by Mike Potter
And if you’re one of the few people who has been disappointed in that, here’s a holiday present just for you.
Here’s my First Annual (?) Indy Week All-Triangle team, made up of the best players who participated for the local Division I universities this season along with four special awards.
Chick-Fil-A Bowl-bound Duke (10-3) places 12 players on the list, followed by seven from Belk Bowl-bound UNC (6-6). Four players come from their fellow ACC member N.C. State (3-9) and two from Division I-FCS member N.C. Central (5-7).
The player of the year is Duke junior wide receiver Jamison Crowder, whose statistics are listed below in the grid.
The defensive player of the year is UNC senior Kareem Martin, whose statistics are listed below in the grid.
The rookie of the year is Duke defensive back DeVon Edwards. The 5-9, 185-pounder returned two interceptions for touchdowns, both in the closing seconds of the win over N.C. State. He also returned a kickoff for a TD against the Wolfpack, also both returning a kickoff for a TD and getting the game-clinching interception at UNC.
And the coach of the year is obviously Duke mentor David Cutcliffe, who took the Blue Devils to their first winning season since 1994 and the Coastal Division title.
The All-Triangle team is as follows:
Quarterback: Anthony Boone (Jr., 6-0, 220) of Duke.
He completed 177 of 277 passes for 1833 yards and 10 TDs with 11 interceptions, also carrying 61 times for 187
Wide Receivers: Jamison Crowder (Jr., 5-9, 175) of Duke, and Quinshad Davis (So., 6-4, 195) of UNC.
Crowder broke Duke’s single-season receptions and receiving yardage records, with 96 catches for 1,197 yards and seven TDs. He averages 16 yards per punt return with scoring returns of 76 and 82 yards this season.
Davis has caught 47 passes for 724 yards and 10 TDs — tied for second in the ACC — averaging 60.3 receiving yards per game.
Tight End: Eric Ebron (Jr., 6-4, 235) of UNC.
Ebron leads UNC with 55 catches for 895 yards and TDs, has set the ACC single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end and the UNC single-season school record for catches by a tight end.
Tackles: James Hurst (Sr., 6-7, 290) of UNC, and Perry Simmons (Sr., 6-5, 300) of Duke.
Hurst, a starter since he was a freshman, anchored the right side of the Tar Heels’ offensive line, playing every snap in eight games so far this season.
Simmons, a graduate of Raleigh’s Sanderson High who held down the right side of Duke’s line, started an ACC-leading 50 consecutive games while playing over 3,600 snaps during his career.
Guards: Dave Harding (Sr., 6-4, 285) of Duke, and Laken Tomlinson (Jr., 6-3, 320) of Duke.
Harding, a team captain, has started 31 straight games for the Blue Devils, who amassed more than 20 rushing and 20 passing touchdowns this season for the first time in school history.
Tomlinson has been on the field for nearly 900 snaps and anchors an offensive line that has allowed Duke to rush for 173.7 yards per game and pass for 234.4 yards per game.
Center: Russell Bodine (Jr., 6-4, 305) of UNC.
Bodine, a two-year starter, appeared in all 12 games on the O-line primarily at center for the third-ranked passing offense in the ACC.
Kicker: Niklas Sade (Jr., 6-3, 200) of N.C. State.
The three-year starter led the Wolfpack in scoring with 88 points, hitting all 31 conversion attempts and 18 of 21 field-goal tries.
Returns: Adrian Wilkins (So., 5-8, 170) of N.C. Central.
He was the only FCS player with five kick return TDs - with scores on three kickoffs (100, 96, 91 yards) and two punts (89, 73) - and led NCCU with 37 catches for 427 yards and two TDs.
Ends: Kenny Anunike (Sr., 6-5, 260) of Duke, and Kareem Martin (Sr., 6-6, 260) of UNC.
Linebackers: Kelby Brown (Jr., 6-2, 220) of Duke, Robert Caldwell (Sr., 6-3, 235) of N.C. State, and Tazmon Foster (Sr., 5-10, 215) of N.C. Central.
Brown ranks fourth in the ACC with 8.8 tackles per game, leads Duke with eight QB hurries and is tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries and 9 1/2 tackles for loss.
Caldwell was the Wolfpack’s top tackler with 105 including 44 solos, 14½ for losses with two sacks, five QB hurries and an interception.
Foster, a graduate of Northern Vance High, was the FCS leader in tackles, averaging 12 stops per contest. His 144 total tackles were an NCCU school record.
Cornerbacks: Ross Cockrell (Sr., 6-0, 180) of Duke, and Jabari Price (Sr., 6-0, 195) of UNC.
Cockrell has a team-leading 12 pass breakups with three interceptions, 40 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble on the way to breaking Duke’s career passes defended and breakup records.
Price, a two-year steady starter who started games in all four seasons for UNC, finished the regular season with 74 tackles, 4 1/2 tackles for loss, nine pass breakups and a forced fumble.