BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech landed a pair of players on the 2021 All-Atlantic Coast Conference preseason football team that was announced on Tuesday morning as voted on by 147 media members.
Tech starting tight end James Mitchell (77 votes) and defensive end Amare Barno (63 votes) were selected.
Mitchell had 26 catches for 435 yards in 10 games last season with five touchdowns (four receiving). He made the Mackey Award watch list given to the country’s top tight end earlier in the week.
The 6-foot-3, 242-pounder could have left Tech early for the NFL last season, but opted to return to school to finish up his degree and play for another season. He was one of three Hokies student-athletes picked to represent the team at ACC Kickoff last week in Charlotte.
For his career, Mitchell has 47 catches for 796 yards with 11 touchdowns (six receiving) in 36 career games (18 starts).
Barno’s selection comes on the heels of his breakout 2020 season. He led the power five with 16 tackles of loss and was sixth in the league with 6.5 sacks. He earned All-ACC honorable mention honors last season.
The 6-foot-6, 235-pounder switched from linebacker over to defensive end — a position he had never played in his career — right before fall camp, and has quickly established himself as Tech’s top playmaker.
The University of Virginia had one one player named, linebacker Nick Jackson, who recorded 105 tackles last season, finishing second in the ACC and sixth nationally. Entering his junior season, the 6-foot-1, 235-pound defender is expected to be one of the most productive linebackers in the ACC. He finished last year on the All-ACC third team.
Clemson led all schools in the conference with eight selections on the 27-member team while North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell was picked as the ACC Preseason Player of the Year. He received 114 of the first-place votes while Miami quarterback D’Eriq King finished a distant second with 11 first place votes.
Howell led the ACC with 3,586 passing yards and 30 touchdowns last season.
He was the highest vote-getter on the offensive side of the ball on the preseason All-ACC team balloting (118 votes), and Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee had that honor for the defense (120 votes).
2021 Preseason All-ACC Football Team (Total votes in parenthesis)
QB Sam Howell, North Carolina (118)
RB Zonovan Knight, NC State (96)
RB Mataeo Durant, Duke (49)
WR Justyn Ross, Clemson (110)
WR Zay Flowers, Boston College (101)
WR Jaquarii Roberson, Wake Forest (80)
TE James Mitchell, Virginia Tech (77)
AP Jahmyr Gibbs, Georgia Tech (56)
OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State (83)
OT Jordan McFadden, Clemson (53)
OG Zion Johnson, Boston College (82)
OG Joshua Ezeudu, North Carolina (56)
C Alec Lindstrom, Boston College (77)
DE Myles Murphy, Clemson (108)
DE Amare’ Barno, Virginia Tech (63)
DT Bryan Bresee, Clemson (120)
DT Tyler Davis, Clemson (53)
LB Payton Wilson, NC State (99)
LB James Skalski, Clemson (95)
LB Nick Jackson, Virginia (37)
CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson (86)
CB Tony Grimes, North Carolina (55)
S Bubba Bolden, Miami (100)
S Nolan Turner, Clemson (85)
Special teams PK Nick Sciba, Wake Forest (69)
P Lou Hedley, Miami (84)
SP Jahmyr Gibbs, Georgia Tech (60)
Preseason Player of the Year
Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina, 114
D’Eriq King, QB, Miami, 11
Bryan Bresee, DE, Clemson, 8
D.J. Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson, 6
Phil Jurkovec, QB, Boston College, 3
Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College, 2
Jahmyr Gibbs, AP, Georgia Tech, 2