Spring Football Practice Notebook (3/19)

CHAPEL HILL, NC--The UNC Tar Heel football team took the field for the second day in shorts Wednesday afternoon as part of spring practice. It's still early. A lot can change, but here are some notes from the day's practice.

  • Terrance Highsmith (QB) and Larry Jessup (DE) will no longer count against the NCAA limit of 85 football scholarships. Highsmith, who never played in a game for the Tar Heels, violated team rules and has been permanently dismissed from the team. Jessup will receive a medical hardship due to instability in both shoulders.

  • The addition of Rikki Cook, Chad Scott, and Ronnie McGill will create a lot of competition in the offensive backfield along with Andre Williams, Willie Parker, and Jacque Lewis, which means no matter who wins out, the football team is going to benefit.

    Cook has quick feet, can change direction, and has a burst of speed that belies his 6-0, 240-pound frame. Chad Scott has the speed and hands. He's going to become a favorite target of Darian Durant. Ronnie McGill: good size, moves, and vision. Drew a few ooh's and aah's from teammates. Early on he "passes the look test."

  • Darian Durant's passes had a little more "pop" than last season. Looks to have increased arm strength. He looked more "in-charge" and was more vocal.

  • Strong safety Mahlon Carey has a lot to learn at his new position, but he made some positive plays, including an interception. According to teammate Dexter Reid, he's eager to learn and has a bright future.

  • Micheal Waddell is on track to graduate and receive another year of eligibility, and he showed no signs of any lingering effects from last season's injury.

  • Dexter Reid cleared up any speculation about his decision not to enter the NFL Draft. He never considered it because he intended to fulfill a promise to his mother to earn his degree.

  • At least for now, plans are for Madison Hedgecock to remain at fullback, but Bunting plans to look at that situation again about half-way through spring practice.

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