Three members of the Wolfpack's 2005 defensive unit were named to the All-ACC first team today, while two others were named Honorable Mention All-Conference performers. Senior end Manny Lawson, junior end Mario Williams, and linebacker Stephen Tulloch were named to the first team.
Tulloch ranks second in the conference and 14th nationally in tackles with 10.8 per game this season. He ranks fourth with 16 tackles for loss. Williams, a repeat first-teamer, leads the conference in sacks with a Wolfpack single-season record of 13. His 20 tackles for loss rank second in the league. Lawson, who missed the 2004 first-team by one vote, ranks second to Williams in the league in sacks with 9.5.
Cornerback Marcus Hudson and Garland Heath earned honorable mention honors on defense. Hudson ranks third in the league in passes defended with 12 (two INTs and 10 PBUs), while Heath ranks seventh with 10 (four INTs and six PBUs).
Tight end T.J. Williams earned second-team all-conference honors, after leading the Wolfpack in receiving with 35 catches. He became the first NC State tight end to lead the team in catches last season and has now done so for two years in a row.
Sophomore Darrell Blackman earned second-team all-conference honors on the special teams as a specialist.
The three first-team performers on defense was the best for NC State since 1992, when five defenders were named first team.