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Football Tidbits

Scouring the interwebs to bring you things you may not have known...

•In addition to those Tar Heels taken in last week's NFL draft, five more UNC players signed free-agent contracts: offensive tackle Kyle Jolly with Pittsburgh, linebacker Kennedy Tinsley with St. Louis, defensive back Jordan Hemby with Indianapolis and defensive tackle Aleric Mullins and fullback Bobby Rome with Green Bay. Jolly was arguably the team's best offensive lineman, while Tinsley was the special teams captain who saw time at linebacker. Mullins gave up his final year of eligibility to go ahead and take his degree, and Rome was best known for his trick-play touchdown pass to Brandon Tate three seasons ago.

•Four Tar Heels landed on the preliminary watch list for the Lombardi Award, which is given to the nation's best lineman or linebacker. Heels to watch include the usual defensive suspects: Marvin Austin, Bruce Carter, Robert Quinn, and Quan Sturdivant.

•The more I think about this thing, the tougher UNC's schedule looks. Pundits seem to agree that the Coastal Division could go to any one of Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech, or UNC, while the Atlantic seems to be a two-horse race between defending champ Clemson and new media darling Florida State. Oh, guess who the other two Atlantic teams the Heels will face besides NC State, who UNC cannot seem to beat recently? That's right, Clemson and FSU. That means that five of UNC's eight ACC opponents are potential division champs and two more are heated rivals and the other (Virginia) is the stinking twilight zone of Carolina football where the Heels have literally not won in 30 years. Add to that LSU and Rutgers away from Chapel Hill and the schedule suddenly looks daunting.