Seven Triangle-area players have been named to the preseason All-ACC football team announced today by the conference following media voting at the ACC Kickoff on Sunday and Monday.


UNC had four players named in sophomore running back Giovani Bernard, junior offensive tackle James Hurst, senior offensive guard Jonathan Cooper and senior linebacker Kevin Reddick.

Two members of N.C. State’s secondary, junior cornerback David Amerson and senior safety Earl Wolff, were named to the squad. And Duke placed one player in senior wide receiver Conner Vernon.

The Tar Heels’ Bernard ran for 1,253 yards last season, the third best in ACC history by a freshman, and is on pre-season watch lists for the both Maxwell and Doak Walker Awards. Cooper and Hurst are on the lists for both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award, while Reddick his on the list for the Nagurski, Bednarik, Butkus and Lombardi honors.

The Wolfpack’s Amerson, a first-team Walter Camp All-American last season, led the nation last season with 13, the most of any player in the FBS in 43 years. He is on watch lists for four national awards – Bednarik, Nagurski, Walter Camp and Jim Thorpe.

Vernon, who needs 35 catches to become the ACC’s career leader, is on the pre-season list for the Biletnikoff Award. He was also pre-season All-ACC last year.

Bernard and Amerson made first-team All-ACC last season, while Vernon, Hurst and Cooper were second team and Wolff made honorable mention.

N.C. State will open play Aug. 31 in the Georgia Dome against Tennessee, while UNC hosts Elon the next afternoon and Duke entertains Florida International that night.