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Heel Tough Blog: 13 Tar Heels Receive All-ACC Recognition

With the regular season officially in the books, the ACC released their 2023 all-conference teams on Tuesday as part of the lead-up to the ACC Championship Game on Saturday night. The Tar Heels were tied for third in selections with nine players making the first, second and or third team, while four others received honorable mentions. Here is a look at the honors handed out earlier this evening.

First Team: Omarion Hampton, Bryson Nesbit and Cedric Gray

Bob Donnan- USA Today Sports

It is no shock that any of these guys are here with the amazing seasons that they had. Hampton is one of the top running backs in the entire country this season, finishing top ten nationally in rushing yards (1442), scrimmage yards (1657), yards after contact (1023), rushing touchdowns (15) and scrimmage touchdowns (16). Nesbit easily had the best receiving season of any tight end in the conference, leading the ACC tight ends in receptions (41), receiving yards (585) and receiving touchdowns (5). Gray is a first-team member for a second straight season after finishing second in the conference in total tackles (121) and assisted tackles (57) and fourth in solo tackles (64).

Second Team: Drake Maye, Kaimon Rucker and Noah Burnette

Nell Redmond- USA Today Sports

Maye as a second team player is a little disappointing after he was the preseason offensive player of the year in the conference, but he probably should have been first team based on his numbers. He finished with the most passing yards (3608) and pass completions (269) in the conference, the second most passing touchdowns (24) and top five in all rushing amongst quarterbacks. Rucker was dominant nearly the entire season, but somehow landed on the second team. He finished third in the conference in tackles for loss (14.0) and sacks (8.5) and second in quarterback pressures (58) amongst defensive linemen. Burnette is an amazing story, as he went from not starting to earning the second team honors at placekicker. He led the conference in field goal percentage (94.7) and third in field goal makes (18).

Third Team: Tez Walker, Willie Lampkin and Power Echols

Nell Redmond- USA Today Sports

Walker is another amazing story after he had to miss the first four games of the season due to a battle with the NCAA for eligibility. He still finished tenth in the league in receiving yards (699), seventh in receiving touchdowns (7) and fourth in yards per reception (17.0). Lampkin graded out as the fifth rated guard in the conference according to Pro Football Focus’s overall grade and was tenth in the conference overall pass blocking grade (80.4) and run blocking grade (70.4). Echols had another strong year, finishing seventh in the conference in total tackles (92) and fifth in solo tackles (56).

Honorable Mention: Corey Gaynor, Alijah Huzzie, Myles Murphy and Spencer Rolland

Michael Longo- USA Today Sports

Gaynor had another solid season, allowing just two sacks and nine total pressures this season. Huzzie had a really good first season at the Power 5 level, finishing sixth in the conference in interceptions (3) and third in pass breakups (7). Murphy had a solid year for himself, registering 23 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and a career-high 14 quarterback pressures. Rolland made major strides from a year ago despite fading a bit down the stretch, allowing one sack and 19 total pressures in 12 games.

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