Football

NFL Draft Projections: Cooper, Williams, Bernard, Reddick

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The NFL dream will come true this weekend for several Tar Heels, with the annual draft beginning Thursday. With that in mind, I thought I'd take a look around the Internet to see where four former Carolina standouts are projected. Here now are the results. I'll also tell you the highest projection, the lowest projection, and the average, with highest and lowest thrown out. Note: NFL.com actually has 12(!) analyst mock drafts, but I'm only going with the first four here. Note: many mock drafts include only the first round or two. Sylvester Williams has really climbed the charts lately,…

The 'Rights' of Spring

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Carolina capped the second spring of the Larry Fedora era with a satisfying scrimmage on Saturday. The Blue team, which was made up primarily of veterans and first-teamers, came away with a 34-10 win, but the Tar Heels impressed all around (read the highlight report). "Our team had a great spring. We really did. We’ve come a long way. We’ve got a long way to go, but you got to see a few guys get out there and make some plays today," Fedora said afterward. "Anytime you split the team, you get real thin in a lot of areas, and it makes it that much tougher. The continuity is r…

Spring Game Highlights

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At Carolina’s spring football game Saturday, the Blue Team took care of the White team, 34-10. If you missed it, here are the big plays that led to that result.1st quarterWhite 2nd and 10, White 30 - On the second play of the day, White freshman Khris Francis rushes left for 24 yards.The drive stalls with a big defensive sequence from Blue. Kareem Martin had a sack and a tackle for loss on consecutive plays, and Travis Hughes sacks Trubisky to turn 1st and 10 at the Blue 36 to 4th and 26 at the White 48 and force a punt.Blue 4th and 2, White 43 - Bryn Renner passes left to Kendri…

Spring Storylines

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Carolina football concludes the spring practice season with the annual spring scrimmage Saturday at 3 at Kenan Stadium. With the Tar Heels entering Larry Fedora's second season in Chapel Hill, there's a lot to be excited about. Here are a few things to look for on Saturday. We'll start off the field. 1. New uniforms. People love uniforms, and people love talking about uniforms. On Saturday, Carolina will unveil the new uniforms, both traditional and alternate looks, for the 2013 football season. They'll be on display outside the Kenan Football Center before the game, and players wil…

Springing Forward

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After the first day of spring football practice, quarterback Bryn Renner said the offense's goal was to run 80 plays per game. A year ago, Carolina ran 898 plays in 12 games, just under 75 per game. So the Tar Heels want to push the tempo and get that number creeping a bit higher. Before we get into that, let's look at the 2012 numbers as compared to previous years. The 441 pass attempts in 2012 were the most in school history. The 2002 and 2003 Tar Heels come the closest, with 433 and 429, respectively. Incidentally, that was Gunter Brewer's first stint as wide receivers coach (under…

Charlotte Scrimmage Notes

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CHARLOTTE - Carolina football took the show on the road for a practice at Mallard Creek High School Thursday evening. It was the first scrimmage of the spring, so there was some rust. For the most part, the first team offense against the first team defense, then the second-teamers against each other. Carolina saw some good things and some things to work on. Here are a few thoughts: Backfield in motion Larry Fedora is going to get the 'Gio question' until the season starts in late August. Who's going to replace Giovani Bernard? Well, no one. Gio is a unique talent whose skills made hi…

NFL Commish on Campus as Spring Football Opens

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gave the Carl S. Blyth Lecture at George Watts Hill Alumni Center on Wednesday. Goodell spoke on the efforts he and the NFL are making to make the game of football safer. In recent years, the safety of the sport of football has dominated headlines, and concussions in particular have been a focus of much discussion. Wednesday, Goodell spoke on both the safety of football and the sport's future. "Because of his leadership, we will have a safer game of football at every level," Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz said in introducing Goodell. Guskiewicz is the chair of the…

First Look: 2013 Football Schedule

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The 2013 Carolina football schedule features nine ACC games, seven games in Kenan Stadium (including a Thursday night date with Miami) and an opportunity for the Tar Heels to continue to improve in their second season under Larry Fedora. The 2012 Tar Heels finished 8-4 and 5-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Had the Tar Heels been eligible for the postseason, the team would have represented the Coastal Division in the program’s first ACC Championship game. With the ban lifted in 2013, Carolina will look to secure a conference championship and a bowl invitation.The Tar Heels wil…

Signing Day Impact: Receivers and A-Back

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Receivers are at a premium in the offense preferred by Larry Fedora and offensive coordinator Blake Anderson, and the Tar Heel coaching staff attempted to shore up those ranks with their first two recruiting classes. Let's take a look at who Carolina has returning, and the additions made with the 2013 class. WHO'S GONE: The Tar Heels lose Erik Highsmith and Jheranie Boyd to graduation. Highsmith had 54 catches for 587 yards and five touchdowns a year ago. Boyd saw his production drop late in his career but certainly provided some highlights along the way (2010 vs. LSU). The team's th…

Three Things: Carolina 45, Maryland 38

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1. One of the biggest offseason storylines will be how Larry Fedora plans to shore up the Carolina defense, which looked alternately average and leaky over the final month of the season. But don’t let that overshadow the other side of the ball, where the Tar Heels just finished the most prolific season in school history by almost any measure.  Carolina shattered the single-season points per game record that was set by the 1993 club that featured Leon Johnson and Jason Stanicek. That group averaged 35.1 points per game; the 2012 Tar Heels put up a startling 487 points for an…