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Five ACC Offensive Players To Watch

Five ACC Offensive Players To Watch


ZAY FLOWERS | Boston College | junior receiver

2020: All-ACC first team; 56 catches for 892 yards; ranked ninth on BC single-season list with nine touchdown catches; led ACC in TD catches; ran for one TD; tied a BC single-game record with three TD catches against Pitt.

BC quarterback Phil Jurkovec on Flowers: "He's got a twitch to him that not a lot of people have, being able to run like he does. He's probably the fastest on the team — a legitimate 4.4 [seconds] or below speed [in the 40-yard dash]. But what really impresses me is his agility, being able to juke and stop on a dime like I've never seen."

SAM HOWELL | North Carolina | junior quarterback

2020: All-ACC second team; Manning Award finalist; completed 237 of 348 passes for 3,586 yards and 30 TDs with seven interceptions; ran for 146 yards and five TDs on 92 carries; led ACC in passing efficiency, passing yards and TD passes.

Howell on if he will turn pro after this year: "I don't really think about it a whole lot. I just try to do everything I can to be the best player I can be for my team. If we have a good year this year, then I'll have a decision to make. A lot can happen in a year. A lot of players, they get complacent and they don't have the year everyone expects them to. So I just try to keep the same chip on my shoulder and just try to keep that same work ethic. When I was in high school, early on a lot of coaching staffs told me I wasn't good enough. So I just try to keep that same motivation."

D'ERIQ KING | Miami | sixth-year senior quarterback

2020: All-ACC honorable mention; completed 211 of 329 passes for 2,686 yards and 23 TDs with five interceptions; ran for 538 yards and four TDs on 130 carries, breaking school single-season record for rushing yards by a QB; threw for 430 yards and ran for 105 yards in win over N.C. State, becoming only the third QB in ACC history with more than 400 yards passing and 100 yards rushing in the same game.

King on returning from the torn ACL he suffered in his team's bowl game: "I feel pretty good right now. I'm still taking it day by day. ACL is a different entity, so some guys come back six months, eight months, nine months, whatever. A lot of people don't understand the mental part as well, rehabbing every single day, sometimes twice a day and just having to push through it. Rehabbing twice a day for five months straight is going to take a toll on you mentally. I couldn't do anything physical for awhile, so I couldn't go back there and take a three-step drop and throw the ball. I had to get better [by] watching tape. I could take a three-step drop a couple months ago, so getting my timing down with my receivers and throwing to the tight end, I've been able to get all that."

ZONOVAN KNIGHT | North Carolina State | junior running back

2020: All-ACC third team; ran for 788 yards and 10 touchdowns on 143 carries; 20 catches for 126 yards; 14 kickoff returns for 373 yards and one TD; became just the fourth player in State history with a 100-yard kickoff return.

State coach Dave Doeren on Knight: "He's blessed with talent genetically. He's got a great work ethic. He's humble. He's got good vision. He's fast. He's tough. He's a guy you love to coach. He doesn't say a whole lot. He's super competitive."

JAQUARII ROBERSON | Wake Forest | fifth-year senior receiver

2020: All-ACC second team; 62 catches for 926 yards and eight TDs; led ACC in receiving yards per game (school-record 102.9 ypg) and catches per game (6.9); tied school record with four straight games with at least 100 receiving yards.

Wake LB Luke Masterson on Roberson: "He's always working on his craft. When he came in as a freshman he was small — he's put on weight, he's worked in the weight room. He's developed confidence in his game so that he knows he can go make those big plays in the big-time moments. He comes every day at practice and works hard."

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Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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