2016 Preseason All-Gridiron Team Announced

Carolina Gridiron is pleased to announce the 2016 preseason All-Gridiron team. Congratulations to each of the players chosen and best wishes for a successful 2016 season.

Check Out The Weekly Top 15 This Season

CarolinaGridiron.com releases Top 15 Rankings every week. Be sure to check back each Thursday duing the season to see where your favorite team is ranked.

College Football in North Carolina

Carolina Gridiron has expanded coverage to all Division I and II college football teams in the state of North Carolina. See how your favorite college team is doing on the gridiron this season.

Scrimmages and Jamborees

With your help, we were able to once again put together the most comprehensive statewide high school football jamboree/scrimmage list in North Carolina. Be sure to check back in 2016 for more scrimmages and jamborees.

Carolina Gridiron FAIR Rankings

The 2016 Carolina Gridiron FAIR Rankings will be released a few weeks into the high school football season. Be sure to check back to see where your team stacks up against the rest of the state.

Clemson’s College Football Playoff Spot Leads ACC Bowl Lineup, Belk Bowl to Host Virginia Tech

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Clemson’s return trip to the College Football Playoff highlights a Sunday in which 11 of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 14 football members secured spots in 2016 postseason bowl games.

The ACC champion Tigers (12-1) are seeded No. 2 in the CFP field and will face No. 3 seed Ohio State (11-1) in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at 7 p.m. ET on New Year’s Eve in the second of two national semifinal games. If the Tigers advance, they will face No. 1 Alabama or No. 4 Washington for the College Football Playoff National Championship at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, January 9, at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium (ESPN).

The ACC, which tied a league record by landing 11 teams in postseason play for the third time in four years, owns a total of 42 bowl berths over the past four seasons. This marks the 16th consecutive year that at least six ACC teams received postseason berths. The ACC ranks second among all conferences with 106 total bowl bids since 2005.

With Clemson’s selection, the ACC has placed a team in the College Football Playoff in each of its first three years of existence. The Tigers earned the No. 1 seed last season, and Florida State was seeded No. 3 as the ACC champion in 2014. The ACC is one of just two conferences that has placed a team in the College Football Playoff or the BCS Championship in each of the last four years.
A pair of ACC schools will continue the two longest current Division I bowl streaks in the nation, as Florida State (35th straight year) and Coastal Division champion Virginia Tech (24th straight) confirmed their postseason destinations. Virginia Tech’s bowl game streak is the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA.

Boston College, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Pitt and Wake Forest are also bound for holiday bowl games. ACC teams will head into bowl competition with 42 victories against nonconference opposition this season – four wins shy of the league record of 46. The ACC’s eight teams with at least eight wins this season are the most of any conference.

Clemson is bidding for the program’s first national title since 1981 and the second by an ACC team in the last four seasons. The Tigers have won four of their last five postseason games and take a 20-19 all-time postseason record into their meeting with Ohio State. The Tigers and Buckeyes last met in in the 2013 Orange Bowl, with Clemson posting a 40-35 win. The only other meeting between the teams came in the 1978 Gator Bowl, where the Tigers posted a 17-15 win.

No. 11 Florida State (9-3) will face No. 6 Michigan (10-2) in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. (ESPN).  The Seminoles own a 27-16-2 all-time record in bowl games, a winning percentage of .622 that ranks fifth among all schools that have played 15 or more postseason games. This year’s berth is Florida State’s fifth straight in a BCS/New Year’s Six bowl, which ties defending national champion Alabama for the longest such streak in the nation.

Since 2012, the ACC has posted a 5-3 record in the New Year’s Six Bowls and College Football Playoff Games – the best among peer conferences.

The ACC has won four consecutive Orange Bowl games, and is the first conference in 57 years to do so since the Big Eight Conference won four straight from 1956-59.

Two ACC teams are bound for Orlando, Florida, this postseason as Louisville landed a spot in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, and Miami is headed to the Russell Athletic Bowl.

