Cooper wins ACC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy

North Carolina offensive guard Jonathan Cooper has been awarded the 2012 Jacobs Blocking Trophy, the league announced Sunday.

Cooper becomes the first North Carolina player to receive the Jacobs Trophy since center Jeff Garnica won it in 1988.

The Jacobs Blocking Trophy has been awarded annually since 1953 to the player voted the most outstanding blocker in the ACC by a poll of the league’s head coaches and defensive coordinators. The trophy is given in memory of William P. Jacobs, who served as president of Presbyterian College from 1935-45.

Cooper, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound senior was the runaway winner with a total of 29 points, far outdistancing Clemson center Dalton Freeman (eight) and North Carolina junior tackle James Hurst (six). In all, 13 different ACC offensive linemen received votes in the balloting, but Cooper was named as the top choice on all but two ballots.

A four-year starter, Cooper last week became the first Tar Heel to be named a finalist for the prestigious Outland Trophy. He set a school record for games started against Maryland, his 47th career start.

"This is a tremendous honor for Jonathan,” North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said. "Coop is a tremendous player. He’s very athletic, he moves his feet like a tight end and can be dominant at the point of attack. I told our coaching staff that we should be happy we were able to coach him for one year because you might not ever see another player like him. He’s that special.

"I’ve learned from him this year and our team has benefited from his leadership and service. As good a player as he is on the field, he’s even a better person off the field."