ACC has plenty of NFL potential

Clemson QB Charlie Whitehurst, a Heisman Trophy candidate and potential future NFL star, leads Mel Kiper's look at the top talent in the ACC.

Originally Published: July 12, 2004
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider
Editor's note:'s Mel Kiper Jr. continues his look at the best players in each conference by examining the top five players on the rosters of six of 11 ACC teams (schools listed in alphabetical order).

Clemson Tigers
1. Charlie Whitehurst, QB, jr. – A legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate after throwing for 3,561 yards and 21 touchdowns last year and completing 61.9 percent of his passes. Whitehurst put the ball in the air 465 times last season and figures to be in that same area this year. He has ideal size at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds and is a big-time NFL prospect, following in the footsteps of his father, former Green Bay Packers QB David Whitehurst.
2. Leroy Hill, LB, sr. – Was the team leader last season with 145 tackles and his 27 tackles for loss ranked second nationally. Hill is not physically imposing at 6-0, 222 but is pound-for-pound one of the best defensive players in the nation.
3. Justin Miller, CB, jr. – A dual-threat performer who is excellent returning punts and kicks. Miller had an up-and-down season in 2003 but was outstanding in the Tigers' Peach Bowl win over Tennessee and looks primed for a big year in '04.
4. Airese Currie, WR, sr. – Caught 43 passes for an average of 13 yards last season. Currie has had some durability issues in the past but is one of the fastest players in the country and will be the go-to guy for Charlie Whitehurst.
5. Jamaal Fudge, S, jr. – A tough tackler who goes 5-10, 190, Fudge racked up an amazing 20 tackles against Virginia last season.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst
Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.