among a panel of the league’s 14 head coaches and select media members. The group was headlined by cornerback Caleb Farley (first team) and linebacker Rayshard Ashby (second team) while six players earned honorable mention honors: punter Oscar Bradburn, tackle Christian Darrisaw, wide receiver Damon Hazelton, defensive tackle Jarrod Hewitt, guard Lecitus Smith and cornerback Jermaine Waller.
ALL-ACC FIRST TEAM:
Cornerback Caleb Farley
A former high school quarterback, Farley blossomed into one of the ACC’s top cornerbacks in just his second season at that position. He leads the ACC with 16 passes defensed and ranks fourth in the nation averaging 1.5 passes defensed per game. He is tied for the ACC lead with four interceptions and registered a 17-yard interception return touchdown in the 45-0 shutout of Georgia Tech (11/16). The Hickory, N.C., native had a career-high four passes defensed in the 43-41 six-overtime win over North Carolina (10/19).
ALL-ACC SECOND TEAM:
Liinebacker Rayshard Ashby
Named ACC Linebacker of the Week five times this season, the Chesterfield, Va., native was the only defensive player in the league to win that many ACC POW honors in 2019. He finished third in the voting for ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Ashby leads Tech with 106 total tackles and ranks fourth in the ACC. He also leads the Hokies and is tied for fourth in the ACC with 14.5 tackles for loss. He has held VT’s Lunch Pail for Bud Foster the entire season and leads a VT defense that helped the Hokies become the first ACC team to post back-to-back shutouts against Power Five foes for the first time since 1978. The Hokies rank second in the ACC in red-zone defense with a 71.8 opponent scoring percentage, trailing only Clemson (71.4%).
ALL-ACC HONORABLE MENTION:
Punter Oscar Bradburn
Bradburn earned All-ACC honorable mention accolades in 2019 after being named a third-team All-ACC selection in 2018. A semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, which is presented to college football’s top punter, he ranks eighth in the nation in gross punting average (46.7). The Sydney, Australia, native had 21 punts of 50+ yards and 21 punts downed inside the 20. He also forced 21 fair catches while suffering only seven touchbacks. Bradburn was named the ACC Specialist of the Week following Tech’s 36-14 victory over No. 22 Wake Forest. He boomed four punts for an average of 51.3 yards, hit a long punt of 59 yards and dropped three punts inside the 20 in that contest.
Tackle Christian Darrisaw
A true sophomore for the Hokies, Darrisaw started all 12 games at left tackle for Tech in 2019 after opening 12 contests at that position as a true freshman. The Upper Marlboro, Md., native helped jumpstart Tech’s rushing game in the regular season’s final eight games as the Hokies averaged 184.4 yards per game and scored 17 rushing touchdowns.
Wide Receiver Damon Hazelton
Hazelton missed the season’s first three games due to injury, but still posted a team-best seven touchdown catches. The Baltimore native earned All-ACC third-team honors in 2018. He ranks second on the squad with 30 receptions for 506 yards. A transfer from Ball State who sat out the 2017 campaign, he tied a season-high with seven catches against Virginia (11/29) for 118 yards, marking his fourth career 100-yard game at Tech.
Defensive Tackle Jarrod Hewitt
A redshirt junior from Venice, Fla., Hewitt owns 27 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, four QB hurries and one pass breakup. He enjoyed a monster game in the 43-41 six-OT triumph vs. North Carolina (10/19), producing career bests with three tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks to go along with five tackles.
Guard Lecitus Smith
A redshirt sophomore, Smith has started 11 games at left guard for Tech in 2019 after opening four contests at that position in 2018. The Fitzgerald, Ga., native teamed with tackle Christian Darrisaw to anchor the left side of Tech’s offensive line.
Cornerback Jermaine Waller
A true sophomore, Waller emerged as a consistent cover corner for the Hokies in 2019. The Washington, D.C., native is tied for fifth in the ACC with three interceptions and is tied for fourth in the league with 13 passes defensed. He ranks second on the squad in both categories behind cornerback Caleb Farley.