Rounding the Corner

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina head coach Butch Davis spoke to reporters before Thursday's practice and addressed tight end coach Allen Mogridge's new role as recruiting coordinator, while also discussing Deunta Williams, Quan Sturdivant and A.J. Blue.

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BUTCH DAVIS
(10:16)

** Less than an hour after North Carolina announced that tight ends coach Allen Mogridge had been named the football program's recruiting coordinator, Davis provided more details into the decision-making process.

"The NCAA asks that one of the nine assistant coaches be designated as the recruiting coordinator and the staff and myself, we all felt like… Allen was the perfect guy for it," Davis said. "He's a former University of North Carolina football player. He graduated from here. Probably nobody on our staff knows what it's like to be a student here any better than Allen."

Following former assistant head coach John Blake's resignation on Sept. 5, the coaching staff's primary topic of discussion revolved around filling the open defensive line position, but when time came to make a decision about the recruiting coordinator role, Davis said that everyone seemed to realized that Mogridge was the right choice.

"One of [a recruiting coordinator's] biggest roles, besides administrative responsibilities, is the fact that a lot of times on weekends they are instrumental in talking to parents and families," Davis said. "When you've got somebody that actually has a degree from North Carolina and who played at North Carolina, then he can sit there and talk to players like, ‘If you come to the University of North Carolina, it's a great school, it's got great academics, it's got a terrific reputation.'

"Who can explain that much better than someone that was a former player here?"

Davis indicated that the school has not discussed reworking Mogridge's current, but did say the role is not an interim position.

** As expected, Mogridge's announcement led to a host of recruiting questions on Thursday afternoon. Davis took the opportunity to praise his staff for their efforts in promoting the university and the football program.

"I think we've got a lot of closers," Davis said. "I think certainly the head football coach is a significant closer for every recruiting class. The one thing that I like about our staff is that they are very good recruiters. There's been staffs that you've seen where there are two or three guys that never carry their weight. They're good football coaches, but over a 5-6-7 year period of time, maybe they've only recruited two or three players.

"We've got a very aggressive group of guys that are very hungry, that are very good at what they do. The thing that I like about it is that when they go into homes, you know they're doing an excellent job and they're recruiting very well."

But when asked about the negative recruiting taking place due to the NCAA investigation, Davis refused to take the bait.

"I think that's something that is probably a topic I'd rather not get into," Davis said.

** Deunta Williams has returned to his starting role at free safety this week in practice and will be the fifth Tar Heel starter to return to action this fall, stemming from his involvement in the ongoing NCAA investigation. The fifth-year senior served a four-game suspension for receiving extra benefits from a former North Carolina football player.

"I think he's done [well]," said Davis, when asked how Williams has performed in practice this week. "I wouldn't say that he's rusty because he's obviously been practicing and he knows the schemes and he knows all of the coverages and checks.

"It's just that one of the things that the players that have subsequently come back, they've all commented on is just getting into the pace, because the pace of practice is not clearly going to be the pace that you're going to play at in a game. So he doesn't even understand today what that's going to be like – the adrenaline rush that you get and just the pace of the play."

** Quan Sturdivant's hamstring continues to be a concern as the Clemson game is only two days away. The coaching staff has been cautious in an attempt to avoid any setbacks.

"He's been doing some of the drills a little bit," Davis said. "… I don't think there's any question that will be a gametime decision."

** Attentive fans may have noticed sophomore running back A.J. Blue's designation on last week's injury report being upgraded to "probable" status. The Dallas, N.C. native has endured a grueling rehab period since suffering a devastating knee injury last October, but the training staff recently cleared him for all practice activities.

"He's certainly at the point that if he was needed or if there's a role that we could create for him, we'd like to be able to try to do that for him," Davis said. "He's really a good kid and he's fought hard to get back out there."


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