CHAPEL HILL, N.C The University of North Carolina football team held its annual team banquet on Saturday evening in the Smith Center. Harris Barton, a 12-year NFL veteran and an All-Pro tackle for the San Francisco 49ers, was the keynote speaker. Barton was an All-America tackle for the Tar Heels in 1986 and graduate with a degree in finance. He now serves as as a General Partner for Champion Ventures, a venture capital investment vehicle for pro athletes.
Quarterback Ronald Curry and linebacker David Thornton were named the E. Carrington Smith Award winners as the Tar Heels' most valuable players on offense and defense, respectively. Curry established the school career total offense record in 2001 and helped lead UNC to a 7-5 record and a berth in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Curry was also named the Louis Graves Award winner for most outstaning offensive back. Thornton, a walk-on in his first four seasons on the team, earned a scholarship as a senior and finished with a team high 131 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and three sacks. Thornton was also recognized as the Most Improved Player on defense and as the George Barclay Award winner for outstanding linebacker.
Other awards were as follows: Adam Metts, Bill Arnold Memorial Award for outstanding offensive lineman; Ryan Sims, William Fuller Award for outstanding defensive lineman; Jeff Reed, Greg Poole Award for outstanding special teams player and William Rand Kenan Jr. Award; Kory bailey, Art Weiner Award for outstanding receiver; Dexter Reid, Cary Boshamer Award for outstanding defensive back; Julius Peppers, Andy Bershak Award for outstanding defensive end; Anthony Perkins, Jack Sapp Memorial Award for best all-around senior and John Lacey Rehabilitation Award; Sam Aiken, Charlie Justice Award for outstanding contribution on offense; Quincy Monk, Charlie Justice Award for outstanding contribution on defense, Greg Woofter, Most Improved Player on offense; James Faison, Morris Mason Award for outstanding lifter; Chris Bender, Athletic Director's Scholar-Athlete Award, Ronald Brewer, Bob Osterneck Memorial Award for team spirit.
Curry, Monk and Reed were recognized as the team captains.