Fedora Talks Freshmen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Taking a guess at which true freshmen will lace up their cleats during the regular season has become an annual event for fan bases across the country. Larry Fedora may have ended the speculation for North Carolina fans on Friday.

You have to give Fedora credit for keeping the media off-balance. Ask about the marching band's presence at the end of practice and he plays coy; ask him which freshmen will likely play in the season opener and he methodically works through each position group to provide an in-depth answer.

On the defensive side of the ball, end Jessie Rogers, Bandit Shakeel Rashad and cornerbacks T.J. Jiles and Malik Simmons are likely to play against Elon. Offensively, wide receiver Quinshad Davis appears to be a lock and guard Caleb Peterson "has a chance."

Kendrick Singleton is another rookie wide receiver that may play his way on the field in one phase or another.

"Singleton's got a chance to play for us some early, because I know he's on some special teams and he's in the two-deep," Fedora said.

There is one freshman who's had a solid camp, however, that the first-year head coach would rather not see in any games this season.

"I hope [quarterback] Kanler Coker doesn't, but I can tell you he's prepared," Fedora said. "He's prepared himself very well, but I don't want that to happen."

Fedora indicated there might be some more freshmen to earn playing time, but the aforementioned names are the ones that came to mind while working down the roster.

** Davis has only been in full pads since Sunday, but he's already drawn plenty of praise from his head coach and players. On Wednesday, quarterback Bryn Renner described the Gaffney, S.C. product as "one of the best freshman receivers I've seen since I've been here, as far as his knowledge of the game and where he needs to be."

On Friday, Fedora veered off course while answering a question about senior wide receiver Erik Highsmith to compliment the 6-foot-4, 185-pound rookie.

"Ever since Quinshad's been back – [he's] made some plays for us," Fedora said. "He is definitely going to be a factor for us this year. And it's great because we're going to need two guys there [at wide receiver]. We're not going to make it with one."

** Speaking of the wide receiver position, Fedora told reporters that he has always played eight receivers during any given game and that approach will hold true again this year.

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