The Quiet Corner

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Senior cornerback Cedrick Holt is a man of few words, or perhaps opposing players just don't hear him coming. But early in his final collegiate season, he has been making one heck of a racket in the North Carolina secondary, with 17 solo tackles already this year.

"Quiet, he is," John Bunting said. "But he's such a smart player. As a corner, you don't expect that guy to enter a whole lot into directing the defense. But he's another guy out there that has helped Tommy Richardson organize the defense."

Holt and linebacker Larry Edwards are tied for second on the team with 18 total stops, behind Richardson, who has 26.

"When you talk to Ced,' all you're going to get is…(mumble, mumble, mumble)," Richardson said. "No, I'm just joking. He's a great guy. He really took it upon himself to make his senior year a great year. We've got some seniors out there playing with a greater sense of urgency knowing it's their senior year."

After playing in all 12 games as a true freshman, Holt's sophomore season was cut short when he suffered a broken foot against N.C. State in the fourth game of the year. But the Wadesboro senior came back in '04 to register 43 tackles, including 30 solo.

"The main thing is I'm not coming off any injuries," Holt said. "I feel like I'm back healthy and can contribute to help my team out."

Holt also attributed his success to the players surrounding him and the depth at the cornerback position, with Quinton Person, Linwood Williams and Bryan Bethea backing up Holt and Jacoby Watkins.

"We've got some guys we don't have to worry about when our second team comes in," Holt said. "We've been really working hard to get the two-deep right. We all trust each other and the coaches trust us, too. They know they can get the same thing from the ones and the twos."

This Saturday against Utah, Holt will likely see more action as a nickelback against the Utes' spread option offense. Bunting said starting MIKE linebacker Victor Worsely may not be in on as many snaps, with Person manning the other corner. Thus, Holt's skills will be put to the test in earnest this week.

"What Cedrick has done is played very physical – more than he ever has before," Bunting said. "He's made a lot of tackles and played out there in the slot. He's able to get off the blocks of a lot of receivers. In order for us to win, we have to tackle very well and that includes every one of the players on defense. Each one of them is going to have to make tackles in space, and Cedrick Holt will be one of them."

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