No. 13 Louisville (9-3), which will face No. 20 LSU (7-4) on Dec. 31 (11 a.m., ABC), will be making the first appearance by an ACC team in the Citrus Bowl since Clemson on Jan. 1, 1992. The Cardinals will make their third bowl appearance in as many years as an ACC member and their seventh straight overall. Louisville, which will play in a bowl game for the 21st time, owns a 10-9-1 all-time record in previous appearances.

Miami (8-4) makes its third bowl appearance in Orlando since 2009 and its 40th bowl appearance overall when it faces No. 16 West Virginia (10-2) on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 5:30 p.m. (ESPN). The Hurricanes own a 19-20 all-time record in previous bowl game appearances.

No. 23 Pitt (8-4) heads to the Bronx for a Dec. 28 meeting with Northwestern (6-6) in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium (2 p.m., ESPN). The Panthers, who own a 13-19 all-time record in bowl games, are making their ninth straight postseason appearance.

No. 22 Virginia Tech (9-4) will play in the Belk Bowl at Charlotte, North Carolina, for the first time when it faces Arkansas (7-5) on the evening of Dec. 29 (5:30 p.m., ESPN). The Hokies, under first-year head coach Justin Fuente, are 13-17 all-time in bowl games and are seeking their third straight win in postseason play.

North Carolina, 14-18 in 32 previous bowl appearances, will play in a postseason game for the eighth time in nine years and for the fourth straight year under head coach Larry Fedora when the Tar Heels (8-4) meet No. 18 Stanford (9-3) in the Hyundi Sun Bowl in El Paso on Friday Dec. 30 (2 p.m., CBS). The UNC has played in three previous Sun Bowls – most recently versus Texas in 1994 – and owns an all-time record of 1-2 in the event.

Georgia Tech (8-4) has accepted an invitation to participate in the 72nd-annual TaxSlayer Bowl, where it will face Kentucky (7-5) at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Yellow Jackets are 24-19 in all-time bowl appearances. This year’s TaxSlayer Bowl will be shown nationally by ESPN. 

Also representing the ACC will be Boston College in the Quick Lane Bowl, NC State in the Camping World Independence Bowl, and Wake Forest in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman.

Boston College will be the first ACC team to kick off a bowl game when it meets Maryland (6-6) at Detroit’s Ford Field on Monday, Dec. 26 at 2:30 p.m. (ESPN). The Eagles, who are 13-11 all-time in bowl games, will be going after their first postseason win since 2007.

NC State (6-6) is set to meet Vanderbilt (6-6) at Shreveport, Louisiana on Dec. 26 at 5 p.m. (ESPN2). The Wolfpack stands 15-13-1 all-time in bowl games and will take part in postseason play for the third straight year under fourth-year head coach Dave Doeren.

Wake Forest, 6-4 all-time in bowl games, makes its first postseason appearance since 2011 when it faces American Athletic Conference champion and 24th-ranked Temple (10-3) at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium on the afternoon of Dec. 27 (3:30 p.m., ESPN).

All starting times listed for upcoming bowl games involving ACC teams are Eastern.

Campbell Players Earn All-Pioneer League Honors

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell’s Aaron Blockmon and Syd Holt have been named First Team All-Pioneer Football League, highlighting 11 Camels on the 2016 all-conference list, announced today.

In addition to Blockmon and Holt earning first team recognition, redshirt senior running back Jared Joyner and senior defensive back Chris Beaty were also named Second Team All-PFL.

Seven Camels also received All-PFL honorable mentions, including senior tight end Austin Fleming, redshirt junior offensive lineman Brian Stryffeler, redshirt senior Laurin O’Briant, redshirt junior defensive lineman Darren Flowers, redshirt sophomore linebacker Jack Ryan, senior linebacker Daniel Bostick and redshirt senior defensive back Greg Cunningham.

After earning honorable mention All-PFL accolades as a freshman in 2015, Blockmon led the PFL in receiving with 1,038 yards this season, tying as the top scoring receiver with 10 touchdowns. A Sanford, N.C. native, Blockmon set Campbell single-season records for receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and total receptions (54). After just two seasons, the redshirt sophomore is already Campbell’s all-time leader in receiving yards (1,491) and receiving touchdowns (15).

