Brown, Hedgecock Appreciate Recognition

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Before the season started Jason Brown said without reservation, he knew he was the best center in the country, and expected to be named first-team All-America. While some would suggest him not look ahead or concern himself with post-season awards before the first game, Brown used his claim as self-motivation.

"The thing is, you have to say things like that," Brown said. "You have to set your goals high. Coach [Hal] Hunter is always instilled that work ethic in me and told me to set my goals high, or else you have nothing to lose.

"It gives me that edge and more motivation to go out there and improve myself everyday."

While most services have yet to name their top players at each position, Brown, was named the best at his nationally by Pro Football Weekly, while fullback Madison Hedgecock was awarded honorable mention status.

Following Thursday's practice, the Tar Heels' first since Sunday and their first contact since the Duke game, Brown and Hedgecock discussed their recent recognition as well as their thoughts on Boston College and the upcoming Continental Tire Bowl.

And while many may consider the Associated Press All-America team as the standard, Brown told why he holds the opinions of Pro Football Weekly's editors in higher regard than the media's.

"This is an incredible source," Brown said. "Instead of having sportswriters, or people who have never played the game before; they have pro scouts to give their input. So I consider it a tremendous honor from a highly credible source."

On the other hand, Hedgecock said he was surprised his achievements this year were recognized by the publication.

"It means a lot," Hedgecock said. "What can I say? It's a great honor. To be a fullback, you don't have a lot of stats to go by, and there are a lot of 1,000-yard tailbacks out there."

Along the same philosophy of setting goals high, Brown promised the Tar Heels would be able to continue to move the ball well against the Eagles, as they have against most of their opponents this year.

"I hope we can move the ball against them," Hedgecock said. "We've moved it on most of the teams we've played, and I know we've played against at least four of the top defenses in the country."

Except for Jacque Lewis, who will miss the game due to injury, the time off has given the remainder of UNC's nicked-up tailback corps time to heal.

"Our backs have taking a pounding, but it has been for the best," Brown said. "We're going to be back healthy."

John Bunting did not make it back from a recruiting trip in time to speak to the media but should be available following Friday afternoon's practice.

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