Heels Place Four On Preseason All-ACC
GREENSBORO, N.C. --- North Carolina placed four players on the 2013 Preseason All-ACC Football Team, the league office announced Wednesday. Safety Tre Boston, tight end Eric Ebron, tackle James Hurst and defensive end Kareem Martin were all picked in the annual balloting by media in attendance at the 2013 ACC Football Kickoff, held earlier this week at Greensboro's Grandover Resort.
UNC's four selections were second only to Florida State's six on the preseason list. Duke, Miami and Wake Forest followed with two selections apiece, while Boston College, Georgia Tech Maryland, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Virginia Tech each placed one player on the team.
Nine student-athletes named to the 2013 Preseason All-ACC Team were first- or second-team All-ACC offensive selections last season: Ebron, Hurst, Clemson's Tajh Boyd, Wake Forest wide receiver Michael Campanaro, Florida State guard Tre' Jackson and center Bryan Stork, Miami running back Duke Johnson, Clemson placekicker Chandler Catanzaro and Maryland kick return specialist Stefon Diggs.
Seven members of the 2013 All-ACC Preseason defensive unit were first- or second-team All-ACC in 2012: Martin, Duke cornerback Ross Cockrell and punter Will Monday; Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner and linebacker Christian Jones, Wake Forest nose tackle Nikita Whitlock, and Virginia Tech linebacker Jack Tyler.
Boyd, who was named Preseason Player of the Year on 59 of the 65 ballots cast, joins his teammate, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and North Carolina's Hurst as repeat Preseason All-ACC selections from last season. Florida State's Joyner and Wake Forest's Whitlock are repeat Preseason All-ACC defensive selections from 2012.
Ebron received the nod at right end after hauling in 40 catches for 625 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. Both marks were Carolina single-season records for a tight end.
Florida State's Jackson and UNC's Hurst are joined on the offensive line by FSU center Bryan Stork, Virginia tackle Morgan Moses and Miami guard Brandon Linder.
The defensive front features ends Martin of UNC and Georgia Tech's Jeremiah Attaochu, while Whitlock and Florida State's Timmy Jernigan man the tackle positions. Whitlock and Jernigan prevailed in a tight vote that also included Pitt's Aaron Donald, also a candidate for a number of preseason national awards.
The linebacking corps features Virginia Tech's Jack Tyler in addition to Florida State's Jones and Boston College's Kevin Pierre-Louis. Duke's Cockrell and FSU's Joyner are joined in the secondary by Boston and Pitt's Jason Hendricks.
Martin tied for second in the ACC in tackles for loss per game (1.29) last season, while Boston was among a group of players with four interceptions in 2012.