ACC showcases its speed once again

The ACC is used to the taunts and the putdowns nationally for its poor performance in nonconference play and lack of standout seasons from its traditional powers. But one thing the league has over every other conference is speed — at least at the NFL Scouting Combine.

While the SEC remains the cream of the crop for its athletes all over the field on both sides of the football, the ACC represented the fastest player in the 40-yard dash for the third year in a row in Indianapolis.

Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey started the streak in 2008 and Clemson's Jacoby Ford followed that up with his blazing performance in 2009. And this year, Demarcus Van Dyke continued to carry the torch for the conference.

The Miami cornerback clocked a 4.28 in the 40-yard dash, going down as not only the fastest cornerback but the fastest of all the prospects competing on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium. And according to, he ran the third-fastest 40 at the Combine since 2000. Another ACC alum, Maryland running back Da'Rel Scott, tied for second overall with LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.

If only the ACC could do something about the five straight seasons that an SEC team has stood atop the mountain following a BCS title game. This past season, Auburn made it five titles from four different programs for Mike Slive’s juggernaut. Does the ACC have what it takes to break the SEC's championship streak in 2011?

Well, maybe it should just be happy with the success in the 40-yard dash.

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