NC players top football all-conference teams

Fifteen in-state products made first-team squads

Appalachian State’s Darrynton Evans was named a first-team running back and the Sun Belt Conference’s offensive player of the year. (Brian Blanco / AP Photo)

Fifteen players from North Carolina made all-conference teams for their college this season.

In the ACC, a total of six players made the first team.

Sage Surratt was the only local ACC player chosen on offense, after getting 66 catches for 1,001 yards and 11 touchdowns for Wake Forest in an injury-shortened season.

His Wake teammate Carlos Basham was chosen at defensive end. He had 17 tackles for loss and nine sacks with three forced fumbles.

Kicker Nick Sciba was the third Deacon given first-team honors after setting an NCAA record for most consecutive made field goals.

Basham is joined on the defense by Chazz Surratt. The UNC quarterback-turned-linebacker — and brother of Sage — had 110 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks in his first year on defense.

Two North Carolina products who left the state for college also made the first team. Maiden’s Caleb Farley was an All-ACC cornerback for Virginia Tech, and Belmont South Point’s Tanner Muse made the team at safety for Clemson.

UNC’s Dazz Newsome and Charlie Heck made the second team, as did Duke’s Noah Gray, Victor Dimukeje and Damond Philyaw-Johnson. Wake’s Dom Maggio and NC State’s Larrell Murchison were second-teamers as well, along with Concord’s Hamsah Nasirildeen, now at FSU, and Jackson Springs’ Sean Pollard of Clemson.

On the third team or honorable mention were: UNC’s Sam Howell, Michael Carter (RB), Dyami Brown, Jason Strowbridge, Javonte Williams, Michael Carter (all-purpose), Aaron Crawford and Myles Dorn; Wake’s Kendall Hinton, Justin Herron, Nate Gilliam, Essang Bassey, Jamie Newman, Jack Freudenthal, Jake Benzinger, Zach Tom, Justin Strnad and Nasir Greer; Duke’s Chris Rumph, Koby Quansah, Jack Wohlabaugh, Austin Parker and AJ Reed; NC State’s Trenton Gill and Cary Angeline; and Shelby’s Justin Foster, now at Clemson.

App State won its second straight Sun Belt conference championship game, and a half-dozen Mountaineers were honored with first-team berths.

Running back Darrynton Evans was first-team All-Sun Belt. He also was named second-team at all-purpose and return specialist. He had 1,516 yards from scrimmage and 22 touchdowns, along with 386 return yards and a score. Evans was also named the Sun Belt’s offensive player of the year.

A pair of offensive linemen made the first team — junior Noah Hannon and senior Victor Johnson. Two other linemen — Cooper Hodges and Baer Hunter, of Clemmons — were second-teamers.

Demetrius Taylor made first team on defensive line. Taylor had 13 tackles for loss, seven sacks, an interception and four pass defenses with one defensive touchdown on a fumble return.

Joining Taylor on the defense was Thomasville’s Akeem Davis-Gaither, who had 92 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and six pass defenses at linebacker. Davis-Gaither was also named the Sun Belt’s defensive player of the year.

The final Mountaineer on the first team was defensive back Shaun Jolly, who had five interceptions, including two pick-sixes, and seven pass defenses.

App State had four other second-teamers, including Josh Thomas, Greensboro’s Thomas Hennigan, Cornelius’ Corey Sutton and Charlotte’s Jordan Fehr.

Seven Mountaineers — Zac Thomas, EJ Scott, Desmond Franklin, Noel Cook, Ryan Neuzil, Marcus Williams, Malik Williams — made third team or honorable mention, as did Clayton’s Sterling Johnson, now with Coastal Carolina.

We round out the first-teamers in Conference USA, where Charlotte made its first bowl in program history and had three players named to the first team.

Running back Benny LeMay represents the 49ers in the backfield after rushing for 1,027 yards and nine touchdowns, adding another 242 yards and four scores receiving. Offensive lineman Cameron Clark also made the first team on offense.

On defense, Charlotte defensive end Alex Highsmith was a first-teamer after recording 21.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, three pass defenses and two forced fumbles.

One North Carolina product made the CUSA second team — Garner’s Keion White, now a defensive end for Old Dominion, earned the spot.

Five 49ers — Chris Reynolds, Victor Tucker, Markees Watt, Jeff Gemmell, Nafees Lyon — made honorable mention, along with Harrisburg’s Brian Chaffin, now at Rice, Wake Forest’s Darius Hodge, now at Marshall, and Greensboro’s Trae Meadows, an NC State transfer now at Western Kentucky. Charlotte’s Dejan Rasuo and Lance McMillan also made the CUSA All-Freshman Team.

Around the country, there were a few other North Carolina products on second-team all-conference squads. Winterville’s Kendall Futrell made All-AAC second team at defensive line for ECU. Teammate Jake Verity joined him at kicker. Pirates D’Ante Smith and Greenville’s CJ Johnson made honorable mention.

Charlotte Zebulon B. Vance’s Jeremiah Hall made All-Big 12 second team for Oklahoma as a pass catcher.

In the SEC, Alabama guard Landon Dickerson, a product of Hickory, made second team.
Greensboro’s Javon Leake, now a running back at Maryland, was honorable mention All-Big Ten.
Shelby’s Tre Harbison, now a running back at Northern Illinois, was third-team All-MAC.