I am certain that Steele sat through every snap by every returning snapper in the nation in order to arrive at his decision to anoint Thompson for this prestigious honor. The man is definitely thorough. Does anyone else even pick an all-American long snapper or go four teams deep?
North Carolina's Tommy Hibbard is the second-team punter. Duke's Ross Martin is the third-team kicker; he is joined on the third team by Boston College punt returner Spiffy Evans, who accounted for like half of BC's five touchdowns last season on returns. Clemson's Chandler Catanzaro is the fourth-team kicker, and Georgia Tech's Jamal Golden is on the fourth team as the kick returner. Florida State's Rashad Greene is the fourth unit's punt returner.
In all, 35% of the special teams squad members are from the ACC. Thompson is N.C. State's lone selection at any position, while Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins is the only other first-team member from the ACC. So, basically, Steele is saying we're as good as Clemson.