Commitments Weigh In

North Carolina pledges Corey Bell, Juval Mollette, Anthony Ratliff-Williams, Carl Tucker, and Mason Veal weigh in on the Tar Heels’ first two games. The quintet attended Saturday night’s “Stripe Out” against San Diego State.

On how the team has performed after two games:

“The didn’t play their best game, but I just like to see the team get the ‘W’ – I don’t care how they get it,” Bell said. “But I spent most of the game watching guys at my position. So I was watching guys like M.J. Stewart and Brian Walker play.

“They’re playing pretty well,” Mollette said. “Both games were kind of close at times, but San Diego State they’re a pretty good team.”

“They’ve played two great games back-to-back,” Ratliff-Williams said. “It’s definitely a great sight and to be a part of this process… It’s a great feeling to know they go out to give their all. They go through rough spots, but they always pull through. That’s just something I can’t wait to be a part of.”

“The outcome was very good, of course,” Tucker said. “I thought everybody had played well – defensively and offensively. It was just exciting to watch both sides of the ball, especially on defense.”

“I thought in the first game they were doing a lot of good things,” Veal said. “I watched the offensive line more than anything else and I thought [Saturday] night with Landon [Turner] going down, you could tell there were some adjustment issues, because he’s really a leader out there running the O-line. I thought we played well and the O-line progressed from last week to this week. Even though [Saturday] night was a little harder to watch, the result was good.”

On the atmosphere of Saturday night’s “Stripe Out”:

“It was pretty cool,” Bell said. “They said they’re going to move all their games to night games and 6 o’clock games, so they could get more people there and sell it out and it really worked. So the game was sold out and they get these things going with the student section and all the fans, which I thought was really cool. For a game that was against San Diego State, it was pretty hyped. They had a really good night atmosphere.”

“The atmosphere was real good,” Mollette said. “It was a sold out crowd. A bunch of fans followed the ‘Stripe Out.’ I didn’t think it was going to work out that well, but it did and it actually looked good.”

“There was definitely a different feel,” Ratliff-Williams said. “During my sophomore year, they pulled out the ‘White Out’ game and they went all white. That was actually the best game against Virginia Tech. And then when they pulled out the ‘Stripe Out,’ it was definitely a good-looking deal and the field looked great. Actually, the way they had it set up looking at the field, they had it in perfect order – Carolina Blue and black. It was definitely sold out. It was just a live feeling. You can’t ask to play in anything else and that’s a great part of being in Chapel Hill.”

“That’s the most people I’ve seen in that stadium and that’s the loudest that I’ve heard it,” Tucker said. “The atmosphere was great. I enjoyed the atmosphere – I liked it a lot. It was exciting and everybody was excited. The cheers didn’t stop. Everybody was loud non-stop. It was great.”

“I think from last year to the Liberty game and from the Liberty game to [Saturday] night, you could tell there were a lot of people there and they were excited for Carolina football,” Veal said. “Any time ‘Switz’ [Ryan Switzer] gets the ball, the student section starts going off.”

On the offense’s play:

“I think [the offense] is going pretty good,” Mollette said. “They’re just getting the hang out it now. I think later on this season, once they work out the kinks they’re going to be fine. I think they need to throw the ball down the field more. I’d like to see more deep balls to take shots.”

“They definitely are making progression, but it’s on the up and up,” Ratliff-Williams said. “Looking at the guys work, they can only improve from where they are now. They definitely looked sluggish. That was the second start they’ve had so they can definitely get better. Once they start rolling, they’re going to put on a show and it’s going to be great to watch.”

“I think offensively, they have a lot of athletes,” Tucker said. “It’s just a matter of getting them the ball. I feel like we have really good receivers – Quinshad (Davis] and [Ryan] Switzer and everybody else. As long as we get them the ball, offensively, I think we’ll be fine.”

“I thought they preformed well [Saturday] night, particularly in the second half,” Veal said. “Once we started to get the running game going better, Marquise [Williams] was able to go down the field. I thought [T.J.] Logan and Elijah [Hood] did well. But I thought that even after [Jared] Cohen had to come in for Landon [Turner], the longer the game went on, the O-line got more comfortable and the offense got better. You could see how great it can be when they are performing at their efficiency.”

On the defense’s play:

“I just like to watch the DBs,” Bell said. “I was excited to see Brian [Walker] get that pick six and get another pick. And then M.J. [Stewart] did okay. I think he had busted coverage one time. And then I saw Tim Scott make a play at the end. They gave up some catches, but at the same time they won the game for them. So it was fun to watch.

“The defense played pretty well. They run everything. They like running man [coverage], but they also run zone [coverage]. The one thing I’ve learned from my sophomore to my junior year is when you run zone, that’s when you get more interceptions. I like that they run both, so that when they need to run man, they run man. And when they need to run zone, they run zone. I like the variety.”

On the prospects of the season:

“I honestly don’t know what to expect [for the remainder of the season], because we played San Diego State pretty close, even though we’re better than them,” Bell said. “So I don’t know what to expect. But [Gunter Brewer] told me if they come out 3-0 [after] beating ECU, they can test Clemson. After watching the ECU game, I’ll have a better benchmark of how we’re going to be.”

“Obviously it’s going to go great,” Ratliff-Williams said. “They definitely have a somewhat young team, but they have the experience to get where they need to be. They just need to break through the sluggish start. The maturity that they’re getting will help with that. Last year, they started slow because the freshmen were in situations that they weren’t used to playing in. Now everybody has their game experience. You can tell they are hungry and ready. I definitely think that this season will be a great one.”

“I’m excited,” Veal said. “There’s been rough patches in the past two games and kind of a nail-biting finish to [Saturday] night, but when the defense is making plays and the offense is clicking you can see that it can be a really, really good team.”

Corey Bell
Juval Mollette
Anthony Ratliff-Williams
Carl Tucker
Mason Veal

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