North Carolina's first practice is in the books as of Thursday, August 6th.
Head coach Mack Brown broke down his observations of both offense and defense over the last weeks:
Wide Receivers: I think we could be really good at wide receiver. I wouldn't use the word great because that's to be determined.
Quarterback: We're really good at quarterback. We don't have a lot of experience because of Jace Ruder and Jacolby Criswell at back-up, so we need experience there. We're talking about depth at every position; I think we will have that at wide receiver.
Running Back: We're pretty good, we have to find the third one, but we have two really good ones. (Michael Carter and Javonte Williams)
Offensive Line: All 5 of them, they been with Stacy (Searels) for a year. They have been with Phil and this offense, they're really good. We think they can get better, but we have to find five more and that important as we move forward.
Tight end: Garrett Walston is the only one that's played. Kamari Morales is young, and then you got the two freshmen (John Copenhaver and Kendall Karr) that's got here that don't have any experience, so that's a question mark for us. Garrett's gotta carry that load, and Kamari got to come on until the young ones can come.
Secondary: I really like what I see in the secondary; Boy from last year where we had injuries, no depth and struggled. It kept Coach Bateman from calling defensive schemes he really wanted to. We look really good in the secondary. And then you add Tony Grimes to that. I sat there looking and was shocked; I forgot about Tony. I think the secondary can be really special.
Linebackers: You got two that played all the time back. You have to make sure Eugene (Asante) and (Khadry) Jackson are ready to go. They need to play more. I love to play two-deep across the board. When you lose a guy like (Jason) Strowbridge, you still got (Tamari) Fox. (Tyrone) Hopper looks good if you can keep him healthy. Chris Collins' red-shirt he's looking really good. And then inside, you got a lot of different combinations. Tomari fox played well, Raymond (Vohasek) played well at the end of the year, Jahlil (Taylor) did some outstanding things. We like Kristian Varner. You got Xack Gill, so you got enough guys that we have the chance to be good. We just have to live up to it.
Kicker: You got Noah Ruggles from last year as your kicker, but you also got Grayson Atkins coming in.
Punt/Block/Return: We got to do a better job at punt block and return. We did ok in punt, but we didn't get anything in punt block and return team. Kick-off return was good; Coverage was fine. The punt return team has to be big for us than it was last year. And when you got a returner like Dazz Newsome, you got to be able to give him a chance.
Other items of note:
- North Carolina was ranked No. 19 in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll.
- This season will be the first time UNC is ranked since 2016 when they were ranked No. 20.
- North Carolina's schedule was released today. They open the season at home against Syracuse on September 12th. For the full schedule, please check here, UNC Schedule.
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