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Jonathan Cooper
Jonathan Cooper
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Cooper Wins ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy
Release: 11/25/2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. --- North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper has been awarded the 2012 Jacobs Blocking Trophy, Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced Sunday. In doing so, Cooper becomes the first North Carolina player to receive the Jacobs Trophy since 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 to 1945. The trophy will be presented at the ACC's Night of Legends event which will be held Friday at the Charlotte Convention Center as part of festivities held around the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game.

Cooper, a 6-3, 295-pound senior from Wilmington, N.C., was the runaway winner with a total of 29 points, far outdistancing Clemson senior center Dalton Freeman (8) and North Carolina junior tackle James Hurst (6) to capture the 59th ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy. 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 for North Carolina at guard and second-team All-ACC selection in 2010 and 2011, 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 Saturday when he started against Maryland, his 47th career start. Cooper has twice been honored as the ACC's Offensive Lineman of the Week this year for his play against Miami (Oct. 13) and NC State (Oct. 27). This year he has averaged a 90 percent grade and posted 10 or more knockdown blocks in nine of 12 contests.

"This is a tremendous honor for Jonathan," said North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora. "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 benefitted from his leadership and service. As good a player as he is on the field, he's even a better person off the field."

Cooper helped lead a North Carolina offensive line which paved the way for an offense to be ranked 11th nationally scoring offense, averaging a school-best 40.6 points per game. UNC also ranks 17th nationally in total offense, averaging 485.6 yards a game, the best in school history.

He becomes the eighth North Carolina player to be named a recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, but the first in 24 years since former Tar Heel center Jeff Garnica captured the 1988 Trophy. Other UNC winners include Ron Wooten (1980), Ken Huff (1974), Ron Rusnak (1972), Geoff Hamlin (1971), Eddie Kesler (1964) and Jim LeCompte (1961).

Previous Winners of the ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy
1953 Bill Wohrman, FB, South Carolina
1954 Bill Wohrman, FB, South Carolina
1955 Bob Pellegrini, C, Maryland
1956 Hal McElhaney, FB, Duke
1957 Hal McElhaney, FB, Duke
1958 John Saunders, FB, South Carolina
1959 Doug Cline, FB, Clemson
1960 Dwight Bumgarner, T, Duke
1961 Art Gregory, T, Duke
Jim LeCompte, G, North Carolina
1962 Art Gregory, T, Duke
1963 Chuck Walker,T, Duke
1964 Eddie Kesler, FB, North Carolina
1965 John McNabb, G, Duke
1966 Wayne Mass, T, Clemson
1967 Harry Olszewski, G, Clemson
1968 Greg Shelly, T, Virginia
1969 Ralph Sonntag, T, Maryland
1970 Dan Ryczek, C, Virginia
1971 Geoff Hamlin, FB, North Carolina
1972 Ron Rusnak, G, North Carolina

1973 Bill Yoest, G, NC State
1974 Ken Huff, G, North Carolina
1975 Billy Bryan, C, Duke
1976 Billy Bryan, C, Duke
1977 Joe Bostic, G, Clemson
1978 Jim Ritcher, C, NC State
1979 Jim Ritcher, C, NC State
1980 Ron Wooten, G, North Carolina
1981 Lee Nanney, T, Clemson
1982 Dave Pacella, T, Maryland
1983 James Farr, G, Clemson
1984 Jim Dombrowski, T, Virginia
1985 Jim Dombrowski, T, Virginia
1986 Paul Kiser, G, Wake Forest
1987 John Phillips, G, Clemson
1988 Jeff Garnica, C, North Carolina
1989 Chris Port, T, Duke
1990 Ray Roberts, T, Virginia
1991 Ray Roberts, T, Virginia
1992 Ben Coleman, T, Wake Forest
1993 Mark Dixon, G, Virginia
1994 Clay Shiver, C, Florida State
1995 Clay Shiver, C, Florida State
1997 Tra Thomas, T, Florida State
1998 Craig Page, C, Georgia Tech
1999 John St. Clair, C, Virginia
2000 Tarlos Thomas, T, Florida State
2001 Brett Williams, T, Florida State
2002 Brett Williams, T, Florida State
2003 Elton Brown, G, Virginia
2004 Elton Brown, G,Virginia
2005 Eric Winston, T, Miami
2006 Josh Beekman, G-C, Boston College
2007 Steve Justice, C, Wake Forest
2008 Eugene Monroe, T, Virginia
2009 Rodney Hudson, G, Florida State
2010 Rodney Hudson, G, Florida State
2011 Blake DeChristopher, T, Virginia Tech
2012 Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
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