Chapel Hill, N.C. ------ University of North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn, tailback Ryan Houston and place-kicker Casey Barth were named the Tar Heels' Most Valuable Players at the 2009 senior football banquet Friday evening.
Quinn, a sophomore from Ladson, S.C., had an outstanding season and was one of four Tar Heel defensive players named first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference.
Quinn was the runner-up for ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors after concluding the regular season with 49 tackles, including a league-best 19.0 tackles for losses and 11.0 sacks.
Quinn ranked first in the ACC and ninth in the country in tackles for losses and second in the league and 10th in the country in sacks.
In addition, he was second in the conference and third in the country with six forced fumbles.
A native of Charlotte, N.C., Houston led Carolina with 630 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, which ranks seventh in the ACC.
After teammate Shaun Draughn went down with a shoulder injury vs. Duke, Houston became the Tar Heels' featured back. He responded vs. Duke with a career-high 164 yards rushing on 37 carries. He also had nine receptions for 74 yards this season.
Barth booted the game-winning field goal in Carolina's 20-17 victory at Virginia Tech and was named second-team All-ACC.
A native of Wilmington, N.C., Barth has converted 20 of 24 field goal attempts this season, including 16 in a row at one stretch. He is just one field goal shy of the single-season school record of 21 established by Clint Gwaltney in 1990.
Senior Lowell Dyer, a double major in philosophy and English, was recognized as the Scholar-Athlete Award winner. He was one of 12 seniors honored at the banquet held at the William & Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.
2009 NORTH CAROLINA FOOTBALL AWARD WINNERS
• Athletic Director's Scholar-Athlete Award: Lowell Dyer • John Lacey Rehabilitation Award: Devon Ramsay • Morris Mason Award - Outstanding Lifter: Cam Thomas (upperclassman); Hunter Furr (freshman) • James A. Gray and James A. Gray, Jr Football Manager's Award: Luke Goodwin • William Rand Kenan, Jr. Award - Outstanding Achievement, Academics, Athletics, Leadership: Kyle Jolly • Jeffrey Cowell Memorial Award - Outstanding Freshman: Erik Highsmith (offense); Kevin Reddick (defense); Shane Mularkey (special teams) • Jack Sapp Memorial Award - Best All-Around Senior: Melvin Williams • Jason Brown Award - Most Improved Strength & Conditioning: Greg Little (offense); Quinton Coples (defense) • Bob Osterneck Memorial Award - Most Passionate Player: Kennedy Tinsley • Steve Streater Award - Perseverance in the face of Adversity: Jordan Hemby • David Thornton Award - Outstanding Scout Team Player: Bryn Renner (offense); Brian Gupton (defense); Peter Mangum (special teams)
Offensive Awards • Bill Arnold Memorial Award - Outstanding Offensive Lineman: Kyle Jolly • Louis Graves Award - Outstanding Offensive Back: Shaun Draughn • Art Weiner Award - Outstanding Receiver: Greg Little • Jeffrey Cowell Memorial Award - Outstanding Newcomer: Jonathan Cooper • Charlie Justice Award - Outstanding Contribution: Zack Pianalto • Moyer Gray Smith Award - Most Improved Player: Mike Ingersoll • James Sutherland Award - Team Captain: Kyle Jolly, T.J. Yates • E. Carrington Smith Award - Most Valuable Player Offense: Ryan Houston