Holt helped lead the nation’s 17th ranked defense (322.1 yards per game), totaling 40 tackles with 10.5 going for loss. The redshirt senior added 5.0 sacks, recovered two fumbles and blocked a kick in 2016. He was one of eight in the PFL with at least 10.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks.

Joyner finished third in the PFL in rushing with a career-high 741 yards, adding 147 yards receiving and nine total touchdowns. The Margate, Fla. native eclipsed the century mark three times on the season, including a career-best 184 rushing yard, two touchdown performance in a 28-0 win over Davidson.

Beaty, who was named honorable mention All-PFL last season, made 22 tackles on the year with three interceptions, eight pass breakups and a forced fumble. The senior collected seven stops with a forced fumble and a breakup in a 27-21 win at Morehead State. He broke up three passes twice.

Find the entire 2016 All-PFL teams here.

The conference announced its major award winners on Monday, with Stetson redshirt senior defensive back Donald Payne earning the PFL’s Defensive Player of the Year for a third consecutive year.

San Diego senior running back Jonah Hodges was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and head coach Dale Lindsey was the recipient of the league’s Coach of the Year citation. In addition, Drake senior punter/kicker Josh Lee was awarded the league’s Special Teams Player of the Year award.

Davidson quarterback Stockton McGuire received the league’s Freshman Offensive Player of the Year and Marist defensive lineman Peter Delatour nabbed the Defensive Player of the Year honor.

ECU Seniors Earn All-American Conference Honors

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – East Carolina seniors Zay Jones (first-team) and Worth Gregory (second-team) have been named All-American Athletic Conference performers according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday. For Jones, it’s his second-straight all-conference honor after being named to the second-team in 2015.

A two-year team captain, Jones wrapped up his four-year career as the NCAA FBS career (399) and single-season (158) receptions leader, while setting new ECU and American Athletic Conference single-season standards in catches and receiving yards (1,746).

This season, Jones led the NCAA FBS in four categories: receptions, receiving yards, receptions per game (13.20) and receiving yards per game (145.5). In 12 games he caught a personal-best eight touchdown passes and registered nine double-triples (catches-yards), which included a career-high 22 receptions for 190 yards at South Carolina on Sept. 17. His 22 grabs against the Gamecocks are the most by an NCAA FBS receiver in a game this season and was one shy of an all-time NCAA FBS record.

The Austin, Texas native is a finalist for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy (one of 12) presented by Fidelity Investments National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation. Jones was also named a finalist for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award (one of 10) honoring the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition.

On Nov. 7, Jones was formally recognized as a Heisman Trophy candidate by the Heisman Trophy Trust, while being selected as a finalist for the 2016 Biletnikoff Award and a semifinalist for the 2016 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award on Nov. 21. He has committed to play in the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl, which will be played on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.

Gregory earned his first career all-conference accolade after ranking second in The American and 44th nationally with a 42.3 punting average. The Fort Mill, S.C. native registered 51 punts for 2,159 yards and landed 15 inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Nine of his punts went for 50 or more yards, including a season-long 65-yarder at Tulsa.

A three-time Ray Guy Award Watch List candidate (nation’s top punter), Gregory capped his three-year career ranked fourth in the Pirate annuals with a 43.00 punting average after booting 160 balls for 6,878 yards. In all, 32 punts went for 50 or more yards; he landed 66 inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and had 15 touchbacks.

Wake Forest’s Janvion Earns Jim Tatum Award

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Wake Forest senior safety Ryan Janvion has been named the recipient of the 2016 Jim Tatum Award, ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced Thursday.
The Tatum Award is given annually in memory of the late Jim Tatum to the top senior student-athlete (in athletic eligibility) among the league's football players. Tatum, a two-time ACC Coach of the Year, coached in the 1950s at both Maryland and North Carolina and believed strongly in the concept of the student-athlete

Janvion will be recognized as the 2016 Jim Tatum Award recipient during this Saturday’s Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium.

