ACC: Terrance Brown

North Carolina spring wrap-up

May, 7, 2009
5/07/09
9:20
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

North Carolina Tar Heels

2008 overall record: 8-5

2008 conference record: 4-4

Returning starters: Offense: 6, defense: 9, kicker/punter 1

Top returners: QB T.J. Yates, TB Shaun Draughn, OT Kyle Jolly, DE E.J. Wilson, S Deunta Williams, CB Kendric Burney, LB Bruce Carter, LB Quan Sturdivant, DT Marvin Austin, DE Robert Quinn

Key losses: S Trimane Goddard, WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Brooks Foster, WR Brandon Tate, OT Garrett Reynolds, LB Mark Paschal, P Terrance Brown

2008 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Shaun Draughn* (866 yards)
Passing: Cam Sexton (1,261 yards)
Receiving: Hakeem Nicks (1,222 yards)
Tackles:
Quan Sturdivant* (122)
Sacks:
Bruce Carter* (5)
Interceptions:
Trimane Goddard (7)

2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 The Citadel
Sept. 12 at Connecticut
Sept. 19 East Carolina
Sept. 26 at Georgia Tech
Oct. 3 Virginia
Oct. 10 Georgia Southern
Oct. 22 Florida State
Oct. 29 at Virginia Tech
Nov. 7 Duke
Nov. 14 Miami
Nov. 21 at Boston College
Nov. 28 at NC State

Spring answers

1. Strong up the middle. Sturdivant, who led the nation last year with 87 unassisted tackles, proved this spring he's capable of replacing Mark Paschal as starting middle linebacker. He moved from the outside to the middle, and that opened up a spot for sophomore Zach Brown.

2. New faces in the secodary. The departure of safety Trimane Goddard was a concern, but Da'Norris Searcy and Melvin Williams gave the staff confidence they can fill that role. Williams, a transfer from Coffeyville Community College, played primarily on special teams and as a reserve safety last year. Searcy continued the success he left off with in the Meineke Car Care Bowl as a fifth defensive back.

3. Best depth under Davis. As he enters his third season, Butch Davis has built the depth to the best it's been in recent years (with the exception of the offensive line). Even with the questions at receiver (see below) there will still be about eight players for the staff to choose from come fall.

Fall questions

1. Offensive line. The Heels still need to find some answers, specifically on right side. UNC has to replace three-year starters Garrett Reynolds and Calvin Darity. One thing that will help was the staff's decision to redshirt guard Jonathan Cooper, who was a quick, valuable member of the scout team last year and had a good spring.

2. Wide receiver. Considering UNC's leading career receiver is fullback Bobby Rome (31 receptions), the Tar Heels need somebody to catch the ball. That's a question we might not know the answer to until a few weeks into the season. Greg Little, Joshua Adams and Dwight Jones were the leading candidates this spring.

3. Not so special teams. The competition will continue this summer between Casey Barth and Jay Wooten. The bigger concern, though, is punter, where walk-on Grant Schallock was the winner by default this spring. C.J. Feagles will give him some competition this summer, but whoever wins, it will be his first collegiate kicks.

Checking in from UNC

March, 25, 2009
3/25/09
1:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A few quick notes from the makeshift UNC football offices this morning and my visit with coach Butch Davis ...

First, the stadium and the football offices are in the midst of the first phase of renovations. The offensive staff meeting was going on just to the right of the elevator on the fourth floor. It's an addition and a renovation of the existing facility. They're adding a fifth floor and the coaches' offices and meeting rooms on the fourth floor are being renovated. More office space is also being created for a lot of the football support staff.

After spring practices are over, they'll start renovating the first and second floor. (The offensive linemen were a bit cramped.) The facilities are about 12 years old. Davis said some of it is cosmetic -- new carpets, drapes, wallpaper, etc. He said he hopes it's completed by the start of summer camp. Phase two is on hold for a year.

Davis said spring practices have been going well, and things are much easier now that he's entering his third season.

"The first spring was get to know the players, find out who can play where, what you inherit, how much talent is there," Davis said. "Spring two was, there was some position competition, still some holes that needed to be filled and you had to wait until the incoming freshmen got there to say, 'Gosh, I hope this guy can come in and play here.'

"Now, after going to spring three, the same is true -- there's really good position competition, but now a lot of the potential candidates to do the rebuilding are here. ... I don't have to totally rely on some freshmen coming in in August. ... We think we can solve a lot of the problems in-house with the players that are already here."

Davis said he moved Greg Elleby, who has spent the majority of his career as a backup defensive tackle, to offensive guard.

"He's made just an unbelievable transition in a short, four or five practices," Davis said. "He's done a very good job. He's hungry and eager to play and so that's kind of helped us create a little bit of in-house depth."

Davis said the four major objectives they're spending significant time on this spring are:

• Replace the whole receiving corps

• Replace the right side of the offensive line

• Replace Trimane Goddard and Mark Paschal on defense

• On special teams, replace Brandon Tate, who did all of the punt and kickoff returns, and Terrence Brown, the punter.

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