Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Heels defense heads All-ACC team

A sign of the UNC program's progression under coach Butch Davis, the Tar Heels landed five defensive players on the ACC's preseason all-conference football team, which was released on Wednesday.

Defensive end Robert Quinn, defensive tackle Marvin Austin, linebacker Quan Sturdivant, cornerback Kendrick Burney and safety Deunta Williams were all selected. The team was voted on by the media attending the ACC Kickoff press conferences in Greensboro Sunday and Monday. North Carolina had the nation's No. 6 defense last season.

By comparison, Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder, the preseason pick for league player of the year, is one of two Seminoles on the team.

Also on the offense, Duke wide receiver Donovan Varner and N.C. State tight end George Bryan were the lone Triangle players picked.


  1. Carolina has had as many as nine players finish the season as first-team All-ACC picks, in 1971 and 1980. Of course, the ACC was a much smaller league those seasons.

    Quinn, Sturdivant, Burney and Williams made first team last season, as did the Wolfpack’s Bryan.

    Before leaving this subject, it’s worth noting that NCSU having only one pick is a surprise as we enter Tom O’Brien’s fourth season. State has two All-ACC caliber players who didn’t make it, Russell Wilson and Nate Irving, so that needs to be noted.

    But for the Pack to start winning, it will have to put quality players on the field. Since 1960, N.C. State has had at least one first-team All-ACC pick in every year except 1995 and 2007.

  2. Woody Durham says that the 1997 Carolina defense was the best he's ever seen at UNC and that this season's defense has a chance to be as good or better. Of course, he said that before the Marvin Austin ordeal.

    That 1997 team went 11-1 and the defense, coached by coordinator Carl Torbush, only allowed more than two touchdowns in a game three times and the Tar Heels won two of those games.

    The stars of that defense were All-Americas Dre Bly, Brian Simmons, Greg Ellis and Kivuusama Mays.

    By the way, Bly was recently signed by the Detroit Lions while Greg Ellis, a longtime Cowboy, was released by the Raiders and is a free agent. Simmons, who played 10 seasons in the NFL, is now a scout for the Jaguars. Mays, who played two years in the NFL, finished up his career with the Chicago Enforcers of the now-defunct XFL.