Bjoern Werner has 13 sacks this season, one of the best years a pass rusher has ever had at Florida State.
And on Wednesday, the junior defensive end was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s defensive player of the year in balloting by writers and broadcasters. Werner received 27 votes, while injured teammate Tank Carradine finished in second place with nine votes.
Werner has two games left — the ACC Championship Game on Saturday and a bowl game — to add to his sack totals. His total of 13 sacks places him in a tie with Alonzo Jackson for the sixth best in FSU history. But one more sack would put him in the No. 3 spot behind just Peter Boulware (19 in 1996) and Andre Wadsworth (16 in 1997).
Werner is the ACC’s active sacks leader with 23.5, which places him in a tie for fourth on FSU’s all-time list along with Jamal Reynolds and behind just Reinard Wilson (35.5), Boulware (34) and Ron Simmons (25).
“There is not a more well-deserving award than this one for Bjoern, who’s had an unbelievable year for us and his statistics prove it,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “But his worth goes well beyond his statistics.
“The value he has to his team … the effect he has on his teammates, off the field and in the classroom and as a team leader is tremendous, and the things he’s sacrificed to give up for other guys to make plays on our defense.”
He is the sixth Seminole to be named ACC defensive player of the year, following Derrick Brooks (1993), Derrick Alexander (1994), Boulware (1996), Andre Wadsworth (1997), Darnell Dockett (2003).
Werner said Tuesday night that he will announce his decision about staying at FSU or entering the NFL draft after FSU’s bowl game.
FSU has been well represented on the all-conference selections this week. Freshman cornerback Ronald Darby (18 tackles, seven pass break-ups) was named the ACC’s Defensive Rookie of the Year on Tuesday.
And FSU also had 12 first- and second-team All-ACC picks. Werner, Carradine, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, safety Lamarcus Joyner and kicker Dustin Hopkins all made the first team. Former Vero Beach standout Bryan Stork was the second-team pick at center, and he was joined by quarterback EJ Manuel, tailback Chris Thompson, tackle Cameron Erving, guard Tre’ Jackson, defensive tackle Everett Dawkins and linebacker Christian Jones.
Praise for Stoops: FSU players insisted there was no sadness in hearing that defensive coordinator Mark Stoops would be leaving to become the new coach at Kentucky. Many players said that Stoops made them better, and likewise their play on the field gave him a chance to become a head coach.
“He turned a great defense into an even better defense,” Werner said. “I’m happy that he was my defensive coordinator and I hope he has a lot of fun in Kentucky and be a great head coach. I’m definitely going to follow him. Hopefully everything works out for him.”
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