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Heel Tough Blog: Phil Steele Hands Out All-American and All-ACC Preseason Honors

Bob Donnan- USA Today Sports

Magazine season is officially underway and the most prestigious preseason publication has released its All-American and All-ACC preseason members for this year.

Phil Steele released the digital version of his 2024 preview on Tuesday, meaning that his preseason designations were released. As Tar Heel athletics announced earlier today, the Tar Heels have three players on his preseason All-American team and six on the preseason All-ACC team.

Running back Omarion Hampton received the highest praise, pulling in first team All-American and All-ACC as he looks to build on an amazing sophomore season. Hampton enters the season as the nation’s third-leading returning rusher after running for 1,504 yards and 15 touchdowns a year ago, the second-most yards and sixth-most rushing touchdowns in program history.

Edge rusher Kaimon Rucker also received two honors from Steele, landing a fourth team All-American and first team All-ACC designation. Rucker is entering his final season of eligibility off of a breakout junior season in 2023 where he landed second team All-ACC honors after racking up 61 total tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and 60 quarterback pressures.

Tight end Bryson Nesbit landed on those same teams as Rucker as he prepares for his senior season. This past season as a junior, Nesbit caught 41 passes for 585 yards and five touchdowns on his way to first team All-ACC honors.

Cornerback Alijah Huzzie is also listed as a first team All-ACC member by Steele, but at the punt return spot where he was an honorable mention by the conference last year. Linebacker Power Echols (2nd) and offensive guard Willie Lampkin (3rd) also received recognition by Steele.


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