Before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury against Clemson in 2009, Ponder ranked among the NCAA leaders in many statistical categories. He passed for at least 250 yards in eight of his nine starts last season.
2 of 26Andrew Hancock/SI
Williams became the face of the Hokies with a record-setting freshman season in which he ran for a school-record 1,655 yards and ACC-record 21 rushing touchdowns.
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Against NC State last season, Harris set school records with five touchdowns and 264 yards rushing, the fourth-highest rushing total in the NCAA last season. Now a junior, Harris will look to build on a sophomore campaign in which he ranked 10th nationally in rushing yards.
4 of 26Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Little led UNC with 85.5 all-purpose yards per game last season. But distractions could be an issue for the senior this season, as Little has spoken to NCAA investigators about possible ties with agents.
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Varner ranked first in the ACC and 19th nationally last season with 87.2 receiving yards per game. The junior is one of only three receivers in program history to post a 1,000-yard season.
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Bryan, a sure-handed, big target for quarterback Russell Wilson, caught 40 passes for 422 yards and six touchdowns in his sophomore season. Bryan is still dealing with a drug charge from March, however, and disciplinary action could follow when the case is resolved.
7 of 26Damian Strohmeyer/SI
The redshirt senior has come a long way during his stay with the Yellow Jackets. He walked on to the squad in 2006 as a defensive lineman, but two years later he began to establish himself on the other side of the line. He enters the year on the preseason watch list for the Outland and Rimington Trophies.
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A consensus preseason All-America, Hudson could become the first player in ACC history to be named to the All-ACC team four times in his career. He did not allow a sack last season.
9 of 26Lee Coleman/Icon SMI
A 6-foot-3, 325-pound guard, Claiborne was part of an Eagles offensive line last season that ranked 39th in the NCAA in sacks allowed. He also helped pave the way for Montel Harris, who recorded eight 100-yard games.
10 of 26Bill Frakes/SI
Franklin started all 11 games for the Hurricanes at guard and tackle last season, helping the Miami offense accumulate its highest yardage output since 2004. He had 51 pancake blocks over the season.
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A potential first-round NFL draft pick in 2011, Castonzo has started all 41 games since arriving at Boston College. He was an All-ACC first team selection last season.
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Despite coming off brain surgery for a benign tumor in high school in 2007, Quinn almost immediately grabbed the starting job upon his arrival at North Carolina. He enters his junior season fresh off a year in which he finished 15th and 16th in the nation, respectively, in tackles for loss and sacks.
13 of 26Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Bailey decided to return for one more season in what has been an outstanding career with the Hurricanes. He ranked fourth in the ACC in sacks per game last season and was named to the conference's first team.
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An ongoing NCAA investigation has cast a cloud of uncertainty over Austin's season, but on the field there are no questions about what he brings to the Tar Heels' defense. He had 42 tackles last season and was named to the All-ACC second team.
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Jenkins was part of a Clemson defense that ranked in the top 25 in total and scoring defense. He contributed 69 tackles, 11 of which were for a loss.
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Wujciak is one of only two players in the nation to make more than 130 tackles in each of the past two seasons. He had double-digit tackles in 17 of his last 22 games, and he is the active NCAA leader in tackles per game (10.6).
17 of 26Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
One of the top inside linebacker prospects in the nation, Sturdivant led the Tar Heels with 79 tackles last season. In his sophomore campaign in 2008, Sturdivant led the nation with 87 unassisted tackles.
18 of 26Lee Coleman/Icon SMI
As a true freshman, Kuechly opened eyes with a dazzling first year. He had the most tackles by any Eagles defender since 1993 and ranked second in the nation in total tackles (158) and unassisted stops (87). In the Emerald Bowl against USC, he earned the Defensive Player of the Game honors after amassing 16 tackles.
19 of 26Richard C. Lewis/Icon SMI
One of the premier defensive back prospects in the country, Harris is coming off a first-team ACC and third-team All-America season. He tied for second in the NCAA last season with 15 pass breakups and was third with 17 passes defended.
20 of 26Mark Goldman/Icon SMI
Dowling anchored the nation's No. 21 pass defense last season by intercepting three passes and knocking down 11 others, both team-highs for the Cavaliers. Nine of Virginia's 12 opponents were held under their season passing yardage average under Dowling's watch.
21 of 26Jeremy Brevard/Icon SMI
McDaniel has excelled wherever the Tigers have put him. As a freshman safety, he had 33 tackles and two interceptions. As a linebacker the following season, he recorded 77 more tackles. And after moving back to safety last season, McDaniel tied a Clemson record with eight interceptions.
22 of 26Tim Steadman/Icon SMI
A converted wide receiver, Williams was named to the All-ACC first-team last season after finishing 11th in the nation with six interceptions. He has started 38 consecutive games.
23 of 26Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Bosher made All-ACC squads as both a kicker and a punter in 2009. He was 14-of-16 on field-goal attempts and has currently converted 90 consecutive point-after tries.
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A non-scholarship player, Anderson booted 12 of his 37 punts last year inside the 20-yard line. He averaged 49.1 yards on seven attempts against Iowa in the Orange Bowl, good for a Georgia Tech bowl record.
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Reid became the first Seminole since 1992 to return both a punt and an interception for touchdowns. He averaged 18.4 yards per punt return last season, which led the NCAA.
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Smith is one of the most explosive players in the country, and his return ability is just one element of his package. He currently ranks first in program history and third in ACC history with 2,398 career kickoff return yards. He set an ACC record for kickoff returns in 2008, only to break his own record last season as a junior.
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