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Virginia senior defensive end Chris Long was selected the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year in voting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association for the Associated Press. Long is the second Cavalier to win the league’s top defensive player award; current UVa running backs coach Anthony Poindexter won it as a safety in 1998.

Long is the ninth Cavalier named a conference player of the year. TB Tiki Barber (1996) and QB Matt Schaub (2002) won both Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year awards. QB Bob Davis (1964), TB Frank Quayle (1968), TB Barry Word (1985), QB Shawn Moore (1990), and QB Matt Blundin (1991) were all named Player of the Year.

Long received 69 of 71 votes as Defensive Player of the Year. Maryland linebacker Erin Henderson and Georgia Tech linebacker Philip Wheeler each received one vote.

The only unanimous first-team All-ACC selection this season, Long has been one of the nation’s most dominant defensive players this season. He was the ACC leader this season in sacks (1.13/g) and tackles for loss (1.54/g). Long also leads conference defensive linemen in tackling with an average of 6.2 tackles per game.

Long had a direct impact on three road victories for Virginia this season. He intercepted a North Carolina pass and returned it 25 yards to set up the game-winning field goal in the Cavaliers’ 22-20 win over the Tar Heels in the third game of the season. He blocked a field goal in UVa’s 23-21 win over Middle Tennessee on Oct. 6. Two weeks later he sacked Maryland’s quarterback in the end zone for a third quarter safety in an 18-17 victory.

The Charlottesville, Va., native is also a finalist for several national defensive awards this season including the Lombardi Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Ronnie Lott Trophy and the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year award.

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