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.
Don’t see the drop in Ellington’s ranking from preseason to now as a knock on his efforts this season; rather, it’s a testament to the quality of individual play from the ACC this year. While QB Tajh Boyd certainly stole the show for Clemson, in many ways, it was Ellington whose performance ultimately made the difference between a Tigers’ win or loss. As part of a pass-happy offense, Ellington was tasked with being the balance, and in this regard, he largely succeeded. Averaging over five yards per carry, he managed nearly 1,100 rushing yards on just 212 touches. Going into 2012, Ellington’s big focus was to make himself a better pass-catching option out of the backfield. And while he failed to catch more passes (just 14, versus 22 last year), he more than doubled his yardage (231, versus just 109 in 2011) and equaled his career total for touchdown receptions (one). He’ll be missed next season, but after a strong showing this year, fans will certainly see him on Sundays.