Dave Huxtable Q&A

CHAPEL HILL, NC--UNC football defensive coordinator and linebackers coach talks about the first practice for the defensive UNC football newcomers.

What expectations do you have for these guys? Are you going to need someone to play right away?

"You'd like to not have to count on any of these young kids coming in. Hopefully, you have enough of the varsity kids that you don't have to count on the young guys, but there are a couple of kids [who might play]. Tommy Richardson, in the secondary, has shown some good things. He's been here this summer. He had a good first day, and he's a kid that might help us in certain situations. The rest of them, we have to go through camp and see how they do."

When you say "good first day," what do you look for—just the ability to grasp instructions or is it performance?

"Both. Number one, he's in pretty good shape, so he was able to keep up with the tempo of practice, physically. He's got some good football savvy and some good awareness. Those are the things that you look at."

Will he stay at safety?

"Yes. He's a kid that's got a big frame as a freshman. Depending on how big he gets, down the road we may look at him as a linebacker, but right now he'll stay at safety."

What about Xavier Rainey? He looked like he did some good things.

"I tell you what, he's going to be a big kid. He really wants to do well. He played defensive end as a high school player, and we've moved him to linebacke, so he's kind of a fish out of water right now, but you're right—at the end of practice he did some better things. He started to grasp a few things and felt a little more comfortable. He's a kid that we have to look at and bring along. He's going to be a good player. Football is important to him—you can tell that in one day. The game is really important to him."

Was it a conditioning issue early, or was it just the heat?

"It might have been conditioning early, partly the heat, nad he may have had a little too much to eat for breakfast—too much bacon or sausage."

Overall, from your observations, do you think the class reported in pretty good shape?

"I think they did, overall—our skill kids, in particular. It's always the bigger kids who have a tough time coming into camp."

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