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Nov. 28, 2005

Greensboro, N.C. – Four University of Virginia football players were named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference football team announced Monday, including three members selected to the first team.

Offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, placekicker Connor Hughes and linebacker Kai Parham were first-team selections, while cornerback Marcus Hamilton was named to the second team. Wide receiver Deyon Williams earned honorable mention recognition.

Ferguson is one of three repeat selections on offense from the first team last season. Called by many the best offensive lineman in the country, he is the first Cavalier tackle named to the first time in back-to-back seasons since Ray Roberts in 1990-91. He has been a starter at the all-important left tackle position since his freshman season in 2002. He has started all 48 games in which he’s played, the most by an offensive lineman in school history. Ferguson is listed as the third-best prospect for the 2006 NFL draft by Sports Illustrated’s Peter King based on the evaluations of NFL personnel.

Hughes earns first-team honors as a senior this season after being named to the second team two years ago. One of the top kickers in the country, he was inexplicably not among three finalists for the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best kicker despite being nearly perfect this season. He has made all 32 extra points and 19 of 22 field goals and leads the ACC in field goal percentage (.864), while ranking second in field goals (1.73/g) and third in scoring (8.1 ppg). He was named ACC Specialist of the Week twice this season, more than the rest of the placekickers in the league combined and became UVa’s all-time leading scorer earlier in the season.

Parham had a breakout season after stepping from the shadow of Ahmad Brooks and Darryl Blackstock. He averaged a career-high 8.1 tackles per game, eighth in the ACC and an improvement of nearly one-and-a-half tackles per game over this previous best. Adept at getting to the quarterback, he is fifth in the ACC in sacks (0.77) and ranks 26th nationally, and also ranks seventh in the ACC in tackles for loss. He was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week three times this season, the most of any player. His nine sacks are second in ACC history by an inside linebacker and ninth most overall by a linebacker.

Hamilton has quickly made a name for himself as one of the top cover corners in the ACC this season. He is tied for the league lead with five interceptions despite the fact that teams have thrown his way less and less as the season progressed. Curiously, all five of his interceptions came in conference games as he became the first Cavalier to have at least four interceptions in back-to-back seasons since All-American Anthony Poindexter did it as a safety in 1996-97. Hamilton is also outstanding against the run and ranks second in the conference in tackling among cornerbacks with an average of 5.5 stops per game.

Williams received honorable mention recognition after making a big move this fall to become on of the ACC’s most dangerous receivers. He put up the best numbers of his career with 52 receptions for 679 yards and six touchdowns. Williams is tied for second in the conference in receptions (52) and touchdown catches (6), and stands four in receiving yards (679). He has led the team in receiving on six occasions and had a huge performance against Miami with six receptions for a career-best 152 yards and two scores. His 90-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter is the longest player from scrimmage ever against the Hurricanes. Thirty-six of his 52 receptions (.692) have gone for either a first down or touchdown.

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