Defensive End – Kareem Martin
A two-time All-ACC pick, Martin earned first-team honors in 2013 after as dominant a season as Carolina had in the decade, finishing with 82 tackles — 21 ½ for loss — to go with 11 ½ sacks. Martin finished his career with 45 ½ tackles for loss, 19 ½ sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 3 recovered. A third-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals, Martin recently returned from injury with the New York Giants
Defensive Tackle – Quinton Coples
At 6-6, 285 pounds, Coples was force up front for the Tar Heels, earning first-time All-ACC honors in both 2010 and 2011. Over those two seasons, Coples amassed 30 ½ tackles for loss, 17 ½ sacks and 5 forced fumbles — good enough to earn him a shot in the NFL as a first-round pick of the New York Jets.
Defensive Tackle – Sylvester Williams
One of the great stories of the decade, Williams went from a walk-on at Coffeyville Community College to a first-team All-ACC selection in a matter of three years. In 2012, Williams finished with 42 tackles with 13 ½ for loss and 6 sacks on his way to being named an All-American by Pro Football Weekly. Williams was a first-round draft pick and signed with the Los Angeles Chargers in October.
Defensive End – Malik Carney
At a time there wasn’t much going right for the defense, Malik Carney piled up 117 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and 11 ½ sacks in the 2016 and 2017 seasons, and if not for a four-game suspension during his senior season, likely would have put up bigger numbers. In all, Carney finished with 176 tackles with 33 for loss, 17 sacks and 9 forced fumbles.
Linebacker – Kevin Reddick
A first-team All-ACC pick in 2012, Reddick’s 18 ½ tackles for loss are 10 all-time in Carolina’s single-season performances. Reddick wrapped up his career with 275 tackles — 36 for loss — to go with 8 ½ sacks and 2 interceptions.
Linebacker – Chazz Surratt
This pick could be disputed, but Surratt’s one-season at linebacker is as good as any Carolina has gotten this decade, with 110 tackles, including 13 ½ for loss, 6 sacks and one game-sealing interception vs. Duke. Add to that Surratt’s transition from quarterback to a first-team All-ACC linebacker, and he certainly deserves recognition.
Linebacker – Cole Holcomb
Holcomb was never the biggest, fastest or strongest, but he was one of Carolina’s most consistent players of the decade, averaging 104 tackles over his final three seasons in Chapel Hill. In all, he finished with 327 tackles, including 15 ½ sacks and 4 forced fumbles. A fifth-round pick by the Washington Redskins, Holcomb has racked up 99 tackles as a rookie.
Cornerback - M.J. Stewart
Carolina’s all-time leader in passes broken up, Stewart finished his career with six interceptions and 199 tackles en route to one All-ACC selection. A second-round pick by Tampa Bay, Stewart has been a regular in the Buccaneers rotation for the past two seasons.
Safety – Donnie Miles
There was no keeping Miles from getting to the ball as the scrappy safety piled up tackles, leading the ACC with 128 as a sophomore in 2015. Despite suffering a season-ending injury halfway through his senior season, Miles finished with 320 tackles in his career.
Safety – Tre Boston
Boston left Carolina third all-time in interceptions with 13 — taking one back for a touchdown in 2012 — and ninth in passes broken up. In addition to his work in the passing game, Boston also managed to finish with 282 tackles and eight for loss before being drafted by the Carolina Panthers.
Cornerback – Des Lawrence
A two-time All-ACC selection at Carolina, Lawrence appeared in 42 games with three interceptions and 25 passes broken up to go with 175 tackles. His 25 PBUs are fourth in Carolina history.