Thursday practice notes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The heat has returned to North Carolina football practice. Navy Field was sweltering Thursday afternoon; while the rigors of late summer training camp continue to take a toll on the rebuilding Tar Heels.

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    Sophomore linebacker Larry Edwards may have lost some favor with his coach. Apparently the Tampa product that finished third on the team in tackles last season arrived to camp a little overweight and complacent.

    "He's more focused now than when he first came to camp," UNC coach John Bunting said. "This game is never easy – if you're a freshman or a fifth-year senior. But, especially for a guy who has had some success and then thinks he's got it made – if you get my drift. [Edwards' weight] is going down and continuing to go down.

  • Sophomore tailback Ronnie McGill says he feels as good physically as he has since he's been at Carolina. However he was sporting a 13-stitch-covered laceration on his left palm that he said was inflicted Tuesday while he was stiff-arming linebacker Fred Sparkman.

    "My hand got caught in his facemask," McGill said.

    Yet it didn't seem to affect his receiving capability. McGill stood out in practice when he took a pass for a big gainer.

    "I just caught the ball, the linemen made a couple of good blocks and I just took off," he said. "I don't remember much, except for when I hit Gerald [Sensabaugh]…that's the last thing I remember."

  • Former safety Mahlon Carey, who ranked second on the team in tackles last year, is now a linebacker. He took his share of punishment, but he gave back some as well in today's drills.

  • Lousiana State transfer Barrington Edwards worked out lightly, without pads.

    "He's here," Bunting said. "He got in last night and we're excited about seeing him here."

  • The Tar Heels will hold their first scheduled scrimmage on Saturday.

    "We'll get into every situation that we can possibly cover in that Saturday practice," Bunting said.

  • Quarterback Darian Durant celebrated his 22nd birthday.

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