DURHAM, N.C. - Duke senior wide receiver Conner Vernon has received preseason fourth team All-America honors from Phil Steele's 2012 College Football Preview. The national gridiron publication also tabbed Vernon to the preseason All-ACC first team while naming fellow Blue Devil Laken Tomlinson, a redshirt sophomore offensive guard, to the all-league fourth unit.
A 6-1, 195-pound product of Miami, Fla., Vernon became the first player in ACC history to register multiple seasons with 70-plus receptions last year by catching 70 balls for 956 yards and six touchdowns. A two-time second team All-ACC selection and the NCAA's active leader in both receptions and receiving yardage, Vernon enters his final season with 198 career catches for 2,675 yards and 13 touchdowns along with a streak of 33 straight games with at least one reception.
Tomlinson, a 6-3, 310-pound native of Chicago, Ill., was a first team Freshman All-America pick by Sporting News in 2011 after helping Duke rank among the ACC leaders in both passing offense (2nd) and sacks allowed per passing attempt (3rd). Also an Academic All-ACC choice, he started all 12 games at right guard, finished second on the team in total snaps played (926) and aided a Blue Devil passing attack that had four players catch 40-plus passes for just the second time in school history and first time since 1982.
The Blue Devils open the 2012 season with a home contest against FIU on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. Duke season tickets are available online at www.GoDuke.com/tickets or by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at 919-681-BLUE.