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Nelson Named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year

Nov. 28, 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia redshirt freshman safety Brenton Nelson has been voted the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Rookie of the Year, as announced Tuesday by the league.

Nelson (Miami, Fla.) is the second Cavalier to be named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, an accolade first awarded by the league in 2007. Current UVA senior Quin Blanding was the first in 2014. Virginia has had two previous ACC Rookies of the Year, first in 1984 when wide receiver John Ford won the honor and again in 1994 when defensive back Ronde Barber took home the honor.

Nelson is tied for the team lead in pass interceptions with four and has also broken up six passes and recorded two tackles for loss. His 58 tackles this season, which includes 31 solo stops, rank fifth on the team. Nelson’s four interceptions leads all ACC rookies and ranks No. 4 in the nation among freshmen.

Nelson received 29 votes in the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Six other players received votes, while Clemson defensive back A.J. Terrell placed second behind Nelson with nine votes.

Boston College’s AJ Dillon was voted the overall ACC Rookie of the Year and the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year.



Along with the other ACC Players of the Year, Nelson will be honored on Friday night in Charlotte, N.C., at the Night of Legends Dinner at the Charlotte Convention Center.


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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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