Austin Proehl's Journal

Future Tar Heel Austin Proehl, a wide receiver from Charlotte (N.C.) Providence, is filing regular journal entries at leading up to his UNC enrollment in June.

UNC Spring Review
Posted by Austin on April 23, 2014

Since I had to take the ACT that morning, I was unable to attend Carolina's Spring Game. But I was on campus for two spring practices and on the sidelines for both of the off-campus scrimmages.

The scrimmage in Charlotte was a little bit of a mess because of the rain. But it was good to be there with my dad, because he loves watching just to see the system that I'm going to be a part of and how I'm going to fit into it. He had the night off.

Everywhere you go you see alumni and you see our fans. And even in Charlotte where it was raining there was a good amount of people out there. That's a big deal to the players and everybody that's involved with the team, because it shows how much the fans care about the program and proves they want us to succeed. That makes us want to succeed for them just because of how much they care.

The one in Greensboro was good just because the weather was better. And the team was really getting after it – and I'm not just talking about the fights.

Speaking of the fights, the team is a brotherhood. It's one of those things where on the field they're competitive, but once they step off that field they're brothers again. They work hard and they're just a competitive group of guys. A lot of guys that are competitive are successful.

Besides that, the team looked really good in Greensboro. The offense looked good. The defense played well. There were a lot of positives.

In the stands there were a lot of recruits and I knew a bunch of them because I've lived in Greensboro. So I just tried to get guys to come be a Heel. It's always fun to get in their ear and talk to them a little bit more about the way I felt in my recruiting process.

I no longer just go to just watch the scrimmages. I'm trying to get a feel for everything. You just have to start getting acclimated to what coverages look like, what we are doing on certain formations and down-and-distances. It's just one of those things where you've got to start getting familiar with the different aspects, because it's a whole new offense, and you're working with a whole new group of guys and coaches. We have good relationships with our coaches, but we've got to get used to them when we're actually playing for them. It's good exposure to be able to see our coaches in action because when they're recruiting you, you don't really see the side of them when they're on the field coaching.

I really like the way they throw the ball around and how they mix it up. They put Ryan Switzer in the backfield. They run a bunch of option routes to give you a lot of options and I think that's one of the best parts of the offense. It's your job to read the coverage and you have to make a decision off of it. That's the best way to get open. It's something that I think I can definitely thrive in.

The practices in Chapel Hill were different from the scrimmages just because I got to see how it was as an actual player. It wasn't an open practice and the team was out there competing. That shows what the team is about. They're not just doing it for the fans – they want to get better every day. And Coach Fedora pushes our guys every day and that's one of the things I love about him. Because of all that, you can definitely see the improvement on the team from last year to this year already. I feel like the team has gotten a lot better. And I feel like everybody on the team wants to win a championship THIS year – and that's a big deal.

I've definitely noticed that Switzer has improved, even though he's been limited by a shoulder injury. I really think T.J. Thorpe has looked good – I love watching him play. Quinshad Davis and Bug Howard – I love all the receivers and I think they all work hard for Coach Brewer.

I know the story of the spring is the quarterback competition between Marquise Williams and Mitch Trubisky and I think both looked really good this spring. Even when it was wet and rainy, I thought Mitch looked good and Marquise looked good. Honestly, I think they could work well together. I don't really have a preference on either one because I haven't caught passes from either one. But I know they are both great quarterbacks who like to compete.

Defensively, I was really impressed with M.J. Stewart at cornerback at both scrimmages, even though he's a young guy. I heard he had a great spring game. He's physical, he reads the ball well, and he takes chances. It's going to be fun competing against him.

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April 11, 2014 - Moving Around

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