The ACC announced their all-ACC selections on Tuesday morning, and the Tar Heels had a noticeable presence across the four teams. Seven players were named to the first, second, or third team and another three were named as Honorable Mention selections. Running back Michael Carter was named twice; as a third-team running back and honorable mention all-purpose back. Of the 10 selections, nine were recruited by previous head coach, Larry Fedora. Mack will get the credit, but that’s an incredible job by the entire coaching staff.
The UNC selectees were:
First Team: LB Chazz Surrat (JR)
Second Team: WR Dazz Newsome (JR), OL Charlie Heck (SR)
Third Team: QB Sam Howell (FR), RB Michael Carter (JR), WR Dyami Brown (SO), DL Jason Strowbridge (SR)
Honorable Mention: DT Aaron Crawford (SR), RB Javonte Williams (SO), S Myles Dorn (SR), (AP) Michael Carter
Surratt highlights the selections. He finished the regular season as the league leader with 110 tackles. His 13.5 tackles for loss were seventh-best in the league and just missed the top 10 in sacks. Surratt slotted in at 12th with a total of six on the year. Not bad for the former starting quarterback.
Newsome and Brown led the charge for the receiving corps, with both players currently credited with 947 receiving yards apiece. Newsome finished with 64 receptions and 8 touchdowns. Brown was the more lethal deep threat, catching 11 touchdowns on 46 catches.
Michael Carter was named as a third-team selections out of the backfield. His 919 rushing yards and 76.58 ypg average were fifth in the league. However, he reached those numbers on just 13.15 carries per game, which was the 13th most in the league. A 5.78 ypc helped buoy that efficient production.
Some fans will have heartburn over Howell’s selection on the third-team. Howell set the UNC single-season TD record and the FBS single season record for touchdowns thrown by a true freshman. He leads the ACC in total passing yards (3347), touchdown passes (35), and yards per game (278.9). Those numbers are even more impressive when one considers the conservative play calling through the first three weeks as he was eased into the offensive system. His seven interceptions are the second fewest among full-time starting quarterbacks.
Strowbridge and Crawford anchored the UNC defensive line all season, and though their numbers aren’t gaudy, both demanded constant attention from opponents. Both regularly faced double-teams, opening up lanes for their teammates. Strowbridge did lead the ACC with three fumble recoveries. Crawford posted 49 tackles and three sacks.
They both were likely knocked down by a few voters due to some less-than-stellar performances by the entire UNC defense in the final weeks against Pittsburgh and Virginia. It’s worth noting that in a season of “what-ifs”, Strowbridge didn’t play against Wake Forest.
Senior safety Myles Dorn and sophomore RB Javonte Williams round out the selections. Dorn finished with 78 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 2 interceptions. He achieved those despite being asked to pilot a secondary that lost four starters by the middle of the season, and was without two other starters for extended periods of time.
Williams finished his sophomore campaign with 848 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. He caught 14 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown.
All the players will have at least one more opportunity to bolster their numbers at an undetermined bowl game later this month. Of note, Carter and Williams are within range of 1,000 yards on the ground, and both already have at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage. If Newsome and Brown can gain 53 more yards apiece through the air, they’ll finish with 1,000 receiving yards. That means North Carolina has the potential to finish this season with four players who gain 1,000 yards from scrimmage.