Updated: Jan 5, 2020
The ACC announced their all conference teams on Tuesday morning following the conclusion of the regular season this past Saturday. After just four players were recognized a year ago, only one of which landed more than an honorable mention, the 2019 Tar Heels responded when ten Tar Heels were recognized for their achievements by the media earlier today. Let's take a look at which Tar Heels ended where and give you a breakdown of their seasons.
1st Team All-ACC
Surratt finished as one of the ACC's two leading tacklers, his 110 total tackles tying with Syracuse linebacker and third team All-ACC member Lakeim Williams. The converted quarterback also finished as the Tar Heels leader in tackles for loss with 13.5 and sacks with 6.0. Those numbers ranked 6th in the ACC and 4th in the ACC amongst linebackers, respectfully. He was also one of the main reasons this Tar Heel defense went from allowing 218.8 yards per game on the ground to just 149.0 per game.
2nd Team All-ACC
The Tar Heels leading receiver for most of the season and their top offensive lineman earned second team honors. Newsome 947 yards are tied for the team lead with Dyami Brown and tied for sixth in the ACC overall. Newsome finished with 64 receptions, sixth-most in the ACC this season. Newsome has come on strong late in the year, finishing all but one of his last five games of the season with over 100 yards receiving and in the last two games, Newsome has combined for 300 yards and two touchdowns on 17 catches.
Heck was a snub for All-ACC postseason recognition last year, not even garnering an honorable mention, despite being one of the best pass protectors in the entire country. That is not the case this year, as Heck achievements landed him just short of being a first team member. In 797 regular season snaps, he allowed just a third of a sack and 10 quarterback pressures. Heck also finished the season with 39 knock downs.
3rd Team All-ACC
The fact that you have to scroll this far down the page for us to talk about Howell is a joke. The true freshman leads the ACC in passing yards (3,347) and passing touchdowns (35), his 35 passing touchdowns tying Jameis Winston’s ACC-best mark set during his Heisman campaign in 2013. His seven interceptions were the least of any quarterback in the ACC with at least 300 pass attempts besides Syracuse’s Tommy DeVito, who only threw five. He broke the school record and true freshman record for touchdown passes in a season in the second-to-last game of the season and his 8.6 yards per attempt trails only Trevor Lawrence among the conference’s quarterbacks. How Bryce Perkins beats him out is beyond me.
Another shock was just how close Dyami Brown was to being listed as only an honorable mention. Brown is the third and final receiver on the third team, despite tying for second in the conference in receiving touchdowns (11) and yards per reception (20.6). Brown’s 947 receiving yards are tied with Dazz Newsome for the team lead and also tied for sixth-most in the conference. These numbers are extremely comparable to Clemson’s top receiver, Tee Higgins, who Brown has beat out in every category except yards per reception. Higgins, however, is a first team member, while Brown almost had to settle for an honorable mention.
Carter earned third team honors after finishing the regular season as the Tar Heels leading rusher with 919 yards, a number that places him fifth in the ACC. Carter’s 5.8 yards per carry is fifth best in the conference among running backs with 100+ carries. Carter also had a nice year as a returner, averaging 25.2 yards per return, helping him to finish with 1,503 all-purpose yards. The biggest reason that Carter is a third team player is the fact that he finished with only five total touchdowns, three of which came on the ground.
Strowbridge rounds out the group of third teamers after another strong season in 2019. His 42 total tackles was second on this Tar Heel team among defensive lineman and his 6.5 tackles for loss finished sixth among all Tar Heel defensive players. His 3.0 sacks are tied for third on the team and he led the team in both forced fumbles (3) and fumble recoveries (2).
Howell being a third team member was an egregious enough error, but having the best interior run defender in all of college football, according to Pro Football Focus, as an honorable mention is worse. Crawford led all Tar Heel defensive linemen in tackles with 49, a number that also ranked him behind only Wake Forest’s Carlos Basham Jr. for tackles among ACC defensive linemen. His 8.0 tackles for loss were third on the team, trailing only linebackers Chazz Surratt and Tomon Fox and his 3.0 sacks were also tied for the third most on the team behind those same two players. He also forced one fumble and had two quarterback hurries while playing nearly every snap for this Tar Heel defense this season.
Williams ends up an honorable mention after some late injuries took the wind out of the sails of what was a great season. Still, Williams managed to run for 848 yards, which is the seventh most in the ACC, and five touchdowns on 152 carries. His 5.6 yards per carry was sixth-best in the ACC amongst players with at least 100+ carries.
Dorn receives the first postseason recognition of his career after a nice close to his senior season. His 78 total tackles was third on the team and the third-most among defensive backs in the ACC. Dorn also pulled in two interceptions, registered four pass deflections and racked up 4.5 tackles for loss.