CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – In a linebacking corps that has seen frequent changes this season, the evolution of Shakeel Rashad remains one of the most consistent features of Larry Fedora’s defense.
“No one even considers it being like a new position for him because he’s so comfortable and he’s making plays all the time,” Fedora said after North Carolina’s 41-14 win over Delaware.
Rashad contributed a team-high 10 tackles in the win, including one for an eight-yard loss in the second quarter when he blew up a Delaware reverse.
“The quarterback was standing back to block, and I saw that guy coming, so I just shot the gap and ended up running right into the reverse,” Rashad said about that particular play.
On the very next play, Rashad penetrated into the backfield and pressured Delaware quarterback Joe Walker, taking him down just in front of the line of scrimmage.
Those two plays gave the Tar Heels a much-needed shot of adrenaline on a day where the Blue Hens pecked away at the North Carolina defense for 279 rushing yards.
“He’s doing a great job of leading,” Fedora said. “It’s like he’s been playing (as a linebacker) the whole time.”