North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper is as humble and unassuming as he is NFL talent, pound for pound. Cooper was invaluable to UNC's offense this year, but he also separated himself as one of the best guards in the entire country. He was named to ESPN.com's 2012 All-America team after an outstanding season.
Cooper, also a Walter Camp first-team All-America selection, was the lead blocker for Giovani Bernard, the No. 11 rusher in the country. Cooper graded out at 90 percent for the season and had double digits in knockdown blocks in nine of the Tar Heels' 12 games.
He was a key part of Carolina's offensive success, as the Tar Heels set single-season records in scoring, total offense and passing yards in Larry Fedora's first season. Cooper, a four-year starter at guard, also earned the ACC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy and was a finalist for the prestigious Outland Trophy.
FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins is another poster boy for ACC football. I had the chance to meet his parents and his sister this year at the ACC championship game in Charlotte, and it's no wonder he's so well-spoken and well-mannered. Like Cooper, Hopkins is a humble athlete who has represented the ACC well when in the spotlight. Hopkins was the only other ACC player selected to ESPN.com's All-America team. Here's what NoleNation's David Hale wrote about Hopkins:
A starter from day one of his Florida State career, Hopkins wraps up his four years in Tallahassee with his name atop virtually every conference and school record for kicking, and he holds the NCAA mark for most points in a career by a kicker.
Through three years at FSU, Hopkins developed a reputation for consistency, but his senior season was easily his best. Hopkins leads all kickers with 133 points this season, is second in field goals with 25 and is a perfect 5-of-5 on field goals of 50 yards or more. After three straight misses early in the season, Hopkins connected on 21 of his final 22 attempts, and his 85.7 conversion rate on kicks is a career best. In all, Hopkins has connected on 87 career field goals, tied for the most ever by a kicker at an FBS school.