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Perry Simmons
21 Blue Devils Named to Academic All-ACC Team
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/17/2014
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DURHAM, N.C. – Led by a pair of All-Americans – Jamison Crowder and DeVon Edwards – Duke landed a league-high 21 selections on the 67-member 2013 Academic All-ACC Football team announced by the conference office on Monday.  

The 21 picks match the ACC record set by Duke last year.

In addition, Duke offensive tackle Perry Simmons, who was honored with the ACC’s Jim Tatum Award as the league’s top student-athlete, was joined by teammates Ross Cockrell and Dave Harding as four-time selections to the prestigious team.  The trio of Blue Devils become the 15th, 16th and 17th players in ACC history to earn four Academic All-ACC citations.

Cockrell, Harding and Simmons were three of 12 repeat picks from Duke, joining Brandon Braxton, Kelby Brown, Kyler Brown, David Helton, Dezmond Johnson, Ross Martin, Sydney Sarmiento, Juwan Thompson and Laken Tomlinson.  Braxton, Helton, Johnson, Thompson and Tomlinson are three-time selections to the squad.

Also representing the Blue Devils were Bryon Fields, Max McCaffrey, Will Monday, Garett Patterson, Shaquille Powell, David Reeves and Deion Williams.

Duke led all ACC schools with its 21 selections, followed by Maryland (6), N.C. State (6), Pitt (6), Clemson (4), Virginia (4), Boston College (3), Georgia Tech (3), Virginia Tech (3), Wake Forest (3), Florida State (2), Miami (2), North Carolina (2) and Syracuse (2).

To be eligible for consideration, a student-athlete must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career. The league has selected an Academic All-ACC Football team every year since 1954.

Braxton, a wide receiver from Charlotte, N.C., caught 39 passes for 361 yards and two touchdowns for the Blue Devils in 2013 while Kelby Brown, a linebacker from Matthews, N.C., posted 114 tackles with 11.0 tackles for loss and two interceptions en route to earning first team All-ACC honors.  Kyler Brown, a linebacker from Matthews, N.C., who will transition to defensive end this spring, carded 22 tackles last fall.

Cockrell, a cornerback from Waxhaw, N.C., earned his second straight first team All-ACC citation after registering 46 tackles with three interceptions and 13 pass breakups.  Crowder, a wide receiver and punt returner from Monroe, N.C., was a second team All-America choice by Sports Illustrated after averaging 16.0 yards per punt return.  He also set Duke single-season records with 108 pass receptions for 1,360 yards.

Edwards, a safety and kickoff return specialist from Covington, Ga., picked up second team All-America accolades from the Walter Camp Foundation after averaging 30.2 yards per kickoff return with a pair of touchdowns in wins over N.C. State and North Carolina.  He added 64 tackles and three interceptions on defense.  Fields, a cornerback from Charlotte, N.C., posted 42 tackles, one sack and six pass breakups.

Harding, a three-year starting offensive guard from Orlando, Fla., helped Duke lead the ACC in sacks allowed per passing attempt while Helton, a linebacker from Chattanooga, Tenn., led the conference in total tackles with 133.

Johnson, a defensive end from Nashville, Tenn., had 22 tackles including 2.5 stops for loss while Martin, a kicker from Solon, Ohio, finished the year with a team-best 97 points on 13-of-19 field goals and 58-of-58 PATs.

McCaffrey, a wide receiver from Castle Rock, Colo., was fourth on the team in receptions with 26 grabs for 282 yards and four touchdowns while Monday, a punter from Flowery Branch, Ga., received second team All-ACC honors after averaging 42.7 yards per boot.

Patterson, a cornerback from Richmond, Va., started all 14 games in the secondary and finished with 27 tackles and one interception while Powell, a running back from Las Vegas, Nev., rushed 62 times for 344 yards and two touchdowns.

Reeves, a tight end from Greensboro, Ala., had three receptions for 38 yards including a touchdown catch in the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Texas A&M while Sarmiento, a defensive tackle from Florence, S.C., started all 14 contests and compiled 19 tackles.

Simmons, an offensive tackle from Raleigh, N.C., and an All-ACC selection for the second straight year, helped Duke post 25-plus rushing touchdowns and 25-plus passing touchdowns for the first time in program history while Thompson, a running back from Fairburn, Ga., had 348 rushing yards on the year.

Tomlinson, an offensive guard from Chicago, Ill., was a first team All-ACC pick as Duke amassed a school single-season record 5,966 yards of total offense while Williams, a linebacker from Long Beach, Calif., secured 17 tackles on the season.