Duke linebacker Michael Tauiliili led the ACC in tackles, but lost the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year honor to another player at his same position. Boston College’s Mark Herzlich took home the award in a close vote, earning 20 votes to beat out Florida State’s Everette Brown, who won 16 votes, and Tauiliili, who came in third with 12 votes. Also receiving votes were Wake Forest’s Aaron Curry with seven, and six others received one or more nods.
We presented the cases for Herzlich and Tauiliili yesterday—and rest assured, Herzlich did have some gaudy statistics of his own, and his Eagles are playing in the ACC championship now—but Tauiliili did have a case for the award, and his 12 votes are proof of that. David Cutcliffe might not be entirely pleased that Tauiliili didn’t take the award, especially after the head coach campaigned hard for his senior. He’ll have to be happy, though, that more than a sixth of voters placed Tauiliili above all other defensive players in the conference.