Nov 28, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Greyson Lambert (11) is hit as he passes the ball as Virginia Tech Hokies defensive end Dadi Nicolas (90) and linebacker Deon Clarke (40) defend in the first quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Today, the ACC released the ACC media’s selections for the All-ACC First Team along with the other two All-ACC teams and the honorable mentions. Most of the selections made some sense but there were a few controversial ones with four or five obvious first team players that did not receive that honor usually due to a Florida State player receiving more votes.
Arguably the biggest snub from the media’s All-ACC First Team was Dadi Nicolas.
The junior defensive end was one of the best defensive ends in all of college football this season and clearly one of the top two defensive ends within the ACC alongside Clemson’s Vic Beasley. Beasley was deservingly on the All-ACC First Team but Nicolas was somehow snubbed with his spot going to Florida State’s Mario Edwards. Nicolas was still on the second team but clearly should have been on the first team.
Nicolas became a complete defensive end this season and was not only a great pass rusher but also an extremely talented run defender. Nicolas drew a lot of attention but still did tons of damage and was absolutely dominant through the season for the Hokies. The stats also back up that Nicolas clearly should have made the All-ACC First Team over Edwards.
I think the stats paint a really good picture of how big of a snub this really is. Also, Nicolas had 63 tackles compared to 41 tackles for Mario Edwards which is very significant. Nicolas consistently got pressure on the quarterback or prevented a running back from doing any damage down the field.
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Edwards should be on the second or third team but it is obvious that Dadi Nicolas is one of the two defensive ends in the ACC. Nicolas was a dominant force that received plenty of attention but still was able to make a huge impact on the game. Nicolas will be the best defensive end entering the 2015 season in the ACC and was one of the top 2 defensive ends in the ACC this season.