June 2, 2009
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech B-back Jonathan Dwyer and safety Morgan Burnett earned preseason All-America honors in Phil Steele’s 2009 College Football Preview magazine while four other players have been named to preseason All-ACC teams.
Dwyer, the 2008 ACC Player of the Year, joins 23 other players on the preseason All-America first team announced Tuesday afternoon. The Marietta, Ga. native emerged as one of the top running backs in the nation in 2008 after rushing for 1,395 yards while scoring 13 touchdowns. The All-ACC first team selection led the ACC and ranked 17th in the country in rushing yards per game (107.3).
Burnett was named to the preseason All-America second team after a sophomore season where tied for the nation’s lead in interceptions (7) while leading the Jackets in tackles (93) and pass break-ups (8). Burnett received 2008 second team All-America honors by Rivals, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News. With 10 career interceptions, he is tied for 13th all-time in the Tech record books.
Along with Dwyer and Burnett, juniors Demaryius Thomas and Derrick Morgan were each named to the preseason All-ACC first team. Last year, Thomas had one of the best seasons by a Tech receiver since Calvin Johnson as he racked up 627 yards on 39 receptions with three touchdowns.
The lone returner from a stacked defensive line in 2008, Morgan enters 2009 as one of the top defensive ends in the ACC. The Coatesville, Pa. native emerged as a threat last season accumulating 51 tackles while adding seven sacks. Morgan tied for second nationally in fumble recoveries with four. He also had one blocked field goal and three pass break-ups.
A senior from Phenix City, Ala., Howard was an All-ACC second team selection in 2008 after starting every game. He helped Tech lead the ACC and rank third nationally in rushing offense last season.
Jefferson, a Wrightsville, Ga. native, missed most of the 2008 season due to injuries but piled up 24 tackles in just three starts. His 6-2, 236-pound frame make him a solid force at inside linebacker as he could surface into one of the top linebackers in the conference in 2009.