Virginia Tech linebacker Rayshard Ashby, punter Oscar Bradburn, offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw, cornerback Caleb Farley and punt returner Tayvion Robinson have been named to the Athlon Preseason All-ACC First Team. Overall, the Hokies garnered 13 preseason selections from Athlon, the most of any ACC Coastal Division squad.
Ashby (5-10, 237) was named ACC Linebacker of the Week five times last season, the only defensive player in the league to win that many ACC POW honors. He was a second-team All-ACC selection and finished third in the voting for ACC Defensive Player of the Year last season. He led the ACC with 120 total tackles in 2019 and led the Hokies with 17 tackles for loss. He was second on the team with five sacks on the season.
Bradburn (6-1, 221) earned All-ACC honorable mention accolades in 2019 after being named a third-team All-ACC selection in 2018. A semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, he finished third in the ACC with a 46.5-yard punting average, setting a Tech single-season record. The Sydney, Australia, native has boomed 21 punts of 50+ yards and set 22 punts down inside the 20. He also forced 22 fair catches while suffering only seven touchbacks. Bradburn was named the ACC Specialist of the Week following Tech’s 36-14 victory over No. 22 Wake Forest.
Darrisaw (6-5, 311) started 13 games at left tackle for Tech in 2019 after starting 12 games as a true freshman. The Upper Marlboro, Md., native helped jumpstart Tech’s rushing game in the regular season’s final eight games as the Hokies averaged 184.4 yards rushing and scored 17 rushing touchdowns over that span.
Farley (6-2, 207) blossomed into one of the ACC’s top cornerbacks in just his second season, playing that position after serving as a high school quarterback. A first-team All-ACC pick, he led the ACC with 16 passes defensed and ranked fourth in the nation by averaging 1.5 passes defensed per game. He tied for second in the ACC with four interceptions and had a 17-yard interception return for a touchdown in the 45-0 shutout of Georgia Tech (11/16). The Hickory, N.C., native had a career-high four passes defensed in the 43-41 six-OT defeat of North Carolina (10/19).
Robinson (5-10, 186) was selected to Athlon’s preseason first-team squad as a punt returner. He was rated by PFF College as the highest-graded true freshman punt returner (83.0) in the nation and the eighth-highest overall among players with at least 10 punt returns, earning PFF College All-Freshman Team honors as a punt returner. A former high school quarterback at Cox High School in Virginia Beach, Robinson returned 12 punts for 174 yards in 2019, good for an average of 14.5 yards per return, the nation’s tenth-best mark
The Hokies named by Athlon to the All-ACC preseason second, third team and fourth teams were (second-team offense) tackle Lecitus Smith; (second-team defense) cornerback Jermaine Waller; (third-Team Offense) wide receiver Tre Turner; (fourth-team offense) tight end James Mitchell; (fourth-team defense) defensive tackle DeShawn Crawford, linebacker Dax Hollifield, cornerback Chamarri Conner; and (fourth-team specialist) kicker Brian Johnson.