Postseason Notebook

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Head coach Butch Davis spoke to reporters on Thursday afternoon in his final press conference of the 2007 season, as the Tar Heels prepare for offseason workouts.

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Butch Davis Thursday Press Conference:
(47:07)

* If you haven't heard by now, North Carolina had 51 players that had never participated in a collegiate football game before the season started. Davis indicated several weeks ago that an early spring practice included a 45-minute session on how to properly break the huddle.

That sobering note illustrates the grand scope that encompasses the process that building a program requires – fortunately for the Tar Heels, the hard part may now be over.

"Having coached them now through training camp and spring practice and the byproduct of having actually gone through the 12 games is that we now know this football team so much better than we did a year ago," Davis said. "We know where their strengths and weaknesses are. It's exciting for me as a coach to sit down with our strength and conditioning coach and talk with our position coaches to tailor-make for each one of our players that this is what you need to do during the offseason. Last year, we couldn't really guide and direct them, because we didn't know what they needed to get better at."

* Freshman Greg Little emerged as a solid running back during the final two games of the season, en route to posting 300 rushing yards on the season with a 5.1 yards per carry average. But with three other freshmen running backs on the roster and committed recruit Jamal Womble in the fold for the 2008 class, how long will Little remain in the offensive backfield as a tailback?

"He'll probably stay at running back, at least for the time being," Davis said. "What the future holds for Greg, a lot of that will be determined, because we've got three super significant receivers right now with Brandon and Brooks that are both are going to be seniors and with Hakeem, he will be a junior and will have been a three-year starter…

"And a lot of it is going to be predicated on how we do recruiting this coming season. How well we recruit as far as running backs and how well we recruit as far as wide receivers. Greg is an enormously athletic, gifted kid and he'll be a big part of all of the offensive game plans at some particular position."

* In a story that just will not die even a slow death, Davis was asked if his agent, Jimmy Sexton, had talked with Arkansas about their open coaching position during Thursday's press conference, and the answer was no.

"I know that there was interest out there, but I have to be honest and tell you that my interests were to stay at the University of North Carolina," Davis said. "I love this job and I love being here and I love being a part of it. I look very much forward to the future of this program.

"I had an opportunity to sit out of coaching for two years and to survey the landscape of jobs that were open over the last two years and jobs that might potentially come open not only this year, but certainly next year. My family really, truly loved Chapel Hill. We chose it as a place to raise our son and we chose it as a place to stay and we're thrilled to be here."

Davis made an even stronger statement later in the press conference, telling one reporter that "there is no interest in the University Arkansas coaching job."

* Stadium expansion plans are quickly moving along, as Davis and athletic director Dick Baddour are in continual contact about the process and the needs for the renovations. Just recently, the two discussed the details of the various phases involved with the process.

"All of those things are exciting because it's a reality that it's going to happen…," Davis said. "They're going to have somewhere near the final presentation to the Board of Trustees within the next 30 days."

Check out the expansion sketches here .

* With the news that T.J. Yates is set for shoulder surgery in 11 days, Davis was asked if the freshman quarterback's starting job would be safe when he returned.

"Every job on our football team is open for next year," Davis said. "Everybody's going to go into spring practice and you have to earn the opportunity to continue to be the starter. That if you think that you can just stay with the status quo, there's going to somebody in that locker room that wants your job."

* Don't expect any coaching staff changes this offseason, unless a new suitor lures one of Davis' assistants away to a better position.

"I don't anticipate [anyone leaving] unless someone gets fortunate enough and gets a head coaching job or a coordinator's job, which I hope that guys do at some point in their career," Davis said.

* There's not many football fans that are still in favor of the bowl system over a potential playoff set-up to determine college football's national championship, but North Carolina's head coach is one of them, pointing to the importance of the award benefits that bowls provide to student-athletes.

"If I was put to the test, I'd still vote against it," Davis said. "I'd still say I like the system the way it is, and even though we were denied [a chance at Miami], I have a little bit of sympathy with [Georgia head coach] Mark Richt and some of the other guys because we beat Florida State and ran the table and beat Florida in the Sugar Bowl and felt like we deserved a chance to play Oklahoma for the national championship and some computer didn't think so."

Davis is referring to his final season at Miami in 2000, when the Hurricanes defeated the Seminoles in the regular season only to see Florida State get the nod for the title game when both school finished the season with one loss.


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