It's Big Ben's Time

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – With a little more than a week before the first game of the season, Ben Lemming says he's fully recovered and will likely start at right guard after playing three positions during preseason camp.

"I feel like Mr. Versatile this camp," Lemming said. "I'm just been trying to work at different positions because I'm trying to get solid at each position. It's been a tough camp, because I couldn't hone into one position, and I couldn't perfect it.

"But this is the week we're going to solidify things."

It appeared Lemming would be the starting center this season, until the amazing recovery of teammate Scott Lenahan. His return has added more depth and options to the Tar Heels' offensive line.

"At the center position coming into this camp, we didn't have a solid guy," Lemming said. "Having Scott at center, so small, and so strong and quick, it's just perfect for this style of offense."

Lemming's career is just beginning, but the 6-foot-4, 295-pound lineman is considered a veteran.

"I think I've got a pretty good mastery of the offense and a pretty good concept of each play." he said.

Although he came in with the 2004 class and played in eight games as a true freshman, Lemming still has three years of eligibility remaining.

He injured his shoulder in last year's opener at Georgia Tech; while attempting a cut block, his arm got caught between a linebacker's leg.

"He went flying and it got twisted on the ground," Lemming said. "I just heard it pop, and I knew it was messed up pretty bad."

And though he played in the NC State game, he later received a medical redshirt and hasn't seen any game action since.

"After those two games, I couln't believe I wasn't going to get to play with those guys that season," Lemming said.

The shoulder is healed all but a few twinges he feels when he sleeps on it wrong, and it went a little numb on him during a scrimmage last week. He still wears a harness during practice that should limit the chances of the injury occurring again.

With that said, Lemming says it's fully recovered and he's ready for the season to begin.

"I'm fired up," he said.

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