— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) November 29, 2022
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Cornerback Anthony Johnson, a first team All-ACC selection, led a group of seven Virginia football student-athletes were recognized as All-ACC performers on Tuesday (Nov. 29). Cornerback Fentrell Cypress II, linebacker Nick Jackson and punter Daniel Sparks earned Second Team All-ACC while wide receiver Keytaon Thompson earned a Third Team All-ACC nod. Defensive linemen Chico Bennett Jr. and Aaron Faumui were honorable mentions.
First Team All-ACC
CB – Anthony Johnson
Second Team All-ACC
CB – Fentrell Cypress
LB – Nick Jackson
P – Daniel Sparks
Third Team All-ACC
WR – Keytaon Thompson
DE – Chico Bennett
DT – Aaron Faumui
Jackson was an All-ACC selection for the third-straight season (2nd team in 2021 & 3rd team in 2020) while Thompson garnered All-ACC accolades for the second consecutive year (2nd Team in 2021).
Johnson started all 10 games at corner for UVA amassing 51 tackles, two interceptions and 12 pass break ups. His 14 passes defended (12 break ups & 2 interceptions) were the second-most among ACC defenders and his 1.4 passes defended per game are the eighth-best in FBS. Johnson’s 38 career passes defended are tied for the fifth-most among active FBS defensive backs.
Johnson’s counterpart on the other side of the field, Fentrell Cypress, took home second team honors for the first time in his career. He led the ACC with 14 pass break ups and passes defended per game. The 1.56 passes defended per game are the fourth-most in the country. Cypress started all nine of the games in which he appeared and was credited with 39 tackles.
The Cavaliers’ leader in tackles for the third-straight season, Jackson finished with 104 stops including seven tackles for loss in 10 games played. He recorded double-digit tackle efforts in six of 10 games played, including 10 tackles playing just the second half against Duke. On Oct. 31 he was named the ACC Linebacker of the Week after an eight-tackle, two-sack effort against Georgia Tech in his hometown of Atlanta. Jackson’s 354 career tackles are tied for the 11th most in program history.
Sparks matched the UVA single-season punting average record, with a 46.8 yard per kick average in 2022. He was named the ACC co-Specialist of the week on Nov. 15 after he punted eight times for 409 yards against Pitt. He had three 60+ yard punts in the contest, the only UVA punter ever with three 60-yarders in a game. Of his 46 punts on the year 12 landed inside the 20 and 14 were 50 or more yards.
For the second-straight season, Thompson was UVA’s top pass catcher. In eight games played, he had 53 receptions and 579 yards. Thompson’s 6.6 receptions per game were the second-most of any ACC receiver. He caught a pass in the final seven games he played and his 72.4 receiving yards were the sixth most by any ACC wideout.
Playing UVA’s bandit position, Bennett had a breakout season on a UVA defense that ranked 14th in the NCAA in sacks per game (3.0). Bennett started all but one game and led the team with seven total sacks. His 0.70 sacks per game are the third-most in the ACC. He garnered ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week twice this season, one of nine UVA defensive linemen ever to win the award twice in the same season.
Faumui started nine of 10 games on UVA’s defensive line, totaling 39 tackles, including a team-best 8.5 tackles for loss. He was credited with four sacks and four quarterback hurries on a Cavalier defense that improved over 75 spots in total defense from a year ago.