ACC Preseason Top 50 Players of 2013: #26, Jack Tyler

Virginia Tech’s Jack Tyler is #26 on Our Countdown of the ACC’s Top 50 Players for 2013

Virginia Tech’s Jack Tyler is #26 on Our Countdown of the ACC’s Top 50 Players for 2013

Less than three weeks until college football kicks off! In the past, we’ve limited these lists to just the top 25 players, but this season, we’re upping our game to 50. So just about every day until the season starts, there will be a new player profile up here as we count down to the top ACC player for 2013.

Obviously these lists are always completely subjective — and thus “completely bulletproof” — so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, too.

No. 26, Jack Tyler, LB/Virginia Tech(Last Season: 19)

How does a former walk-on at Virginia Tech end up being considered one of the conference’s best linebackers by his senior season? By harnessing some unencumbered aggression and getting after the ball carrier in the fashion Jack Tyler has. After just one appearance his sophomore season (still, 12 tackles in that game), Tyler was at times a force of nature for the Hokies last year, racking up 119 total tackles. Every single game, he recorded at least seven stops, while also adding 13 TFLs (2.5 sacks) and managing to work himself into passing lanes as well, with three deflections. Admittedly, he’s not the most “finished” product at linebacker, but with results like this, that can be largely ignored. Tyler’s a player who’s rarely out of position and has a knack for making plays. As a former walk-on, he gets the value of hard work, and is a quick study, too.

This season’s Tech defense is a much older group than last year’s, so it won’t be short on players to fill leadership roles. And yet, Tyler is still considered among the locker room’s leading voices. As he told ESPN back in December, he’s excited to take on a larger role in that department, at the urging of defensive coordinator Bud Foster. But perhaps, he’s best served just leading by example. Despite an incredibly strong starting 11, depth is a bit of an issue for this entire defense, and what they may need more than vocal leaders are just tireless workers who can stay on the field. Tyler’s one of just three upperclassmen on the two-deep linebacker corps depth chart, and it’s imperative he (and the other experienced players) keep their health if VaTech wants to regain some defensive swagger this season.

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ACC Announces Student-Athlete Attendees for 2013 ACC Football Kickoff

Clemson Quarterback Tajh Boyd is One of 28 Players Attending the ACC Football Kickoff

Clemson Quarterback Tajh Boyd is One of 28 Players Attending the ACC Football Kickoff

The ACC has announced the list of football student-athlete attendees for the ACC Football Kickoff today. A fancy way of saying “Media Days,” the event will take place on July 21 and 22 at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C. Each schools’ coaches will be in attendance, as will two representatives per team.

The list:

Boston College: QB Chase Rettig (Sr.), LB Steele Divitto (Sr.)

Clemson: QB Tajh Boyd (Sr.), LB Spencer Shuey (Sr.)

Duke: QB Anthony Boone (Jr.), CB Ross Cockrell (Sr.)

Florida State: WR Rashad Greene (Jr.), CB Lamarcus Joyner (Sr.)

Georgia Tech: OT Will Jackson (Sr.), DE Jeremiah Attoachu (Sr.)

Maryland: QB C.J. Brown (Sr.), CB Dexter McDougle (Sr.)

Miami: QB Stephen Morris (Sr.), DE Shayon Green (Sr.)

North Carolina: QB Bryn Renner (Sr.), DE Kareem Martin (Sr.)

N.C. State: WR Rashard Smith (Sr.), CB Dantae Johnson (Sr.)

Pittsburgh: WR Devin Street (Sr.), DT Aaron Donald (Sr.)

Syracuse: C Macky MacPherson (Sr.), DT Jay Bromley (Sr.)

Virginia: OT Morgan Moses (Sr.), DE Jake Snyder (Sr.)

Virginia Tech: QB Logan Thomas (Sr.), LB Jack Tyler (Sr.)

Wake Forest: WR Michael Campanaro (Sr.), LB Justin Jackson (Sr.)

Some additional thoughts:

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ACC 2013 Spring Football Preview: Virginia Tech Hokies

Logan Thomas is the Obvious Focal Point of a Turnaround for Virginia Tech This Year

Logan Thomas is the Obvious Focal Point of a Turnaround for Virginia Tech This Year

As the ACC‘s spring practices get under way, we’ll be previewing the big storylines for each of the league’s 14 (15, in this case) teams. Check back on weekdays for what to look out for during your school’s spring practices and spring game.

