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N&O on T.J. Yates

Robb Pickeral at the N&O takes an in-depth look at the front runner for the starting QB position at UNC. Based on my reading of the piece, unless something drastic occurs, Yates will be under center against James Madison on September 1st:

Although coach Butch Davis said the quarterback competition is wide open, Yates -- who gave up football his junior year of high school to concentrate on hoops -- proved himself a top contender in April when he earned the starting nod in Carolina's Spring Game. There, he completed 10 of 15 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns.

Sophomore Cameron Sexton, a part-time starter last season, and top recruit Mike Paulus are providing stiff competition. But teammates and coaches have been impressed with Yates' accurate arm, poise and determination to improve.


One of the reasons Yates was successful in the spring was that he absorbed the offense so quickly. New offensive coordinator John Shoop threw gaggles of plays at the quarterbacks, seeing how much they could ingest. Yates gobbled it up, then asked for more.

And through it all, he kept a team-first attitude.

"Usually, most quarterbacks I've known, they're real cocky -- and that's something most quarterbacks have to have," said center Scott Lenahan. "But he's not cocky at all. ... He doesn't walk around like, 'I'm the man,' he's just one of the guys."

That team-first attitude is one of the reasons Yates is not concentrating on the depth chart. Although he lists his strengths as reading defenses and decision-making, he said he needs to work on consistency.

It sounds like Yates is everything Butch Davis is looking for in his starting QB. Yates is a team first guy who is able to pick up the offense quickly, can read defenses and makes good decisions. As for consistency, I can only imagine that will come by doing.