CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Free safety Quin Blanding and inside linebacker Micah Kiser highlight Virginia’s seven players named to the 2017 All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Football team, as announced Monday by the league. Blanding and Kiser were named to the first team for the third year in a row. Wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus and punter Lester Coleman were named to the second team, while cornerback Juan Thornhill was named to the third team. Outside linebacker Chris Peace was named honorable mention as was kick returner Joe Reed.
Blanding and Kiser are the fourth and fifth Cavaliers ever to earn first-team All-ACC honors three years in a row and the first UVA duo to accomplish the feat in the same three years. Anthony Poindexter (1996-97-98), Ronde Barber (1994-95-96) and Jim Dombrowski (1983-84-85) also earned first-team All-ACC honors three years in a row.
This is the fourth career All-ACC honor for Blanding, which includes second-team accolades in 2014 as a freshman. He is the second Cavalier to earn All-ACC honors all four years he was on Grounds. Punter Will Brice also accomplished the feat as a second-team honoree in 1993 and 1994, while taking home first-team honors in 1995 and 1996.
The All-ACC accolade for Kiser is his third. Coleman, Peace, Reed and Zaccheaus all earned their first career honors.
Blanding (Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.) ranks No. 2 in the ACC and No. 11 in the nation with 121 tackles. His 121 tackles and 10.1 tackles per game leads the nation’s defensive backs. His four interceptions rank No. 3 in the ACC and No. 19 in the nation. Blanding is Virginia’s all-time career tackle leader with 479 stops, which ranks No. 10 all-time in ACC history and No. 1 among ACC defensive backs. Blanding finished the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons No. 2 in the ACC in tackles and is on pace to do so for a fourth time. He finished behind Kiser in 2015 and 2016. Blanding is a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award.
Kiser (Sr., Baltimore, Md.) ranks No. 1 in the ACC and No. 3 in the nation with 134 tackles. His 134 stops tie his 2016 output and Wali Rainer (1998) for No. 4 on UVA’s single-season tackle list. Kiser is a finalist for the Campbell Trophy and the Senior CLASS Award, while he is a semifinalist for the Butkus Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy. He is No. 5 all-time at UVA with 400 career tackles and owns 20 career double-digit tackle games in 36 career starts. Kiser’s 385 tackles since the start of the 2015 season are the most in the nation during that span.
Coleman (Jr., Martinsville, Va.) ranks No. 3 in the ACC and No. 22 in the nation with 44 yards per punt. Coleman, who made his collegiate debut in the season opener against William & Mary, gives UVA punter recognition on the All-ACC team for the third year in a row. Nicholas Conte was an honorable mention punter in 2015 and a first-team honoree in 2016. Coleman leads the ACC with 23 punts of 50 yards or more and is No. 2 in the ACC and No. 8 in the nation with 28 punts inside the 20.
Zaccheaus (Jr., Plainfield, N.J.) is No. 3 in the ACC and No. 7 in the nation with 80 receptions. His 80 receptions are No. 2 on UVA’s single-season ledger. His 833 receiving yards are No. 6 in the ACC and his five receiving touchdowns rank No. 8 in the league.
Thornhill (Jr., Altavista, Va.) is No. 2 in the ACC in passes defended per game (1.5). His four interceptions rank No. 3 in the ACC and No. 19 in the nation. Thornhill also broke up 12 passes in 11 games. He finished with 53 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Reed (So., Charlotte Court House, Va.) earned honorable mention accolades as a kick returner where he ranks No. 1 in the ACC and No. 9 in the nation with 28.6 yards per kick return. He leads the ACC with six returns of 30 yards or more. Reed is No. 2 in the ACC and No. 14 in the nation with one kick return for a touchdown. His 92-yard kick return for a touchdown against Georgia Tech was the eighth longest return in program history.
Peace (Jr., Newport News, Va.) is No. 1 among ACC linebackers with 7.5 sacks and No. 4 overall. His 7.5 sacks rank No. 5 among the nation’s linebackers and No. 28 overall. Peace also has 60 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two pass breakups and one interception.