DALLAS --- Marvin Austin, Bruce Carter, Robert Quinn and Quan Sturdivant are among the 74 best and brightest of the upcoming college football season's defensive players named to the 2010 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, the Football Writers Association of America announced Monday.
In addition, Austin and Alan Pelc were named to the 2010 Outland Trophy Watch List as two of the nation's top interior linemen.
With four players named to the Nagurski Watch List, Carolina has more initial candidates than any other program in the country.
The quartet of defensive standouts returns to lead a unit that finished in the top 15 in the country in all four major defensive categories.
The Tar Heels were No. 6 in total defense (269.6 avg.), No. 10 in rushing defense (95.6 avg.), 13th in scoring defense (17.1 avg.) and 14th in passing defense (174.0 avg.) in 2009.
A native of Washington, D.C., Austin started 11 games at defensive tackle and earned second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in 2009 after posting 42 tackles, including six for losses and four sacks for 40 yards.
He also forced one fumble, had one fumble recovery and broke up three passes.
Carter, a Havelock, N.C., product, was a second-team all-conference pick after posting 65 tackles, including 7.5 for losses and two sacks. He broke up two passes and scored on a 41-yard interception return.
A junior from Ladson, S.C., Quinn had 11 sacks and led the ACC with 19 tackles for losses in 2009. He was a first-team All-ACC selection and was named second-team All-America by CBSsports.com.
Sturdivant, a native of Oakboro, N.C., was a first-team All-ACC linebacker and led Carolina with 79 tackles. He had 12 tackles for losses, including one sack, and scored a touchdown on a 49-yard fumble recovery.
A senior from Houston, Texas, Pelc started all 13 games last season for UNC and earned ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors following the win over The Citadel after anchoring an offensive line that led the Tar Heels to 261 rushing yards, the first time they have broken the 200-yard mark since 2006.
Players may be added or deleted to the Bronko Nagurski Watch List during the season.
Each week during the 2010 season, the FWAA will choose a Defensive Player of the Week. If that player is not on the Watch List, he automatically will be added.
The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on November 18.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be on Dec. 6 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Besides the 2010 winner being announced, the banquet will also celebrate the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, presented by CSX Intermodal. Defensive tackle Mike McCoy, a standout for Notre Dame, is being honored from the FWAA's 1969 All-America team.
The FWAA will consider other players for the 2010 Outland Trophy Watch List and will also delete players as the season progresses. The FWAA All-America Committee will select three finalists in late November and eventually the overall winner.
The Outland Trophy, presented annually since 1946, is the third oldest award in major college football.
The Outland Trophy is named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn and Kansas at the turn of the century. The 2010 winner will be announced on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 9.