Veteran N.C. HS Coach Comments On UNC Commits

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – East Carteret (Beaufort) head coach Donnie Kiefer, with 24 years of high school coaching experience, breaks down all eight of UNC's '06 commitments in the Shrine Bowl.

Kiefer has a career coaching record of 131-92-2 and led teams to 12 playoff appearances, including three East Regional Finals.

He was named N.C. Preps Statewide Coach of the Year in 2004.

While at Robersonville Roanoke, Kiefer coached current UNC defensive back Trimane Goddard.

After a week of practice with the team, here's what he had to say about the future Tar Heels:


"Deunta Williams had played safety and receiver for White Oak, and knowing we were going to be going against a lot of spread offense, as defensive coordinator, my plan was to take a lot of guys who could cover, rather than taking legit outside linebackers or defensive ends. So I was looking for guys who were big physical safeties, who if I needed them to line up against a tight end, I could do it – as well as cover man and zone – and Deunta fit that perfectly.

"I had met him a couple of times before and I knew he was a big physical kid. I saw some film on him, and he was even better than I expected. I can see under Jeff Connors leadership, he'll probably put on 30 or 40 pounds and he'll be a beast.

"He's very coachable, very respectful and he's going to be a great player for the Tar Heels."

KENDRIC BURNEY, S, Southwest Onslow

"Kendric Burney is just a tremendous athlete. I had a chance to play against him last year when we were in the conference with Southwest Onslow. In fact we played them for the Eastern Championship and Kendric stole the show that night. He was the difference in that game. They beat us and then went on to beat Shelby.

"Kendric is just a very polite and personable young man, but he's just an explosive athlete. We did some different things (for the Shrine Bowl) than they did coverage wise with their scheme. But he's a very intelligent kid and picked up on everything we did. And as far as athleticism, he's unsurpassed."

HAKEEM NICKS, WR, Independence

"Hakeem Nicks is without a doubt one of the top high school receivers I've seen. I mean he runs precise routs, he has great hands and he's not afraid to go up and get the ball. He's another kid who's just going to be real plus for Carolina. He's going to fit into UNC's system well and the things they do. And he's just a big, physical kid and he's only going to get stronger. I think he's going to be a real benefit for them.

(On how he was able to perform in N.C.'s run-oriented attack on Saturday) "Sometimes that can be to the advantage of a great receiver. When the defense starts keying on the running game and not really expecting the pass, sometimes you can slip open and people never see you. But that's what Coach [Bennie] McMurray wanted to do and we still did plenty of play action. Nicks stayed busy."

TAVARES BROWN, DT, Richmond County

"Oh man, Tavares Brown is a great kid. I've liked him right from the get-go. He's a stout kid that is very strong, very physical and real coachable. You know all UNC commitments here at the Shrine Bowl have been surprising in that none of them came in with a chip on their shoulders. None them were like, ‘Hey look at me, I'm the big dog.' They were all about team. And Tavares is just as humble of a kid as I've ever been around.

"He's very strong and very physical. He plays great with his hands, and that's big for a defensive lineman. He gets separation very quickly. Nobody's just going to pancake him or knock him out of the hole. I mean, he's just going to be there. Good instincts, he reads well and pursues well. He's got real good quickness for a big guy.

"I think he can play nose guard at the college level. I think he's just going to get bigger. He's got that real quick first step and has that good separation. He's got a low center of gravity, so it's going to be hard to knock him off of his feet. But he's also quick enough and fast enough to come off of the edge."


"I think Ryan Taylor has the potential to be ‘big-time.' He's going to put on size. He's already a big, tough, aggressive kid. Great hands, I mean just great; and he goes up and gets the ball at its highest point. And he's a good blocker. He's one of those guys that can line up and play tight end or go out and play flanker for you. He also runs good routes and he's a team guy. His motor is always running. He's going to be great I think at the next level.

"He would be a little undersized for offensive line right now, but I think he's a great blocking tight end."


"He's a big kid. I don't know what UNC has in mind for him, if they want him as a tight end or offensive lineman or what their thoughts are on that side of the ball for them. But for us on defense, he's as good a technique player as you'll find anywhere. He's got a great first step, great separation, and he's got long arms reaching. You can't get into his body.

"Obviously he's going to have to get a little thicker. It's not that he's not got a big frame. It's just a matter of time until he gets up there under Coach Connors and put on size. You know, a lot of kids really start to grow after they graduate high school. I expect him to be 270 or 280 in no time."


"Michael Ingersoll is definitely an imposing big guy that can play tight end. He's a very solid blocker. He has good hands, but also I could see him becoming an offensive lineman because he's so athletic. A guy like that who can move his feet so well can definitely become an outstanding pass defender.

Wherever they decide to use him, be it at tight end, offensive line or on the defensive side of the ball; I think he'll be a great addition to their program. He's a very coachable kid and very intense, which is exactly what you need at the next level."


"Johnny White is just a tremendous athlete. Obviously he was injured and led his team to victory in the state championship game. When he got to us early in the week, he was still a little bit hobbled. Even being a little bit banged up, you could tell that he was very quick and a very explosive type of athlete. I hadn't seen film on him until up until the selection of the Shrine Bowl team, but I can tell he's very special athlete.

"He's got a great personality. He's a great team player. Everybody on the team liked him and everybody was sad he wasn't going to get an opportunity to play. He'll do great things for Carolina; I have no doubt about that."

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