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Virginia Tech Football: Woody Baron Named to All-ACC First Team

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A Coastal Division crown led to 13 different Hokies earning All-ACC honors on Monday.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Miami
Virginia Tech defensive tackle Woody Baron
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC announced its all-conference teams on Monday as voted on by members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA). Clemson, the Atlantic Division champions leads the honored with 15 selections.

Virginia Tech, the Coastal Division champion and Clemson’s opponent this weekend, had nine players honored.

Surprisingly, record-setting receiver Isaiah Ford was not the Hokie named to the first team. That honor belongs to senior defensive tackle Woody Baron. Baron started all 12 games, compiling 50 total tackles, 17 12 tackles for loss, 4 12 sacks and a fumble recovery. Baron was a force all season with Nigel Williams a lot of time due to injury.

Ford, meanwhile, did make the All-ACC second team. Virginia Tech’s all-time leading receiver caught 69 passes for 949 yards and seven scores in 2016. UNC’s Ryan Switzer was chosen ahead of Ford. Switzer, of course, caught all of two balls for two yards against the Hokies back in October.

Sophomore linebacker Tremaine Edmunds was Tech’s only other second-team selection. The 6’5”, 236-pound ‘backer had a tremendous season in first full year as a starter. He was second on the team in tackles, first in solo tackles, tied for second in sacks and second in tackles for loss.

Bucky Hodges, Jonathan McLaughlin, Augie Conte, Andrew Motuapuaka, Greg Stroman and Joey Slye were all third-team selections. Conte being ahead of Wyatt Teller is surprising. Teller had an issue with penalties, but he was far and away the Hokies’ most dominant lineman. Conte, along with center Eric Gallo, each had their share of struggles.

Teller, Chuck Clark, Ken Ekanem and Terrell Edmunds were all named honorable mention. Ekanem should’ve at least made the All-ACC second team. While his sack total wasn’t as impressive as some, there were games where he lived in the opposition’s backfield.

Perhaps the biggest omission is quarterback Jerod Evans. The JUCO transfer had a terrific debut for the Hokies. Evans completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,039 yards, 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Evans also rushed for 713 yards and eight additional scores.

Sure, the quarterback position is deep and Evans didn’t deserve to be placed ahead of Lamar Jackson or Deshaun Watson. But he should’ve at least been selected to the third team over Mitch Tribusky.