Nov. 29, 2010
By Bob Thomas
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State senior guard Rodney Hudson has cemented his place as the most decorated offensive lineman in Atlantic Coast Conference history. The two-time Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner earned All-ACC honors for a fourth consecutive season in balloting conducted by Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association and released Monday.
Hudson was named first-team All-ACC for the third consecutive year – a first for an offensive lineman in league history – and was a second-team selection as a freshman in 2007. He joins former Seminole offensive tackle Brett Williams as the only other four-time selection among ACC linemen, though Williams was twice a second team selection.
“Rodney Hudson is one of those guys who comes around only every so often,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He’s phenomenal. He’s different because he’s not the huge guy that mauls you. He’s the quick guy that’s athletic and got power and speed. The thing about Rodney is he loves football. … He’s as good a player as we’ve got.”
The Atlantic Division champion Seminoles produced four All-ACC selections; their second-highest total over the last five seasons. Sophomore defensive end Brandon Jenkins, whose 12 sacks ranks second in the league and third nationally, joined Hudson as the only other first team representative.
“Brandon has played great football. He’s been very dynamic, gives us a pass rusher, gives us a threat off the edge,” Fisher said. “The good thing is he’s got a couple years left. … He’s a great player, a great person and a hard worker.”
Senior center Ryan McMahon, who set the FSU record by making his 51st start against Florida, was a second-team choice along with freshman cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who leads the ACC in pass breakups with 11.
Virginia Tech, which won the Coastal Division with the first perfect league record since FSU went 8-0 in 2000, led all teams with 11 All-ACC honorees. The Hokies, who will meet the Seminoles in Saturday’s ACC Championship game (7:45 p.m., ESPN), had three first team selections.
Clemson and Maryland led all league teams with four first team selections, each.
Hudson and McMahon have been four-year starters on the Seminoles’ offensive line, with 96 career starts between them. During their tenure, which coincided with the arrival of offensive coordinator and now head coach Jimbo Fisher, FSU has consistently produced one the league’s top offensive units. Hudson is one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy. McMahon has been a three-year candidate for the Rimington Award.
Fisher called McMahon “one of the toughest players” he has every been around.
Jenkins and Rhodes, both first-year starters, have had a tremendous impact on the Seminoles’ vastly-improved defense. Florida State ranks second in the ACC and 11th nationally in scoring defense (17.8 ppg), a 12-point improvement over the 2009 team. With a pass rush that ranks second nationally in sacks and improved pass coverage working hand-in-hand, the Seminoles have yielded only 13 touchdown passes; second-fewest in the ACC through the regular season.
In addition to his 12 sacks, which ties him for sixth on FSU’s single-season record list, Jenkins has registered 18.5 tackles for loss; which ties him for the third most productive season in school history.
“He’s as complete a corner as you’ll see all round,” said Fisher of Rhodes, who has 50 tackles, including 35 solo stops.
Rhodes has been equally impressive from his boundary corner position. In addition to his ACC-leading 11 pass break-ups, his three interceptions – which tie him for the team lead – give him 14 passes defended on the year. That ranks tied for ninth nationally and is tops among freshmen. Of his 46 tackles on the season, 39 have been of the solo variety, including 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Hudson earns AFCA All-American honors
Rodney Hudson also learned Monday that he has been selected to the 25-member American Football Coaches Association Football Bowl Subdivision All-American team. The team is selected exclusively by the coaches.
“Its’ an honor, showing that hard work pays off,” said Hudson. “You work hard all year and you’d like to see results. As a player and as a team, one of most meaningful things is to have respect from your opponent.”
It is the first of what is expected to be several such honors for Hudson, who is a finalist for the Outland Trophy and a likely consensus All-American selection.
The senior from Mobile, Ala. boasts a season-long grade of 87 percent from his left guard position and leads the Seminoles with 44 knockdown blocks. During his tenure, the Seminoles have ranked among the ACC’s top offenses each season.
ACC hands out three weekly honors to `Noles
The Seminoles parlayed their 31-7 rout of Florida into some individual awards this week as the Atlantic Coast Conference recognized Brandon Jenkins and Shawn Powell with player of the week honors.
Hudson established a new league record by earning the ninth Offensive Lineman of the Week honor of his career – his third this season – after grading out at 91 percent with four knockdowns and was not penalized or have a missed assignment. No player in league history has ever been honored more than eight times at one position.
Jenkins recorded two sacks and four tackles to lead a dominant defensive effort against the Gators, who managed just 64 passing yards; good enough to capture the first Defensive Lineman of the Week honor of his career.
Powell was instrumental in pinning the Gators deep in their own territory, punting four times for a 40.2 yard average, which was also his net average from the game. The ACC Specialist of the Week performance forced Florida to begin drives at the 4, 7 and 5 yard lines, pushing his season total to 15 punts inside the opponents’ 20 on 45 attempts this season.