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Football Tidbits

UNC has finished up spring practice which was pretty much lost in the noise of the Tar Heels rolling through the NCAA Tournament.

At any rate, probably the biggest news coming out of the spring drills was the emergence of a new receiving corps to replace Hakeem Nicks, Brooks Foster and Brandon Tate. According to ACC Now, freshman January enrollee Josh Adams had an impact:


- Josh Adams, WR, North Carolina: He graduated early from high school to enroll in the spring and has demonstrated ability beyond his years as the Tar Heels look to replace Hakeem Nicks, Brooks Foster and Brandon Tate.

Aside from Dwight Jones and Greg Little, no North Carolina wide receiver had a bigger impact in the spring.

If Adams can come in and be a top flight receiver from the start it will help tremendously.  I also expect Dwight Jones will be key in the equation as well.  On defense, Quan Sturdivant is poised to have a huge season at linebacker amid a move to middle linebacker:

- Quan Sturdivant, LB, North Carolina: ACC’s No. 2-leading returning tackler moves from weak side linebacker to the middle to replace 2008 senior Mark Paschal, providing more speed at that position.

Sophomore Zach Brown, who ran an incredible 4.26 seconds in the 40-yard dash during spring testing, has taken Sturdivant’s place on the weak side.

Safety Deunta Williams said North Carolina ran "vanilla" plays on offense during the spring, and that Sturdivant's speed will show in the fall when opponents start running outside.

"He hasn't had the opportunity to really open up and run stretches and tosses and things like that," Williams said. "I think that's where he's going to make his money at in the middle."

The spring game as held on March 28th which first raises the question as to why Butch Davis opted to schedule the game right smack in the middle of the NCAA Tournament.  I have not found any numbers on attendance but it seems counterproductive to have the spring game during a title run in basketball.  Both NC State and Duke opted to hold their spring games this past weekend and in the case of the Wolfpack it was well attended.  Hopefully Davis will move the Tar Heel spring game into April instead of competiting with basketball.  As for the results of the spring scrimmage, Mike Paulus and T.J. Yates both looked good at QB.  Paulus ended up throwing more passes and the ball was spread around to 12 different players.  Davis acknowledges that getting the receivers up to speed is a high priority:

"We are going to have to press this receiving corps the rest of this spring, and all throughout training camp to make sure they can come in there and make critical catches that are going to keep drives alive or score touchdowns," said Davis. "We kind of got spoiled the last two years with three kids that we played with."

UNC got 50 yards rushing from Jamal Womble which will add some extra depth to the backfield. Overall it sounds like spring practice was fairly productive, especially in terms of getting the younger players into the system and ready for August.