Four State players named to All-Belk Bowl team
Charlotte's annual college football bowl will be getting a new name after this year's game now that Belk has announced that it is ending its title sponsorship of the event after seven years.
In honor of the change and the new era that is about to begin, organizers of the game that has also been known as the Continential Tire Bowl and Meineke Car Care Bowl has put together a list of the best players at each positition that have appeared it.
Among those making the All-Belk Bowl team are four NC State defenders -- ends Mario Williams and Mike Rose, linebacker Stephen Tulloch and safety David Amerson.
Williams, who went on to become the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft the following spring, made his final game as a college player a memorable one. He made seven tackles, including four for loss, with two sacks to lead State to a 14-0 whitewash of South Florida in on Dec. 31, 2005.
It was the first -- and one of only two -- shutouts in the bowl's 17-year history.
As good as Williams was in that game, his teammate Tulloch was even more dominant.
Also a future NFL star, he did Williams one better by recording three sacks to go along with a game-high 15 tackles and a fumble recovery on his way to earning MVP honors.
Six years later, Amerson put on another amazing individual performance to help State to a 31-24 victory against Louisville -- which was a member of the Big East at the time.
The nation's individual leader in interceptions, Amerson had two of the Wolfpack's three picks of Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
He returned one 65 yards for a touchdown to put State ahead by 21 midway through the third quarter. He then sealed the win with a pick on a final fourth-and-23 heave by Bridgewater with 41 seconds left.
Amerson finished the season with 13 interceptions, a new ACC record.
Rose, meanwhile, was one of the few bright spots on a rainy, dreary day in 2015. The Wolfpack lost 51-28 to Dak Prescott and Mississippi State, but the senior defensive end did his part by making seven solo tackles for the Wolfpack.
The rest of the All-Belk Bowl defense consists of lineman Wendell Dunn of Wake Forest (2017) and Ray Drew of Georgia (2014), linebackers Stanley Arnoux of Wake Forest (2007) and Jolonn Dunbar of Boston College (2006), cornerbacks Jared Collins of Arkansas (2016) and Debione Renfro of Texas A&M (2017), safety Da'Norris Searcy of North Carolina (2008) and punter Will Monday of Duke (2004).
The All-Belk Bowl offense has Prescott at QB, Georgia's Nick Chubb (2014), Virginia's Wali Lundy (2002-03) at running back, receivers Hakeem Nicks of UNC (2008) and Christian Kirk of Texas A&M (2017), tight end Travis Kelce of Cincinnati (2012), offensive linemen Jonathan Cooper of UNC (2013), Steve Justice of Wake Forest (2007), D'Brickashaw Ferguson of UVA (2002-03), Gosder Cherilus (2004, 06), Jason Pinkston of Pittsburgh (2009) and Georgia's entire line from 2014, placekicker Dan Hutchens of Pittsburgh (2009) and kick returner Ryan Switzer of UNC (2013).