ACC Football Kickoff 2023: The players to watch

Charlotte, NC – The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Wednesday the 42 student-athletes who will attend the 2023 ACC Football Kickoff, July 25-27, at The Westin Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. For the third consecutive year, each of the league’s 14 teams will bring three players to the annual event.

ACC Network will broadcast live from the ACC Football Kickoff. The three days of expansive coverage will begin at 9 a.m. every day and the 24/7 national network dedicated to ACC sports will provide the event’s most robust television coverage to date.

Among the offensive players in attendance at ACC Kickoff will be 11 quarterbacks, eight offensive linemen, three tight ends, two running backs and a wide receiver. Defensively, eight defensive linemen are scheduled to attend, joining five linebackers and four defensive backs.

The ACC continued to establish itself as the Conference of Quarterbacks in 2022, and many of the leading players return this season. Four of the quarterbacks at this year’s event ranked among the ACC’s top five in passing yards per game last season – North Carolina’s Drake Maye (308.6 – 1st), Florida State’s Jordan Travis (247.2 – 3rd), Duke’s Riley Leonard (228.2 – 4th) and NC State’s Brennan Armstrong (221.0 – 5th; while at Virginia).

Maye, the 2022 ACC Player of the Year, tied for the ACC lead with 38 passing touchdowns, two scores shy of the conference freshman record set by Florida State’s Jameis Winston in 2013. Maye’s 4,321 passing yards was the most ever by a freshman and ranks fifth all-time in the ACC.

Travis, who has thrown for nearly 5,900 yards in his time at FSU, returns after being Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) highest-graded FBS quarterback and the ACC’s highest-graded offensive player in the ACC (91.7). The West Palm Beach, Florida, native accounted for 32 touchdowns a season ago, the third-highest total in program history.

On the defensive side, the ACC’s top tackler in North Carolina’s Cedric Gray will be at this year’s event. Gray posted a Power-5 best 145 tackles with 82 solos in 2022, 27 tackles higher than second place. Miami’s Kam Kinchens, who paced the conference with six interceptions a season ago, will represent the Hurricanes at this year’s event. Kinchens was the first Miami DB to lead the ACC in interceptions since Artie Burns had six in 2015.

The ACC Kickoff student-athletes hail from 14 states with eight from Florida and six from North Carolina and Virginia. Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania will have three student-athletes apiece, while Maryland and New York will have two players each. Five states are each represented by one player, along with Ruisbroek, Belgium (Georgia Tech defensive lineman Sylvain Yondjouen).

The ACC celebrates its 71st season of football, as the conference continues to build off its storied tradition. The ACC has had a team in either the College Football Playoff or the BCS National Championship Game in eight of the last 10 years, including two teams in 2020. The ACC has the second most CFP appearances of any conference. The ACC posted five bowl victories in 2022, which tied for the second-most among all conferences.

The complete list of 2023 ACC Football Kickoff attendees include:

Boston College
Head Coach Jeff Hafley
Donovan Ezeiruaku, DL, Williamstown, N.J.
Christian Mahogany, OL, Elmwood Park, N.J.
Emmett Morehead, QB, Woodside, Calif.

Head Coach Dabo Swinney
Tyler Davis, DL, Apopka, Fla.
Cade Klubnik, QB, Austin, Texas
Will Putnam, OL, Tampa, Fla.

Head Coach Mike Elko
DeWayne Carter, DL, Pickerington, Ohio
Riley Leonard, QB, Fairhope, Ala.
Jacob Monk, OL, Clayton, N.C.

Florida State
Head Coach Mike Norvell
Kalen DeLoach, LB, Savannah, Ga.
Jordan Travis, QB, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Jared Verse, DL, Dayton, Ohio

Georgia Tech
Head Coach Brent Key
LaMiles Brooks, DB, Jacksonville, Fla.
Jordan Williams, OL, Gainesville, Ga.
Sylvain Yondjouen, DL, Ruisbroek, Belgium

Head Coach Jeff Brohm
Ashton Gillotte, DL, Boca Raton, Fla.
Bryan Hudson, OL, Georgetown, Ky.
Jawhar Jordan, RB, Long Island, N.Y.

Head Coach Mario Cristobal
Kam Kinchens, DB, Miami, Fla.
Matt Lee, OL, Oviedo, Fla.
Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Glastonbury, Conn.

North Carolina
Head Coach Mack Brown
John Copenhaver, TE, Roswell, Ga.
Cedric Gray, LB, Charlotte, N.C.
Drake Maye, QB, Huntersville, N.C.

NC State
Head Coach Dave Doeren
Brennan Armstrong, QB, Shelby, Ohio
Aydan White, DB, Asheville, N.C.
Payton Wilson, LB, Hillsborough, N.C.

Head Coach Pat Narduzzi
MJ Devonshire, DB, Aliquippa, Pa.
Matt Goncalves, OL, Manorville, N.Y.
Phil Jurkovec, QB, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Head Coach Dino Babers
Oronde Gadsden II, TE, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Garrett Shrader, QB, Charlotte, N.C.
Marlowe Wax, LB, Baltimore, Md.

Head Coach Tony Elliott
Chico Bennett, DL, Ashburn, Va.
Perris Jones, RB, Alexandria, Va.
Tony Muskett, QB, Springfield, Va.

Virginia Tech
Head Coach Brent Pry
Josh Fuga, DL, Woodbridge, Va.
Nick Gallo, TE, Richboro, Pa.
Ali Jennings, WR, Richmond, Va.

Wake Forest
Head Coach Dave Clawson
Mitch Griffis, QB, Ashburn, Va.
Chase Jones, LB, Warren, N.J.
Michael Jurgens, OL, Damascus, Md.

2023 ACC Kickoff Schedule (pdf)
2023 ACC Kickoff Information