Nearly two weeks ago, the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association submitted their All-ACC votes. A solid collection of Syracuse Orange players made the list, which was compiled by a select group of conference media. In total, four members of the Orange were named: Amba Etta-Tawo (first team), Brisly Estime (third), Zaire Franklin (third) and Sterling Hofrichter (third).
When the ACC coaches’ votes arrived on Thursday, the story was a bit different.
Etta-Tawo, he of record-setting numbers and a the second-best receiving season in ACC history, still made the first team... though not by much. He was five votes behind Clemson’s Mike Williams and just one in front of North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer. Virginia Tech’s Isaiah Ford, the leading wide receiver on the second team, was pretty close behind with 27 votes.
The only other player to get a nod from the coaches was Brisly Estime. The nation’s leading punt returner (17.7 yards per) was on the second team. Ervin Philips, Hofrichter and Franklin were all relegated to honorable mention status.
Now, the honors are great. And we’ll take the recognition for Etta-Tawo and Estime after their fantastic senior seasons (and careers) in Orange. That said, there’s also a clear laziness here on the parts of coaches (and/or their SIDs and interns) too. Clemson, Louisville and Florida State are clearly the class of the league, so there’s no qualms with them getting the most players on the list. But many voters seemed to just mail it in with selections from those schools, Virginia Tech, Miami and North Carolina as their only selections. The fact that Etta-Tawo was so close in votes to Switzer is more proof of the careless nature of the balloting.
Alas, it is what it is. Etta-Tawo still gets the recognition and the Syracuse football program receives attention that helps it with recruiting. The fifth-year senior also received All-ACC honors from the AP yesterday, for those that hadn’t seen.