Isaiah Simmons has been a defensive force all season for Clemson (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA)

It’s no surprise the league’s best team would have the league’s two best players. The ACC announced Wednesday morning Clemson running back Travis Etienne is the Player of the Year, for the second straight year,  and the Offensive Player of the Year, and Isaiah Simmons is the defensive player of the year. The other award announced Wednesday, the Rookie of the Year, went to North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell. Miami DL Gregory Rousseau was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year. The 2019 season award winners were chosen by a vote of a select 46-member media panel and the league’s 14 head coaches.

From the ACC:

Etienne becomes the seventh player to be voted ACC Player of the Year twice and the second in a four-year span (Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2016-17). He is the first running back since North Carolina’s Mike Voight (1975-76) to win the honor in multiple years. Etienne enters Saturday night’s ACC Football Championship game versus Virginia as the conference’s all-time leader in career touchdowns (57) and rushing touchdowns (53).

The Jennings, Louisiana, native has rushed for 1,386 yards this season while scoring 18 TDs. His 2019 campaign included a school-record six consecutive 100-yard rushing games, breaking five-game streaks by Kenny Flowers (1985) and Raymond Priester (1996-97).

This marks the 11th season – and the third time in the past five years – that Clemson has produced the ACC’s overall Player of the Year.

In only his second full year at the linebacker position after moving from safety following the 2017 season, Simmons owns a team-high 83 tackles and ranks sixth among ACC defenders with 14 tackles for loss. The athletic junior from Olathe, Kansas, has also registered six quarterback sacks as the leader of a Clemson unit that leads the nation in fewest points allowed per game (10.1) and ranks second in total defense. 

A Bednarik and Nagurski finalist, Simmons posted a season-high 11 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in the Tigers’ win over Syracuse early in the season. He earned ACC Linebacker of the Week, Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week and Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week honors following that performance.

ACC Player of the Year
Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson – 22
Bryce Perkins, QB, Virginia – 11
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson – 10
AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College – 8
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson – 8
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State – 1

ACC Offensive Player of the Year
Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson – 28
Bryce Perkins, QB, Virginia – 12
AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College – 9
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson – 9
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State – 1
Jamie Newman, QB, Wake Forest – 1

ACC Defensive Player of the Year
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson – 42
Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina – 4
Rayshard Ashby, LB, Virginia Tech – 3
Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pitt – 3
Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami – 2
Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State – 2
Carlos Basham, DE, Wake Forest – 2
Patrick Jones II, DE, Pitt – 1
Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State – 1

ACC Rookie of the Year
Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina – 49
Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami – 7
Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville – 4

ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year
Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina – 54
Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville – 4
Tyler Vrabel, OT, Boston College – 1
Jarren Williams, QB, Miami – 1

ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year
Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami – 51
Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson – 8
Shaka Heyward, LB, Duke – 1


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