In a down year for local college football, bright spots emerged when the Atlantic Coast Conference named two Virginia players and one Maryland player first-team all-conference.
Maryland senior defensive lineman Joe Vellano highlighted the Terps season, taking his second straight first team all-conference honors. Though Vellano battled injuries for much of the year, he still finished with 61 tackles, 14 for losses, and six sacks. Many considered Vellano the key cog to a Terps defense that played well for most of the season.
Virginia offensive tackle Oday Aboushi landed first-team all-conference along with linebacker Steve Greer. Aboushi took his second straight All-ACC first team honor. A dominant blocker who averaged more than 10 knockdown blocks per game, the Brooklyn native has already been named to the 2013 Senior Bowl.
Greer registered 122 tackles this season, second in the ACC, including a carrer high 19 tackles against Virginia Tech. Greer was named second team All-ACC last season.
No Virginia Tech players made first-team All-ACC, but three Hokies made second-team from the defensive side of the ball. Defensive end James Gayle, linebacker Jack Tyler, and cornerback Antone Exum all were recognized for their efforts as All-ACC second team.
Maryland freshman sensation Stefon Diggs landed on the honorable mention all-conference team. More honors could be in store for the freshman Diggs, who racked up almost 1,900 all-purpose yards in his first season of college play.