Last month, Janvion became the first Wake Forest player to be named an NFF National Scholar-Athlete and is one of 12 finalists for the Campbell Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete.

Janvion, who has posted a 3.53 grade point average while earning a degree in business and enterprise management, plans to pursue an MBA. The Pembroke Pines, Florida, native earned the 2016 Tatum Award with an impressive resume of both on-field and off-field accomplishments.

"Ryan Janvion is everything that a football coach wants to see in a student-athlete,” said Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson. “He is an outstanding player as a four-year starter at safety. He is a leader, as he was voted by his teammates as a captain for three consecutive years. Ryan is outstanding in the classroom as well, a high-achieving young man whom I have complete confidence will be as successful over the next 40 years as he has been over the last four."

Named Academic All-District in 2014, 2015 and this season, Janvion is also a three-time member of the ACC All-Academic Team and a three-time ACC Academic Honor Roll selection.

On the field, Janvion is a four-year starter who helped this year’s Demon Deacon squad earn bowl eligibility for the first time since 2011. Despite missing two games due to injury, he ranks sixth on the team in tackles with 42. He has intercepted one pass and recovered a fumble.

Janvion led Wake Forest in tackles in both 2013 and 2014. In 2014, he became the first sophomore at Wake Forest since 1992 to lead the team in tackles and collect more than 100 tackles in one season. The 2013 Honorable Mention All-ACC selection has amassed 324 career tackles, which ranks 11th in the Demon Deacon record books. Janvion has also recorded 11.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and four fumble recovering during his career in Winston-Salem.

Janvion is a four-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and he plays the saxophone for the Athletes-in-Action Worship Team. He serves as a board member for the Santa’s Helper initiative; participated in “Brenner Deacs” at Brenner Children’s Hospital and greeted guests at the Wake Baptist Health Fair. Janvion has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Project HOPE (Help Our People Eat). He assisted at a football camp for kids with autism, and he was featured in a public service announcement for the United Way.

Janvion is the fifth Wake Forest football student-athlete to be honored with the ACC’s Jim Tatum Award and the first since quarterback Riley Skinner in 2009.

ACC Jim Tatum Award Winners
1979 Scott Hamilton, Duke, G
1980-81 No Award
1982 Pat Chester, Virginia, S, Phil Denfield, Wake Forest, TE
1983-84 Not Available
1985 Kevin Anthony, North Carolina, QB
1986 David Cardenas, Virginia, DB
1987-88 Not Available
1989 Doug Kley, Duke, DT
1990 Charlie Cobb, NC State, C
1991 Steve Ainsworth, Wake Forest, OL
1992 Not Available
1993 Thomas Burns, Virginia, LB
1994 Ed Glenn, Clemson, TE
1995 Russell Babb, North Carolina, OT
1996 Daryl Bush, Florida State, DB
1997 Stephen Phelan, Virginia, DB, Jonathan Claiborne, Maryland, S
1998 Ebenezer Ekuban, North Carolina, DE
1999 Noel LaMontagne, Virginia, G
2000 Louis Marchetti, North Carolina, OT
2001 Kyle Young, Clemson, C
2002 Jeremy Muyres, Georgia Tech, DB
2003 Chris Douglas, Duke, RB
2004 Nick Novak, Maryland, PK
2005 Brendan Dewan, Duke, LB, David Castillo, Florida State, C
2006 Josh Wilson, Maryland, DB
2007 Tom Santi, Virginia, TE
2008 Darryl Richard, Georgia Tech, DT
2009 Riley Skinner, Wake Forest, QB
2010 Christian Ponder, Florida State, QB
2011 Danny Coale, Virginia Tech, WR-P
2012 Sean Renfree, Duke, QB
2013 Perry Simmons, Duke, OT
2014 David Helton, Duke, LB
2015 Jeremy Cash, Duke, S
2016 Ryan Janvion, Wake Forest, S