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Presidents with Namesakes Currently Playing in ACC

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

We can’t endure a presidential electoral season without taking note of the many ACC players bearing the last names of former U.S. presidents. In fact, there are 11 players on nine teams who exactly echo the paternal labels of men who held the highest electoral office in American government.

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It’s difficult to keep track of all the candidates, but apparently no Democrat or Republican seeking the office in the current electoral cycle mimics the name of a past president. Except, of course, Hillary Clinton, who was married to Bill Clinton (1993-2001). There’s no Clinton in the ACC this year.

Besides the 11 players with presidential names, a Pitt Panther, Rozelle Nix, has 60 percent of a presidential last name – Nixon, as in Richard (1969-74).

There’s even a Clemson Tiger, Lyles Davis, who brings to mind the president of a rebellious American nation that failed to launch via the Civil War: the Confederacy’s Jefferson Davis.

In fact the names of a multitude of the Civil War’s most illustrious soldiers dot 2015-16 ACC rosters. The list includes Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (three of those); Confederate Gen. Robert E. (why is his middle initial always included?) Lee (Damion Lee, Louisville); Union Gen. George McClellan (Miami’s Sheldon McClellan); Confederate Gen. Kirby Smith (five of those); Union Gen. Oliver Howard (Syracuse’s Franklin Howard); Confederate Gen. A.P. Hill (Ahmed Hill, Virginia Tech); and Union Gen. George Thomas (Wake’s Devin Thomas).

None of those men became president. The Civil War generals elected president were Ulysses Grant, James Garfield, Rutherford Hayes and Benjamin Harrison. They have no namesakes on this year’s ACC rosters.

Nor are there any current ACC players bearing the last names of Civil War generals who took office upon the assassination of their predecessor but were themselves never elected as president -- Andrew Johnson and Chester Arthur.

Presidents with Namesakes Currently Playing in ACC
Player, School President, Tenure in Office
Eli Carter, BC Jimmy Carter, 1977-81
Amile Jefferson, D Thomas Jefferson, 1801-09
Tadric Jackson, GT,
Justin Jackson, NC
Demetrius Jackson, ND
Andrew Jackson, 1829-37
Jaylen Johnson, UL
Cameron Johnson, PU
Brice Johnson, NC
Andrew Johnson, 1865-69; Lyndon Johnson, 1963-69
Damon Wilson, PU
Devin Wilson, VT
Woodrow Wilson, 1913-21
Andre Washington, WF George Washington, 1789-97