North Carolina placed six players on The Sporting News All-Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman Team, including quarterback T.J. Yates, tight end Zack Pianalto, defensive tackle Marvin Austin, linebacker Quan Sturdivant and defensive backs Deunta Williams and Charles Brown. Williams was named The Sporting News Defensive Rookie of the Year.
In addition, Carolina football players
Austin and Williams were named first-team freshman All-America by Scout.com and Rivals.com, respectively. Sturdivant was named to the Scout.com second team. Williams earlier this week was named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Yates completed 218 of 365 attempts and set the UNC single-season passing yards record with 2,655. He also had 14 passing touchdowns, which ranks second on the UNC single-season list, and had two rushing scores. A native of Marietta, Ga., Yates came to Carolina after playing just two years of high-school football and only one in a passing offense. He redshirted last
season and after winning a QB battle in fall practice started every game in
Pianalto finished fourth on the team with 24 catches for 204 yards. He played in every game and started eight.
Defensively, Austin started three games and had 26 tackles, including six tackles for loss and four sacks. Sturdivant posted 47 tackles and started six games. Williams had 57 tackles and Brown had 59 stops. Brown was Carolina's nickel back for the first half of the season and then transitioned into the starting role at cornerback. He had two interceptions for 101 yards, including a 92-yard interception return for a touchdown at N.C. State.