Virginia Tech sophomore quarterback Logan Thomas and senior offensive tackle Blake DeChristopher headline a list of nine players named as the ACC Football Players of the Week, announced by the Atlantic Coast Conference on Monday. Thomas threw for 310 yards, completing 23 of 25 passes and three touchdowns in the Hokies’ 35-30 win over Miami and was named the Offensive Back of the Week for his performance. DeChristopher was a major part of an offense that put up almost 500 total yards and he picked up honors as the Offensive Lineman of the Week.
Clemson had two award winners for its 36-14 win over Boston College. Chandler Catanzaro was named the Specialist of the Week for connecting on all five of his field goal attempts, including two from more than 40 yards. Sammy Watkins hauled in seven catches for 152 yards and was named the Rookie of the Week, the third time he won the honor this season and his fifth weekly award overall.
Wake Forest’s Chris Givens picks up his second straight Receiver of the Week award for his performance in the Demon Deacons’ 35-30 win over Florida State. Maryland’s Joe Vellano was named the Defensive Lineman of the Week for the second time this season after compiling 20 tackles in a 21-16 loss at Georgia Tech. Miami’s Sean Spence and North Carolina’s Zach Brown were named Co-Linebackers of the Week, and NC State’s David Amerson was named the Defensive Back of the Week for his two-interception game in a 38-24 win over Central Michigan.
OFFENSIVE BACK – Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech, QB, So., 6-6, 254, Lynchburg, Va.
Thomas completed 23 of 25 passes for a career-high 310 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. His incomplete passes were a dropped pass by David Wilson and a flip to Wilson to avoid a sack. He also rushed for a career-high two scores, including the game-winner. He had more touchdown passes (3) than incompletions (2) and his completion percentage of 92 percent is the highest for any quarterback under coach Frank Beamer in 301 games (minimum 20 attempts). The next closest was 80 percent by Grant Noel (16-of-20 versus UConn in 2001).
RECEIVER – Chris Givens, Wake Forest, WR, Jr., 6-0, 195, Wylie, Tx.
Givens caught six passes for 101 yards in Wake Forest’s 35-30 win over Florida State on Saturday. Givens had one touchdown catch, a 22-yard scoring pass from Tanner Price late in the second quarter that staked the Demon Deacons to a 16-7 lead. Givens had three receptions for 86 yards in the second quarter with all three catches leading to first downs. He had catches for 40, 24 and 22 yards. Four of his six catches on Saturday were for first downs.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech, T, Sr., 6-5, 311, Midlothian, Va.
DeChristopher led an offensive line that put up nearly 500 yards of total offense in Tech's win over Miami. The All-ACC tackle played all 66 snaps, grading out at 93 percent with a team-high eight knockdown blocks.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Joe Vellano, Maryland, DT, Jr., 6-2, 285, Rexford, N.Y.
Vellano was all over the field for Maryland in its 21-16 loss to No. 13 Georgia Tech, racking up a career-high 20 tackles, including 14 solo stops and a tackle for loss, as the Terps held the triple option in check. Vellano, whose previous high of 10 stops came in the 2010 season opener, became just the fifth defensive player in the nation to post 20 or more tackles, though he is the only lineman in the FBS to register more than 15 stops in a game in 2011. The junior is one of just six Maryland players to reach the 20-tackle plateau since 1990, including the only defensive lineman. The last time a Maryland player made 20 tackles was Oct. 6, 2007, when Dave Philistin had 21 against Georgia Tech. “I think we had probably one of the most outstanding performances that I know I have ever seen out of a defensive lineman,” head coach Randy Edsall said Sunday after watching the game film.
CO-LINEBACKER – Sean Spence, Miami, LB, Sr., 6-0, 224, Miami, Fla.
Spence continued his defensive dominance with a team-best 13 tackles in the loss to Virginia Tech. Spence, who now has a team-best 41 total tackles this year despite missing the opener, also recorded 2.0 tackles for a loss against the Hokies. Spence ranks second in the ACC with a 10.6 tackles per game average.
CO-LINEBACKER – Zach Brown, North Carolina, LB, Sr., 6-2, 230, Columbia, Md.
Alternating between outside linebacker and middle linebacker, senior Zach Brown posted a game-high 11 tackles and recorded his first interception of the season in Carolina's 14-7 win over Louisville. Brown, the team leader with 42 tackles, had to call the defensive plays with Kevin Reddick out with an ankle injury. The Tar Heels shut out the Cardinals for three quarters and held Louisville to 273 yards, including just 85 in the second half.
DEFENSIVE BACK – David Amerson, NC State, CB, So., 6-3, 194, Greensboro, N.C.
Amerson increased his ACC-leading interception total to six with a pair of picks against the Chippewas. He returned them for 28 yards in total returns. The last time an NC State player had as many as six or more interceptions in a season was 1998, when Lloyd Harrison had seven. In addition to the two picks, Amerson also had five tackles, including three solo hits.
ROOKIE – Sammy Watkins, Clemson, WR, Fr., 6-1, 200, Fort Myers, Fla.
Watkins had seven receptions for 152 yards in the win over Boston College. He did not score a touchdown, but had two receptions that set up scores, including a 62-yard catch when he was covered closely by a Boston College cornerback. Saturday was Watkins’s third game of at least 140 receiving yards. He is now second in Clemson history in career 140-yard receiving games. Only Perry Tuttle has more with four games of at least 140 yards.
SPECIALIST – Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson, PK, So., 6-2, 200, Greenville, S.C.
Catanzaro won the Leather Helmet Award as the overall MVP of the Clemson vs. Boston College game. Catanzaro booted five field goals in the game, just one off the Clemson single game record. He was a perfect 5-5 on field goals, the first Tiger to make at least five since 2009 when Richard Jackson had six in a win over Boston College. Catanzaro made field goals of 38, 42, 18, 20 and 47 yards. He was 2-2 on field goals of at least 40 yards and is 5-6 on field goals of that length this year. He was named National Kicker of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.