Spring shoes: North Carolina

Biggest shoes to fill: Quarterback T.J. Yates

Talk about underrated in 2010. Not only was Yates one of the most improved players in the ACC, his leadership during the tumultuous season was invaluable. He was second in the ACC in passing average per game (262.9 yards) and second in the ACC in pass efficiency (145.5). He completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He ranked among the top 25 in the country in passing, total passing yards, passing efficiency and passing average per game. He set 37 school records and led the Tar Heels to three straight bowl games.

Spring replacement: Bryn Renner

Renner is replacing a record-setter, but he had a good spring. He completed 9 of 13 attempts for 123 yards and a touchdown in the spring game and separated himself as the undisputed starter. His 43-yard touchdown pass to Erik Highsmith should have Carolina fans excited about the potential in the passing game.

Summer outlook: Renner obviously has to continue to improve, but he won’t be looking over his shoulder at the competition this summer, because none of the other quarterbacks came close. The more experience he gets with the first team, the more comfortable he’ll be, but there’s only one way to get game experience.

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