The ACC has announced the preseason All-ACC teams as chosen by the media at ACC Kickoff. Four Tar Heels are represented on the teams, three on offense and one on the defensive side of the ball.
OG Jonathan Cooper and OT James Hurst join RB Giovanni Bernard on the All-ACC offensive team. Senior LB Kevin Reddick was the lone Tar Heel named to the defensive team. Here is the full list via the ACC.
|2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Team|
|WR||Conner Vernon, Duke (41)||6-2||195||Senior||Miami, Fla.|
|WR||Sammy Watkins, Clemson (68)||6-1||200||Sophomore||Fort Myers, Fla.|
|TE||Matt Furstenburg, Maryland (35)||6-4||245||Senior||Flemington, N.J.|
|T||James Hurst, North Carolina (48)||6-7||300||Junior||Plainfield, Ind.|
|T||Oday Aboushi, Virginia (29)||6-6||310||Senior||Brooklyn, N.Y.|
|G||Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech (57)||6-3||300||Senior||Lithonia, Ga.|
|G||Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (55)||6-3||295||Senior||Wilmington, N.C.|
|C||Dalton Freeman, Clemson (58)||6-3||285||Senior||Pelion, S.C.|
|QB||Tajh Boyd, Clemson (29)||6-1||225||Junior||Hampton, Va.|
|RB||Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (60)||5-10||205||Sophomore||Davie, Fla.|
|RB||Andre Ellington, Clemson (53)||5-10||190||Senior||Moncks Corner, S.C.|
|DE||Brandon Jenkins, Florida State (59)||6-3||265||Senior||Tallahassee, Fla.|
|DE||James Gayle, Virginia Tech (31)||6-4||250||Junior||Hampton, Va.|
|DT||Joe Vellano, Maryland (58)||6-1||285||Senior||Rexford, N.Y.|
|DT||Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest (33)||5-11||260||Junior||Wylie, Texas|
|LB||Kevin Reddick, North Carolina (49)||6-3||240||Senior||New Bern, N.C.|
|LB||Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech (42)||6-2||253||Senior||Riceboro, Ga.|
|LB||Steve Greer, Virginia (32)||6-2||225||Senior||Solon, Ohio|
|CB||David Amerson, NC State (63)||6-3||194||Junior||Greensboro, N.C.|
|CB||Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (25)||6-0||181||Junior||Baltimore, Md.|
|S||Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (45)||5-8||204||Junior||Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.|
|S||Earl Wolff, NC State (30)||6-0||207||Senior||Raeford, N.C.|
|PK||Dustin Hopkins, Florida State (54)||6-2||190||Senior||Houston, Texas|
|P||Dalton Botts, Miami (65)||6-3||198||Senior||Taft, Calif.|
|SP||Greg Reid, Florida State (35)||5-8||186||Senior||Valdosta, Ga.|
The inclusion of two UNC offensive linemen is curious given how poorly the line as a whole played last season. Practically everyone criticized the OL and it was one of our favorite targets in game analysis here at THB. That being said, it is tough to argue against Cooper and Hurst as All-ACC caliber linemen though I am still a little fuzzy on how individual offensive linemen get judged. The line as a whole is evaluated based on sacks and whether Gio Bernard has any room to operate with the latter not really being the case last season. Speaking of Bernard, he is poised for a huge season. The new offense is going to ensure he gets plenty of attempts both rushing the football and receiving it. Likewise Kevin Reddick is "the guy" on the Tar Heel defense expected to make a huge impact.
Among the names left off the list but definitely worth watching for the Tar Heels are DT Sylvester Williams who has shed 30 lbs and showed signs last season of being a solid player. Erik Highsmith, according to Twitter chatter was fourth in votes for preseason All-ACC and will be stepping into the spotlight as UNC's #1 receiver. His QB, Bryn Renner, is also in position to have a good season in a QB rich league and Casey Barth returns from a groin/thigh injury that led to him redshirting in 2011.