This week, two more North Carolina Tar Heels were named to preseason award watch lists.
On Tuesday, senior offensive lineman Charlie Heck was named to the Outland Trophy watch list. The award is given to the top interior lineman (the award's definition of "interior" is flexible; two of the last five winners have been offensive tackles) in college football, and has been awarded by the Football Writers Association of America since 1946, making it one of the sport's more prestigious positional honors.
Heck started all 11 games last season at right tackle and has a total of 22 career starts. In a preseason article, new offensive line coach Stacy Searels all but confirmed that Heck will switch to left tackle in 2019, continuing to man his quarterback's blind side after playing for a lefty last year. Via UNC Athletics:
Charlie Heck is a pleasure to coach. A lot of times you can come into a new system, a new program, and you’ve got a senior who may balk at coaching because I may do something a little different from a previous coach or something like that. Charlie has embraced what we’re trying to teach and he’s been a pleasure to coach. I think if Charlie continues to grow, get stronger and play physical, he can play as long as he wants to play.
Thursday morning, Dazz Newsome was named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list. This award is given to the most versatile player in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
Last season, Newsome had 1,014 all-purpose yards: He had 44 receptions for 506 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver, 96 yards and a touchdown on the ground, and was an explosive returner as well. He returned six kickoffs for 125 yards and 19 punts for 286 yards and a touchdown.
As the returning wide receiver with the highest snap count from last season, new wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway is looking to Newsome to be a big part of the offense this season. Via UNC Athletics:
He’s one of the guys we will count on. He’s what you look for in a slot receiver. He’s twitchy. He’s just got to become more consistent. He’s got to be a guy who we have to count on day in and day out to make those plays, tough plays inside. You have to be a tough player to be able to play inside in this system because we’re putting you in situations where a lot of the times you’re matched up against a kid who is not as twitchy as those guys are. He’s explosive. There are a lot of different ways we can get the ball to him. He showed last year he can make the big play. He’s just got to be consistent. I’m excited for him in this system.
The Paul Hornung Award is in its 10th season and is presented by the Louisville Sports Commission. The award’s namesake was the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner at Notre Dame and the 1961 NFL MVP.