Nov. 28, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s Shawn Powell form arguably the best kicking-punting tandem in college football. That point was fortified Monday when Hopkins and Powell were selected as first team members of the 2011 All-Atlantic Coast Conference squad, along with senior offensive tackle Zebrie Sanders.
A finalist for the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s top kicker, Hopkins leads the ACC in scoring (104 points) and field goals made (20). The junior from Houston, Texas has converted all 44 of his extra point attempts, extending his school record for successful conversions to 130 which is the second-longest streak in ACC history. Hopkins joins former Seminole kickers Sebastian Janikowski (1998-99) and Graham Gano (2008) as a first team honoree.
Powell, a senior from Rome, Ga., leads the nation in both punting (47.0) and net punting (42.0). His 21 punts in excess of 50 yards are nearly double that of his closest ACC competitor and his 69-yarder is also the longest on the season among league punters. Of his 49 punts on the season, 21 have been inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, including 12 inside the 10. A three-time ACC Specialist of the Week honoree – the most by any player in that category – Powell is the first Seminole in 20 years of ACC membership to be selected as a first team punter.
Both Hopkins and Powell were landslide winners in the selection process.
Sanders continues FSU’s long-standing tradition of first team representation among offensive linemen. A fourth-year starter, the Dayton, Ohio native split time between right and left tackle and posted the team’s highest season average grade while leading the `Noles in knockdown blocks. Sanders made his ACC-leading 49th career start against Florida, extending his starting streak to 35 games. He is the 25th offensive lineman to earn first team honors for the Seminoles, who have placed at least one player on the team 17 times in 20 years of ACC membership.
Two members of Florida State’s ACC-leading defense, which ranks among the nation’s best, were tabbed as second team All-ACC selections. Junior defensive end Brandon Jenkins, who leads the Seminoles in sacks (7.0) and tackles for loss (11.0), is joined on the second team by sophomore safety Lamarcus Joyner. Joyner, who made the move from cornerback to safety during the spring, piled up 47 tackles (31 solos) and led the team with three interceptions.
Florida State leads the ACC in total defense (274.6 ypg), scoring defense (15.2 ppg), rushing defense (81.8 ypg) and passing defense (192.8), and ranks among the top six units at the Football Bowl Subdivision level in three of those categories.
Not surprisingly, three Seminole defenders – senior linebacker Nigel Bradham, junior defensive tackle Everett Dawkins and sophomore defensive end Bjoern Werner – were selected for honorable mention All-ACC distinction, along with junior Greg Reid, who was recognized as a specialist.
The All-ACC teams are selected by members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA), with 45 selectors from seven states across both new and traditional media outlets, taking part in the process. With five first or second team selections, Florida State tied for fourth among ACC schools for All-ACC honorees, trailing Virginia Tech (9), Clemson (8) and North Carolina (6). FSU’s four honorable mention picks, which were based on votes received, ranked second among league schools.