Cam Akers has had a brilliant resurgence in 2019, improving his 2020 NFL draft prospects a great deal, cementing himself as a top running back not only in the ACC but in college football (CFB). He was sensational yet again in 2019 ACC CFB Week 9. Coming out of Clinton High School in Mississippi, Akers has a highly regarded 5-star prospect. To say expectations were high for him coming into Florida State would be quite the understatement. If we are being honest, his freshman and sophomore seasons were quite pedestrian. Akers, now a junior, is on pace to have his best season at Tallahassee.
In 2019, he has rushed for 917 yards and an impressive 12 touchdowns, while averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Akers runs with good vision, accelerates in the hole exceptionally well and isn’t afraid of contact. It is hard for defenders to get a hold of Akers, as he is quite slippery. To add to his value, Akers offers production as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.
Through nine weeks of the season, it is quite clear that the ACC is one of the weaker conferences in all of college football. Still, only the Clemson Tigers and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons remain the only teams from the conference ranked in the AP Top-25. However, in Week 9, we did some competitive matchups between conference rivals. The Miami Hurricanes were able to squeak out a win against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Miami linebacker Shaq Quarterman was making tackles all over the field. While, in a losing effort, Pittsburgh safety Damar Hamlin exhibited the range that has NFL scouts excited about his game. The Louisville Cardinals were able to secure a 28-21 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers, led by a strong rushing performance from freshman Javian Hawkins.
Also, we saw the Florida State Seminoles win convincingly against the Syracuse Orangemen. Junior safety Hamsah Nasirildeen was marvelous, accounting for 17 tackles and a sack. Nasirildeen’s 2020 NFL draft stock is accelerating, and he is clearly one of the best safety prospects in this years’ draft class. Finally, the Clemson Tigers dismantled Boston College, winning the game 59-7. Clemson was led by strong performances from Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and senior wide receiver Diondre Overton. Clemson is undeniably the best team in the conference and finds themselves in the driver’s seat to be one-of-the-four teams playing for the College Football National Playoff.
Let’s take a look at the top performers from the ACC in Week 9.