|Florida State DE Bjoern Werner brings down Wake Forest QB Tanner Price Saturday. Werner leads the nation with 6.5 sacks this season. (US Presswire)|
Here’s the latest on the conference’s top players who are projected to go from playing on Saturdays to starring on Sundays.
Why he has the top spot: Werner has dominated inferior competition to this point, leading the nation with 6.5 sacks. He had 4 tackles with 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss in Saturday’s 52-0 win over Wake Forest. Because the Seminoles have outscored their first three opponents 176-3, Werner has yet to play a full game.
Season stats (three games): 11 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 9.0 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble.
Player ranking: Werner is ranked No. 10 overall and the second-highest defensive end in CBSSports.com’s latest player rankings.
Up next: Florida State hosts No. 10 Clemson on Saturday. The Tigers have a potent offense, but their offensive line is inexperienced.
Why he has the second spot: Amerson did not get off to the best start against Tennessee, but he has two interceptions in the last two games, including a pick on Saturday against South Alabama. He led the country with 13 interceptions in 2011 and has an interception in 11 of his team’s last 16 games.
Season stats (three games): 12.5 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 passes defended.
Player ranking: Amerson is No. 18 overall and the second-highest cornerback in CBSSports.com’s latest player rankings.
Up next: NC State plays The Citadel Saturday, and Amerson won’t be tested much in that game. However, the Wolfpack play Miami and Florida State.
Virginia Tech HokiesWhy he has the third spot: Thomas has the third spot because of his physical stature and what is heard ad nauseam during every NFL Draft, upside. Outside of the fourth quarter in the opener against Georgia Tech, Thomas has performed below expectations. He threw three interceptions in Saturday’s 35-17 loss at Pittsburgh.
Player ranking: Thomas is ranked No. 11 overall and the third-highest quarterback in CBSSports.com’s latest player rankings.
Up next: Virginia Tech plays Bowling Green Saturday. The Falcons played Florida tough to open the season but have allowed their last two opponents, Idaho and Toledo, to throw for more than 300 yards.
Keep an eye on: CB Xavier Rhodes, 6-2, 217, Florida State
Why you should watch him: Rhodes has excellent size for a cornerback and leads a secondary that held Wake Forest to just 83 passing yards last week. This week, Rhodes will face his toughest test of the season when Clemson WRs Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins come to Tallahassee in a must-see matchup.
Season stats (three games): 8 tackles, 1 interception, 5 passes defended.
Player ranking: Rhodes is ranked No. 46 overall and the fifth-highest cornerback in CBSSports.com’s latest player rankings.
Up next: Florida State plays No. 10 Clemson. The Tigers have at least 498 yards of offense in each of their first three games.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.