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Seven Cavaliers, including four first-teamers, have been selected to the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association (VaSID) All-State team.

A unanimous All-American this season, senior defensive end Chris Long was chosen as the state Division I defensive player of the year. The winner of the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s top defensive end and the Dudley Award as the state’s top player, Long has had an incredible season. He has made 75 tackles this season, including 14 sacks. He ranks third in the nation in sacks and has been a key contributor in leading the Cavaliers to a 9-3 record this season.

Joining Long as repeat selections on the first team are senior tight end Tom Santi and junior guard Branden Albert.

Santi earned second-team All-ACC honors this season and was the recipient of the Jim Tatum Award as the ACC’s top student-athlete among the league’s senior football players. He leads the team with 402 receiving yards and three touchdowns and is third with 33 receptions. Santi ranks fourth among ACC tight ends in receptions and is tied for 28th nationally this fall.

One of the most dominating guards in the nation, Albert earned third-team All-American from the Associated Press this season. He was also a first-team All-ACC selection and the leading vote-getter among guards. This season he started all 12 games10 at left guard and two at left tackle. He was the line’s highest grader on five occasions and is second on the team with 42 knockdown blocks.

A second-team All-ACC selection, Ryan Weigand was chosen as the state’s first-team punter. He is ranked fifth in the nation in punting with an average of 45.53 yards, the second-highest average in school history. His 10 punts of 50+ yards are the most by a Cavalier punter in six years. He set a school record with a 51.6-yard average is the season opener against Wyoming.

Senior center Jordy Lipsey and junior tackle Eugene Monroe were named to the second-team for the first time in their careers.

Lipsey started all 12 games this season to run his streak to 24 consecutive starts, the longest streak by a Cavalier center since Harold Garren started 33 in a row from 1983-85. An ironman who has played all but three snaps this season, he was one of the team’s most improved players for the second year in a row according to head coach Al Groh. He has recorded 21 knockdown blocks and been the line’s highest grader twice.

Monroe received honorable mention All-ACC recognition this season. He started all 10 games he played this season, missing two due to an injury. He was the line’s top grader on five occasions this fall and has not allowed a sack all year. He had season-high six knockdown blocks vs. North Carolina and was named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week.

Selected the state’s top rookie last season, sophomore defensive end Jeffrey Fitzgerald was named to the second-team this fall. He is tied for fourth on the team with 65 tackles and ranks second among the ACC’s defensive linemen in tackling, trailing only Long. He shares the team lead with two interceptions, one of eight linemen nationwide with two picks, and is second with 10.5 tackles for loss and third with six sacks.

Richmond tailback Tim Hightower was voted the state offensive player of the year, while his coach, Dave Clawson, was selected the state coach of the year. Spider teammate Kevin Grayson was named the state’s rookie of the year.

Virginia Tech led the overall voting with 13 players named to the two all-state teams (50 overall selections). Liberty had eight selections, UVa seven, James Madison six, Richmond five, Hampton four, Norfolk State and William & Mary three each, and VMI one.

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