The Washington Times - October 16, 2009, 09:13AM

Been wondering who would win an ACC player of the year award at this point?

Truthfully, I hadn’t. But maybe that’s because the team I cover hasn’t produced a truly credible candidate for one of the conference’s player of the year awards (overall or defensive) since D’Qwell Jackson in 2005.

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Team Anonymous has other problems this year, obviously, than individual accolades. And without a vote (thankfully, it should be noted) in the league’s season-ending awards, those concerns are far out of mind.

But Kyle Tucker of the Virginian-Pilot asked a bunch of beat writers from around the conference to weigh in on a midseason top three for the ACC’s top player and, well, here we are.

Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams was the clear favorite, with Miami’s Jacory Harris and Wake Forest’s Riley Skinner right behind. Three other quarterbacks received votes.

Although this is technically not an MVP award, it might be worth wondering where all of these teams would be without their stars.

Outside of Wake Forest fans, does anyone even know who the heck Skinner’s backup is? Does anyone know how good Harris’ backup, freshman A.J. Highsmith, really is?

As for Williams, it was only two months ago that panic filled the streets of Blacksburg when Darren Evans got hurt. But Williams stepped in, seized the job and has done a fine job behind a veteran offensive line – in good programs especially, an excellent harbinger for success.

The guess here? If the Hokies keep winning and Williams soars well past 1,000 yards, he’ll be the conference’s player of the year. Voters tend to like touchdowns (which running backs collect with frequency) and players on good teams (which the Hokies unquestionably are). A signature performance in the team’s biggest game in the second half of the season (like Saturday at Georgia Tech) would go a long way in cementing it as well.

Patrick Stevens