DURHAM, N.C. - Led by All-America safety Matt Daniels, Duke landed a league-high 19 selections on the 2011 Academic All-ACC Football team announced by the conference office on Wednesday morning.
Daniels was one of nine repeat picks from Duke, joining Kelby Brown, Ross Cockrell, Dave Harding, Cooper Helfet, Sean Renfree, Perry Simmons, Will Snyderwine and Donovan Varner. Daniels and Snyderwine are three-time selections to the squad.
Duke led all ACC schools with 19 selections, followed by Clemson (5), Wake Forest (5), Georgia Tech (4), Maryland (4), Boston College (3), Florida State (3), N.C. State (3), Miami (2), North Carolina (2), Virginia Tech (2) and Virginia (1).
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., had 40 pass receptions for 352 yards while Brown, a linebacker from Matthews, N.C., led Duke in tackles for loss (7.0) while carding 65 total stops. Byas, a safety from Lynn Haven, Fla., registered 40 tackles including two for loss while pacing the Blue Devils in special teams tackles.
Cockrell, a cornerback from Waxhaw, N.C., carded 56 tackles on the year while ranking seventh in the ACC in total passes defended (10). Coleman, an offensive guard from Florence, S.C., started nine games in 2011 and helped Duke rush for 19 touchdowns, matching the program's highest single-season total since 1994.
Daniels, a safety from Fayetteville, Ga., earned second team All-America and first team All-ACC honors after posting 126 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 14 pass breakups and two interceptions. Duke's team MVP, Daniels represented the Blue Devils in the annual East-West Shrine Game last month.
Deaver, a tight end from Charlotte, N.C., caught eight passes for 107 yards while France, a linebacker from Columbus, Ga., compiled 23 tackles last fall.
Harding, an offensive lineman from Orlando, Fla., started at both center and offensive guard last season, playing a total of 751 snaps while helping Duke rank third in the ACC in sacks allowed per passing attempt. A nose guard from Hamilton, Ohio, Hatcher served as a team captain and posted 30 tackles and 2.0 quarterback sacks.
A tight end from Kentfield, Calif., Helfet received All-ACC honors after catching 43 passes for 395 yards and four touchdowns. Helton, a linebacker from Chattanooga, Tenn., saw action in nine games and finished the season with 25 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
Johnson, a defensive end from Nashville, Tenn., was credited with 20 tackles, three tackles for loss and 1.0 quarterback sack while playing 369 total snaps. Renfree, a quarterback from Scottsdale, Ariz., started all 12 games in 2011 and completed 282-of-434 passes for 2,891 yards with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He established new school records for single-game pass completions (41 vs. Boston College) and single-season record for pass completion percentage (.650).
Simmons, an offensive tackle from Raleigh, N.C., started all 12 games in 2011 and played more snaps - 927 - than any other Blue Devil as Duke had the second-most prolific passing offense in the ACC. Snyderwine, a kicker from Potomac, Md., led Duke in scoring with 52 total points on eight field goals and 28 PATs. He finished his career ranking third on the school's all-time scoring chart with 222 total points.
Thompson, a running back from Fairburn, Ga., rushed for a team-high 457 yards and seven touchdowns on 110 carries while catching 22 passes for 182 yards and one additional score. Tomlinson, an offensive guard from Chicago, Ill., was a first team Freshman All-America selection by Sporting News after starting all 12 games on the Blue Devil front.
A wide receiver from Miami, Fla., Varner caught 61 passes for 713 yards and three touchdowns on the year, becoming the first player in ACC history to have three seasons with 60-plus pass receptions. He closed his career with 208 catches - most in school history - for 2,660 yards and 13 touchdowns.