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Q&A: North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky

"I've never been so pumped for our offense and our football program," North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky said. Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports

Mitch Trubisky is expected to be the North Carolina starting quarterback, though coach Larry Fedora has yet to make any formal announcement. Still, Trubisky goes into the spring atop the depth chart, taking over an offense that returns depth and talent across the board.

Here is a little of what he had to say about the opportunity that awaits.

How do you approach the spring knowing your coach hasn’t named you the starter yet?

MT: With Coach Fedora saying that, I think it refocuses my mindset to come out in the spring, work harder than ever and show the guys I play with that I should be the starter, and I’m ready to go this year and I’m ready to take this offense to the next level. It’s all about going out there and raising the level of play of my teammates, distributing the ball to our playmakers, and just being vocal to the guys up front and being a positive leader. That’s what I’m working on this spring.

What do you have to prove to the coaching staff in order to be declared the starter?

MT: I think I just have to do what I’ve been doing and just take it to the next level, do everything that much more, put in more effort, watch more film. I know coach Fedora wants to see me be more vocal with the guys and take more control of the offense and the team, and have the guys around me feel my energy. If I keep doing what I’ve been doing, I think it will all work out.

Two years ago, you split time with Marquise Williams early in the season. How did that experience impact you?

MT: It was a learning experience. I didn’t know how to handle it, him going two series and me going one. It was hard for both of us to get into a rhythm. Some games it worked really well and others it didn’t. We found the recipe for it last year, but two years ago we were learning who was going to take over the team and what worked best for the offense. I tried to take away as many positives from that situation and take it into this year.

You enrolled early and have waited three years for the opportunity to start. What has the waiting taught you?

MT: I’m not a very patient person so I’ve been ready to play for a while, but it’s made me the person and player I am today. I’ve learned not to take things for granted, the opportunity to be at a Division I school and play football to be the starter, how much work goes into everything and just being a student-athlete in general, it’s taught me to be more patient and be thankful for the things I do have.

Now you are in a situation where so many skill players return. How do you feel about the potential of your offense this season?

MT: I’m very excited. I’ve never been so pumped for our offense and our football program. Our O-line is looking great so far. We’ve got a lot of experience, they’re very smart and they’re going to be very physical this year. We’ve just got so many weapons, receivers, running backs, we’re very deep at those positions. It’s just going to be my job to get those playmakers the ball. I’m excited about the opportunity.

How are you different from Marquise?

MT: I just hope to be very precise next year, getting the ball to the playmakers, running the offense and being a great leader. I hope we can be a little more up-tempo next year so we’re tiring out defenses. I just want to spread the ball around the field, get it to different receivers, let the running backs pound it away in the middle and just have the O-line trust in me. Hopefully I can be accurate with the football, and I want to show people I can run, too, when given the opportunity. I just know this offense can be very explosive.

Where can the offense get better?

MT: Definitely taking care of the football. We have to finish all our drives, and really convert on third down. Even bigger than that is doing that consistently. Some games we converted on third down almost every time and other games we could barely convert, so I think it’s doing the things we do best, finishing in the red zone, converting on third downs and doing it consistently throughout the whole season. We’ve got so many playmakers, there’s going to be explosive plays. We just need to do that consistently.