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Meanwhile, Back on the Field

I know it's hard to believe, what with all the news swirling around the Carolina football team and the ongoing NCAA investigation, but the Tar Heels have actually been practicing football and are preparing for the season-opener against LSU in three weeks.

A quick wrap-up of this week's notes from camp:

Inside Carolina notes that junior Quenton Coples, who went through the spring as the starting defensive end, has been moved to the first team defensive tackle in place of Marvin Austin, who has been working with the second team. Coples had already been working at tackle in the nickel package, so this is not much of a stretch for him, but he expects to move back to end soon.  Junior Michael McAdoo has replaced Coples at end opposite Robert Quinn.

•IC also has a nice piece up on senior running back Ryan Houston, who has shown up at camp at a svelte 235 pounds. Houston will still be the power back as much of his reduced bulk has been replaced with muscle mass. He will part of a veteran backfield with Shaun Draughn and Johnny White sharing carries.

•One of the nuggets to come out of Thursday's media day that did not have to do with the NCAA investigation was that Butch Davis would not definitively name a starting quarterback for the LSU game. He stated that both QBs had been working with the first team and that either may start against LSU and raised the possibility that both quarterbacks might play, but that he was adamantly against a series-by-series rotation. Davis added he might not name a starter until the week of the LSU game unless one had developed a substantial lead before then.

Read into this what you will. This has been Butch Davis' M.O. before with T.J. Yates and Cam Sexton in both 2007 and 2008, and Davis' apparent willingness to continue it in 2009 probably contributed to Sexton transferring for his senior season. Besides, still three weeks remain until the trip to Atlanta to face the Tigers so there is really no need to rush the situation. On the other hand, what might it say if Yates, with 31 collegiate starts to his credit, has not opened up a substantial lead over a redshirt freshman?

For what it's worth, I think Davis likes the open competition and having QBs at each other's throats. I am fairly confident Yates will be the opening day starter, but I also think Davis has enough confidence in Bryn Renner to give Yates the hook early if he starts to stink it up.

•And last but not least, eight Tar Heels have been named to preseason watch lists for major college football awards, including Robert Quinn, who has been named to the Hendricks Award watch list for the nation's best defensive end. I usually would not link to a certain ESPN ACC blogger, but there is a compiled list of all ACC players considered for these awards and in the interest of convenience, the link ban is lifted just this once. Among the Carolina players on these lists are Quinn, Kendrick Burney, Deaunta Williams, Marvin Austin, Quan Sturdivant, Bruce Carter, Greg Little, and Alan Pelc.