As part of our 2012 season review, we’re counting down the top 25 players in the ACC this season, from no. 25 to no. 1. Obviously these lists are always completely subjective — and thus completely bulletproof, obviously — so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, too.
Boston College is starting to turn into their own “Linebacker U,” though given the Eagles’ recent struggles on the field, most still seem to be slow on the up-take. Faced with the task of filling departed star (and current Carolina Panther) Luke Kuechly’s shoes, Nick Clancy had his work cut out for him in 2012. And yet, despite the tall order, the senior actually thrived in the role. Just like his predecessor, Clancy managed to lead the conference in tackles, with 145 (81 of which were solo). For those keeping track at home, that’s now the fourth straight year an Eagle has led the ACC in tackles (the first three times were Kuechly). And while Clancy wasn’t the agent of pure chaos in the middle of the field that Kuechly was, he also possesses a different trait that makes him just as valuable: pass disruption. In just 11 games, he defended 10 passes — a significant jump from just two in 2011. Considering how much attention was on him this time around, it was phenomenal to see the senior and sure pro draft pick step up in such a big way, despite the disappointing campaign for BC.