Offensive Player of the Year
1.) Chase Rettig – Jr., Boston College
Rettig holds his position atop this chart because he continues to light up the scoreboard with his play. This week he may not have had the 441 yards through the air like he did against Miami the game before, but he did notch three touchdown passes in a 34-3 win against Maine. He only had 219 yards through the air, and completed only 50% of his passes, but those three scores land Rettig atop the ACC in touchdowns and completions. He is second in yards per attempt at 8, but his 660 total yards are second to none.
Rettig has a chance to show his true colors next week when the Eagles take on the upstart Northwestern Wildcats. The Wildcats are 2-0, with wins against Syracuse and (believe it or not) an SEC team in Vanderbilt. It won’t be an easy game, and will give the ACC an indicator of where Rettig’s season could end up.
2.) EJ Manuel – Sr., Florida State
I’m reluctant to put EJ Manuel on this list because he’s played some pretty garbage teams thus far in Murray State and Savannah State, but I think it’s important to acknowledge Manuel’s efforts thus far. He is completing 77% of his passes through two games, which is notable against any team, and went 11-for-13 against Savannah State. He also threw three touchdowns in his short time on the field, including a 61 yard bomb to Rodney Smith. He is killing it when he’s on the field, and I cannot wait to see how he fares against Wake Forest after having had sufficient warm up.
Defensive Player of the Year
1.) Demetrius Hartsfield – Sr., Maryland
This might be a homer pick, and it’s hard to decide who has had a bigger impact between Hartsfield and Vellano, but here it is anyway. Hartsfield has been absolutely menacing on the field, with 17 total tackles through two games, including four against Temple on Saturday. He isn’t just tackling, though, as Hartsfield now has two fumble recoveries to his name to go along with an interception and one sack. It’s that he is doing something on every level that really sets his apart from everyone else as a dynamic player. He played a major role in limiting Temple’s Matt Brown and running quarterback Chris Coyer last week, and looks to be off to a monster season.
2.) Jack Tyler – Jr., Virginia Tech
These two might be trading places all season, but Tyler goes on this list for the sheer numbers he has been putting up. 25 total tackles (ten of them being solos) just cannot be ignored. Virginia Tech’s defense is always good, and Jack Tyler is a big reason why Tech held Austin Peay to 221 total yards of offense and only seven points. He wraps guys up, and if he keeps it up he is on pace for a 100+ tackle season, which is great for any LB.
Coach of the Year
1.) Randy Edsall – Maryland
This may be a week too early to be placing Randy Edsall on this list, but I’m going to do it anyway because he has already managed to match last year’s win total. That’s not saying a lot, but given the injuries his team has sustained and the improvement from week one to week two, Edsall has Maryland on the right track for the first time since he arrived here from Connecticut. He may deserve Coach of the Year if he can coax this youthful group to 6 wins, but I think it may be right to focus on next week’s game against his former team before we go that far. A 3-0 start for the Terrapins is huge, and Edsall has these young guys learning on the fly and learning well.
2.) Jim Grobe – Wake Forest
It’s early, but Jim Grobe has Wake Forest playing inspired football on both sides of the ball. Last week, he coached his team into a gritty win against a North Carolina team that is 13th in the nation in points for. The tandem of Tanner Price and Michael Campanaro is one of the best QB/WR combos in the ACC, and if he can ride them throughout the season without having to use that horrible run game too much, the Deacons will be alright. Defensively, their secondary play is fantastic, and may round into form son and become a catalyst for this team.