Team: Virginia Tech Hokies

Spring Practice Start Date: March 27

Spring Game Date: April 20

Following last year’s disappointing campaign, Virginia Tech’s spring is all about diagnosing issues. From the futile offensive attack, to a defense that certainly needs some course correction, Tech’s coaches have been diving into what went so wrong in 2012 — and how to fix those problems (at least in part) over the course of the next month. And while those calling for long-time coach Frank Beamer’s job may be a bit off-base right now, it’s likely that the 2013 season is a key point in the narrative of his career; be it a positive upswing after one lackluster year, or the start of a steady downfall.

Offensively, Virginia Tech struggled mightily in 2012, and there’s no one trouble spot there either. Behind an inexperienced line, Logan Thomas and his very green backfield repeatedly failed to find success, and never truly adjusted as the year wore on. With more experience all across the board, the test this spring will be to see just how much everyone learned. While Thomas should certainly be held accountable for his errors as the team’s leader, it must also be acknowledged that far too much was expected of him week-in and week-out, causing him to over-compensate. Newly installed offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler must understand both sides of this coin from the beginning, and stress additional accountability. Beyond Thomas, that means stark improvement across the line, and a more effective running game. At least at the onset, J.C. Coleman, Tony Gregory and Michael Holmes should be handling the bulk of the carries, and hopefully one or two emerge as a better runner than he has been in the past.

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ACC Football Top 25 Players of 2012: #19, Jack Tyler

Jack Tyler Was a Surprising Star for the Virginia Tech Defense, With 119 Tackles

Jack Tyler Was a Surprising Star for the Virginia Tech Defense, With 119 Tackles

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.

No. 19, Jack Tyler, LB/Virginia Tech(Preseason Rank: NR)

On a Virginia Tech defense full of big names, it’s not surprising that Tyler managed to fly under the radar for this long. And yet, even after a huge season in which he racked up 119 tackles, he remains a hidden gem of that same defense. Amazingly, Tyler was absolutely everywhere on the field. Over 13 games, he never had less than seven tackles in one contest, and four separate times he recorded double-digit tackles. Not just one to take down a ball-carrier after the line missed their chance, he also had 2.5 sacks and three pass deflections. Quick and aggressive, his 6’1″, 236-pound frame may appear small to pro evaluators, but at Tech, he’s only gotten better over time. During his sophomore season, he played extended minutes just once — and yet, managed to make 12 tackles while recording a sack against Georgia Tech. So how much of a surprise was this, really? To those who watched that one game against the Yellow Jackets in 2011, none. As a senior, it’s now likely he’ll be considered among one of the best linebackers in the country.

Previously:

#20, Dalton Freeman, C/Clemson

#21, Ray Graham, RB/Pittsburgh

#22, Oday Aboushi, OT/Virginia

#23, Andre Ellington, RB/Clemson

#24, Nick Clancy, LB/Boston College

#25, Aaron Donald, DT/Pittsburgh

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2012 All-ACC Football Team: Defense

Florida State's Tank Carradine Leads a Parade of Seminoles on the All-ACC Defensive Side

Florida State’s Tank Carradine Leads a Parade of Seminoles on the All-ACC Defensive Side

As most other publications have also done, we’ve put together an All-ACC team here at Atlantic Coast Convos, honoring the best players from the 2012 football season. We’ve also included players from Syracuse and Pittsburgh, as that has always been our policy, and once bowl season is over, all ACC football news will have to involve them anyway. In this post, you’ll find both the first- and second-team defense. Picks for the first- and second-team offense were posted earlier today.

See any selections you agree with? Disagree with? Feel free to voice your concerns in the comments below.

2012 Atlantic Coast Convos All-ACC Team: Defense

First Team

DE Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, Florida State

DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State

DT Joe Vellano, Maryland

DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina

LB Jack Tyler, Virginia Tech

LB Nick Clancy, Boston College

LB Kevin Reddick, North Carolina

CB Ross Cockrell, Duke

CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State

S Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State

S Earl Wolff, Florida State

PK Dustin Hopkins, Florida State

P Will Monday, Duke

SP Giovani Bernard, North Carolina

Second Team

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