Boston College football running back A.J. Dillon only rushed for a total of 333 yards and one touchdown in his first six games as an Eagle. Since then, the true freshman has more than quadrupled that mark, averaging close to 183 yards on the ground per game throughout the back half of the season. Heading into the bowl season, Dillon is the second-leading rusher in the ACC. And now, as of Tuesday, he’s the conference’s Rookie of the Year.
The New London, Conn. native, who received 47 of the 59 available votes, is the first BC player to ever earn the award. Wake Forest wide receiver Greg Dortch (six votes), Clemson running back Travis Etienne (four votes), and Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson (two votes) all finished behind Dillon in the voting. Just one day earlier, the 6-foot, 245-pound old-school back was named first team All-ACC, not to mention that he tied Louisville quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson for the most votes among the all-conference teams.
When all was said and done, Dillon finished the regular season with 1,432 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry, and broke the 100-yard mark on six separate occasions, including five times in the Eagles’ final six games. To top that, Dillon became the second freshman in ACC history to log a pair of 200-yard games. When he has gained 100 or more yards through the trenches this season, BC is 5-1.
The true freshman will enter December as the second-leading rusher in his class, and the 15th-leading rusher in the nation.
Featured Image by Shaan Bijwadia / Heights Staff