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Four Heels Named to Preaseason All-ACC Team

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
Pos. Name (Votes) Ht Wt Class Hometown
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.
Pos. Name (Votes) Ht Wt Class Hometown
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.
Pos. Name (Votes) Ht Wt Class Hometown
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.