Perception of Davis From Conference Foes

PINEHURST, N.C.--Inside Carolina talks to players from around the conference about how Butch Davis is changing the perception of the North Carolina football program.

Question #1: I know your focus is on your team and your season, but can you share any thoughts you had when you learned that the University of North Carolina had hired Butch Davis?

Question #2: Do you look at that team differently now that there has been a coaching change?

Derrick Morse, Miami Senior Offensive Guard

A1:I didn't really know Butch Davis--he was before my time--but everything I hear about him is great. I hear that he is hard-working, no-BS type of guy. That's probably what North Carolina needed. We have to play them up there this year, and it is going to be a battle. He had a Top 15 recruiting class coming in. Just from what he did at Miami, North Carolina is going to be special.

A2: Of course. Even playing North Carolina this year, they have athletes. We played them. They are a tough team. I think some of the coaching changes will really benefit them because--like I said when we played them they definitely have the athletes. Maybe it was some things like discipline or playcalling. Now they can be a competitor in the ACC.

Calais Campbell, Miami Junior Defensive End

A1:They are going to be a really good powerhouse really soon. I think he was a great choice for them. Other teams better watch out because they are going to be a good team this year.

A2:I respected them last year, but definitely Butch Davis has a reputation where he knows how to clean up a program and get them to play championship ball. When he was here, all the players that played for him that I talk to say that he was really strict. He was a disciplinarian. He changed the whole program inside-out and made them really play for him. I definitely think North Carolina has a lot of talent so that is scary. I definitely think they will be a great team.

Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech Senior Running Back

A1: To be honest there have been a lot of coaching changes in the ACC this year, so I haven't thought much about that. But I know when he was at Miami what type of players he could bring in. He is going to have those guys ready to go. North Carolina played us tough to the wire last year, so I know they may surprise a lot of teams this year.

A2: There is not a team in the whole conference that I don't respect. People may perceive them to be a basketball school--we don't. I think they have played us tough every year, three or four years. I think they are one of the really good teams in the ACC.

Steve Justice, Wake Forest Senior Center

A1: I had some mixed emotions because my brother, Doug, played at Chapel Hill. I grew up for the four years, five years, that my brother was there with Coach Bunting. He is a great guy. I've talked to him plenty of times. Through the recruiting process I talked to him, so it was sad to see him leave. At the same time, it was time for them to get a new guy in there because they were struggling, since they went to the Peach Bowl and the Continental Tire Bowl. It's time for a change and for someone to get in there and [change things].

A2: Not really--they have always had great talent. They have always gotten good recruits. I think they will be better with better coaches. You could look at it like they will get better.

Matt Ryan, Boston College Senior Quarterback

A1: I think it is a great thing for North Carolina. Butch Davis is a coach that has a great background and reputation. He has won a lot of games and championships down at Miami, and I think he will do a great job at North Carolina.

A2: I thought Bunting did a great job with North Carolina too. We had played them before we came into the ACC in a bowl game down in Charlotte and thought they had a solid program there. Then we played them the following year in the ACC and lost to them. I had a lot of respect for North Carolina before and continue to have respect for them as we move into the future.

Andrew Crummey, Maryland senior offensive guard

A1: It's clear that sometimes a program needs a shake-up. I think that Maryland was a perfect example [with Ralph Friedgen a few years ago]. Butch Davis is renowned for his abilities as a coach. I think it will rely as much on the players accepting the differences in how the program will be run and the differences in styles and making that there own. I thought Bunting, on appearance, was a good coach. I thought North Carolina had good players. It's a question of shaking up the program, but it's also how the players react to the shake-up. We'll see.

A2: Nah, not yet. If they win their first couple of games and they are obviously different, then yes, I might look at them different.

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