And yes this is the proverbial tree falling in the unoccupied forest.
Butch Davis address the media to kick off spring football at UNC. Here are the highlights. Full IC story and quotes can be found here.
- The Delvon Simmons saga has ended with UNC releasing the five star recruit after failing to receive what they considered to be a "legitimate" reason. Simmons signed with the Heels on February 2nd and then within two weeks asked for a release. The sudden departure of defensive line coach Brian Baker has been bantered about as the reason why and that horse is presently being flogged by ABCers as something. You know the whole spiel which goes something like this, "We don't have any evidence anyone did anything wrong but it feels wrong and since UNC is the dirtiest program on the east coast(actually said on Pack Pride) we know UNC is acting in a classless/underhanded/evil way here." In actuality, there were other issues with Simmons included the possibility he wasn't going to qualify academically and needed to go the Hargrave route which he was not interested in. There were also rumors of Rutgers sending negative news stories about UNC even after he signed the LOI. Whatever. He wanted out, UNC let him go and if Brandon Willis is eligible it is basically a wash in my opinion.
- Butch Davis said he has not given much thought to the NCAA investigation and also noted they had not been on campus for "several months" He did say there was a higher attentiveness to academic issues and peer accountability on the team in the wake of having 14 players held out for actual violations in some cases and as a precaution in others.
- Davis said there was more "seriousness" in the team's approach to offseason conditioning and work in the weight room. This appears to be a by-product of the NCAA scandal and players are more focused on doing what is required for the team.
- On the areas of focus for the spring, the secondary is almost rebuilt from a year ago with various young players pressed into service due to the NCAA attrition. The defensive line is probably the most table unit on the field with a focus on fundamentals and learning schemes.
- Ryan Houston is ready to roll and has his weight down into the mid-230s which Davis hopes will help his speed.
- The full spring depth chart can be found here. Bryn Renner is listed as the starter with A.J. Blue or Braden Hanson as the backup. The starter at FB is Devon Ramsay freshly returned from the NCAA dead. Obviously Houston will start at RB with Hunter "Destroyer of Worlds" Furr backing him up.