Cockrell, Monday make 1st Team All ACC

SONY DSCDURHAM, N.C. – Duke redshirt senior cornerback Ross Cockrell and redshirt sophomore punter Will Monday were voted to the Preseason All-ACC Team by the media in attendance at the 2013 ACC Kickoff, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced Wednesday.

Cockrell, a 6-0, 190-pound native of Waxhaw, N.C., was the top vote-getter of all ACC defensive backs while Monday, a 6-4, 210-pound native of Flowery Branch, Ga., received the most votes of league punters. Both Cockrell and Monday received All-ACC first team honors in 2012 after helping Duke to a 6-6 regular season record and a berth in the Belk Bowl.

Florida State led all schools with six players, while North Carolina followed with four. Duke, Miami and Wake Forest followed with two selections apiece, while Boston College, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Virginia Tech each placed one player on the team.

A watch list selection for the Jim Thorpe Award, Nagurski Trophy and Lott IMPACT Trophy, Cockrell has received preseason All-ACC first team recognition from Athlon Sports, Lindy’s Sports, Phil Steele’s College Football Preview, Sporting News and USA Today this preseason. He enters his senior season as the ACC’s active leader in interceptions and boasts career totals of 187 tackles, nine interceptions, 29 pass breakups, 5.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 quarterback sack and one forced fumbler over 36 starts. In 2012, he tied for the ACC lead with 0.38 interceptions per game, ranked third with 1.38 passes defended per game and 41st with 5.46 tackles per game.

Monday, who received preseason All-America third team recognition from Sporting News and preseason All-ACC first team honors from Athlon Sports, Lindy’s Sports, Sporting News and USA Today, is a watch list candidate for the Ray Guy Award. In his first season as Duke’s punter, he booted 67 punts for 2,991 yards and an average of 44.64 yards per kick. He landed 19 balls inside the opponent 20-yard line compared to just six touchbacks. A freshman All-America selection, he launched a career-long 79-yard punt in the Belk Bowl that was one of his ACC-leading 20 punts of 50 or more yards.

Duke opens the 2013 season on Saturday, August 31 against N.C. Central in the Bull City Gridiron Classic in Wallace Wade Stadium. The game kicks off at 4 p.m. with tickets available at or by calling 919-681-BLUE (2583).