Three Heels on All-ACC First Team
Zach Brown
Zach Brown

Posted Nov 28, 2011


North Carolina placed eight players on the 2011 All-Atlantic Coast Conference teams, announced Monday.

Tailback Giovani Bernard, defensive end Quinton Coples and linebacker Zach Brown were named to the first team, while wide receiver Dwight Jones, offensive tackle James Hurst and offensive guard Jonathan Cooper were named second team. Kickoff return man T.J. Thorpe and defensive tackle Tydreke Powell were selected honorable mention.

Coples is the first repeat first-team all-conference selection at UNC since Julius Peppers in 2000 and 2001. A native of Kinston, N.C., Coples finished the regular season with 51 tackles, 13.0 tackles for losses of 64 yards and 7.5 sacks for 51 yards despite constant double teams all season. He also led the team and was second in the ACC with three forced fumbles.

Brown registered a team-best 91 tackles, including 11.5 tackles for losses and 5.5 sacks. A native of Columbia, Md., he also had two interceptions, broke up four passes and tied with Coples with three forced fumbles.

Bernard joins Amos Lawrence (1977) as the only freshmen tailbacks in school history to earn first team All-ACC honors. He is the first overall UNC freshman to be on the first team since Dre' Bly in 1996. Bernard rushed for a school freshman record 1,222 yards and became the first Tar Heel to rush for 1,000 yards since Jonathan Linton in 1997. He led all ACC running backs with 13 rushing touchdowns and had 14 overall. He is the first tailback to earn first-team All-ACC honors at UNC since Curtis Johnson in 1993.

Jones, who led the ACC in receiving touchdowns (11) and total receptions (79), missed out on first team honors by 11 votes. He finished the season with 1,119 yards and averaged 93.2 yards per game. His 79 receptions is the seventh-highest single-season total in ACC history. A native of Burlington, N.C., Jones earned honorable mention honors in 2010.

Cooper and Hurst form the left side of Carolina's offensive line and provided many holes for Bernard to run through this season. Hurst graded out as the team's top offensive lineman and Cooper led the team in knockdown blocks. This is the first time Carolina has had two offensive linemen on the all-conference teams since 1993.

Thorpe, a freshman from Durham, N.C., led the ACC with a 27.6 kickoff return average and scored on a 100-yard return at Clemson. He finished the regular season with 33 returns for 912 yards, just 27 yards shy of Brandon Tate's school mark for kickoff return yards.

Powell, a native of Ahoskie, N.C., had 45 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for losses and one sack. He also had one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

***

FIRST TEAM

Offense
QB-Tajh Boyd, Clemson (71)
RB-David Wilson, Virginia Tech (90)*
RB-Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (66)
WR-Sammy Watkins, Clemson (86)
WR-Chris Givens, Wake Forest (69)
OT-Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech (86)
OT-Zebrie Sanders, Florida State (46)
OG-Austin Pasztor, Virginia (49)
OG-Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech (45)
C-Dalton Freeman, Clemson (44)
TE-Dwayne Allen, Clemson (78)
K-Dustin Hopkins, Florida State (75)
Spec.- T.J. Graham, NC State (45)

Defense
DE-Andre Branch, Clemson (79)
DE-Quinton Coples, North Carolina (64)
DT-Joe Vellano, Maryland (68)
DT-Matt Conrath, Virginia (55)
LB-Luke Kuechly, Boston College (90)*
LB-Sean Spence, Miami (82)
LB-Zach Brown, North Carolina (48)
CB-David Amerson, NC State (86)
CB-Chase Minnifield, Virginia (47)
S-Matt Daniels, Duke (80)
S-Josh Bush, Wake Forest (41)
P-Shawn Powell, Florida State (85)

SECOND TEAM

Offense
QB-Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech (49)
WR-Dwight Jones, North Carolina (58)
WR-Conner Vernon, Duke (34)
RB-Lamar Miller, Miami (62)
RB-Andre Ellington, Clemson (26)
OT-Oday Aboushi, Virginia (43)
OT-James Hurst, North Carolina (30)
OG-Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech (35)
OG-Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (31)
OG-Joe Looney, Wake Forest (31)
C-Tyler Horn, Miami (32)
TE-George Bryan, NC State (29)
K-Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson (37)
Spec.-Sammy Watkins, Clemson (33)

Defense
DE-Brandon Jenkins, Florida State (51)
DE-James Gayle, Virginia Tech (25)
DT-Brandon Thompson, Clemson (43)
DT-Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest (30)
LB-Terrell Manning, NC State (44)
LB-Julian Burnett, Georgia Tech (34)
LB-Steve Greer, Virginia (23)
CB-Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech (36)
CB-Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (34)
S-Eddie Whitley, Virginia Tech (33)
S-Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (23)
P-Alex King, Duke (22)

Honorable Mention: Jeremiah Attaochu, lb, Georgia Tech (16); Brandan Bishop, s, NC State (19); Nigel Bradham, lb, Florida State (20); Audie Cole, lb, NC State (19); J.R. Collins, de, Virginia Tech (17); Everett Dawkins, dt, Florida State (18); Antone Exum, s, Virginia Tech (15); Demetrius Hartsfield, lb, Maryland (11); Cooper Helfet, te, Duke (25); Perry Jones, rb, Virginia (16); Cody Journell, k, Virginia Tech (10); Rodney McLeod, s, Virginia (17); Anthony Mihota, c, Virginia (21); Merrill Noel, cb, Wake Forest (30); Greg Nosal, og, Virginia Tech (10); Tydreke Powell, dt, North Carolina (17); Phillip Price, ot, Clemson (12); Greg Reid, spc., Florida State (27); Rod Sweeting, cb, Georgia Tech (13); Bruce Taylor, lb, Virginia Tech (11); T.J. Thorpe, spc., North Carolina (22); Landon Walker, ot, Clemson (29); Bjoern Werner, de, Florida State (13); Earl Wolff, s, NC State (12); Dawson Zimmerman, p, Clemson (15).


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