We’ve reached the safety position on the defense, where the players are asked to cover like a cornerback and hit like a linebacker. These are some of most versatile players on a defense. Who are the best safeties the ACC has to offer?
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1) Ray-Ray Armstrong, Miami
Ray-Ray Armstrong started only four games last year and was still a second team All-ACC safety. He’s 6-4 and 215 pounds, which makes him a physically imposing player.
Armstrong had 79 tackles and three interceptions from the safety position and is projected as a late first-rounder. He has the tools to be an All-American type player.
2) Earl Wolff, NC State
As just a RS-Sophomore last year, Earl Wolff emerged as one of the stars of the NC State defense. He had whopping 95 tackles in 2010. The Wolfpack like to blitz on defense, leaving the safeties to provide run-support, and Earl Wolff is more than up to the task.
He is one of ACC’s surest-tackling safeties and will help NC State absorb the loss of defensive standout LB Nate Irving.
3) Eddie Whitley, Virginia Tech
The Back 7 of Virginia Tech’s defense is one the ACC’s best units. You already have LB Bruce Taylor and CB Jayron Hosley, and now you have safety Eddie Whitley. Whitley finished with 80 tackles last season to go along with 2 picks, and 2 forced fumbles.
He led Virginia Tech with 9 tackles against Florida State in the ACC Title game. He’s considered a fourth- or fifth-round NFL draft pick with the potential to go higher.
4) Vaughn Telemaque, Miami
The Hurricanes already have Ray-Ray Armstrong at one safety position. With Vaughn Telemaque at the other, Miami has the best safety tandem in the ACC. He was tied for the team lead in interceptions with 3 and had 59 tackles.
Armstrong may be the marquee name, but you better not forget about the 6-2, 200-pound Telemaque back there on the Canes' defense.
5) Rashard Hall, Clemson
Without All-ACC Safety DeAndre McDaniel, it will be up to Rashard Hall to be the leader in the Clemson Tiger’s secondary. I think he’s ready to be that leader. At 6-2, he’s a good-sized safety with nice speed. He’s coming of a 62-tackle year.
Hall is also experienced. He started as a RS-F, and now enters his RS-Jr as a defensive player ready for a big season.