Practice Tour: Jared McAdoo

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina verbal commitment Jared McAdoo has put his off-field mishap behind him and is focusing on his senior football season.

"I'm just ready to be back with the guys and start all over again," McAdoo said.

McAdoo was kept out of team activities until late July. The 6-foot-2, 288-pound defensive tackle heads into the season with new found energy and high expectations.

"This year: undefeated – no doubt," McAdoo said.

"We're out here [on the practice field] working hard, got a lot of camaraderie and intensity; we go at it. But we still have fun with each other."

Like most head coaches, Isaac Marsh is approaching Chapel Hill's coming season on a game-by-game basis. He does, though, recognize the potential his 2008 squad possesses.

"The expectations for this upcoming year are to come out, play sound football, and get better each week," Marsh said. "We have some guys other than ‘Big Rob' [Crisp] and ‘Big Mac' [McAdoo] that have already received scholarships from various lower Division I schools and Division II schools. It's just a matter of not letting that sidetrack the team from what we're out here for this upcoming season. Right now, the guys are focused – they just have to stay that way."

Chapel Hill ended the 2007 season in the NCHSAA 4A quarterfinals. The Tigers finished with an 8-9 record.

"The main thing was we started peaking at the right time last year," Marsh said.

"I remember our offensive coordinator at the end of our last game asked the guys ‘Did we do enough work in the offseason to prepare and go farther than what we did.' That's one thing that I can definitely see that was a turnaround this year. After practice, the number of guys running and doing extra after practice is remarkable. They want not just a repeat of last season, but they want to go further."

Chapel Hill's defensive linemen are coached to be "interchangeable." Thus, during the course of a game, McAdoo will line up at the three-, five-, and nine-techniques.

"I'm going to move the guys around and just give different looks so that the offense won't get complacent," Marsh said. "They won't line up thinking ‘McAdoo is coming from the end spot 95-percent of the time.'… We're going to mix it up, because our four [starters] and our reserves can play each position on the D-line."

Regardless of where he lines up before the snap, McAdoo's objective remains the same.

"I basically stop one side by myself," McAdoo said. "That's my job – take away one side. After that [I trust] everybody else to do their own part."

Although defensive line is his primary job, McAdoo will also see snaps at tight end. He won't enter the season as a two-way starter, but his offensive reps are expected to increase as the season progresses. His conditioning and the team's depth will dictate his playing time on offense.

"He's going to be used as both [a run blocker and a receiving option]," Marsh said. "He's definitely going to get a chance to make some catches. He runs well with the football after he catches the pass.

"I talked with [starting quarterback] John [Haus] and I told John that with our pass conceptions our tight end is overlooked. [The defense is] primarily trying to defend us from hash to sideline, so look for your tight end more. If you sit down and watch the film, our tight end comes open at least 80-percent."

Marsh also expects to run the ball behind McAdoo a lot when he's on the field. McAdoo does an excellent job of getting to the second level and clearing a linebacker out of the way for the ball carrier.

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Outside of revealing that his UNC scholarship is still valid -- as well as his pledge to the Tar Heels -- McAdoo unsurprisingly didn't want to comment on his June arrest, which ended in a deferred prosecution.

Being roughly five miles away from UNC's campus, McAdoo figures to spend plenty of Saturdays at Kenan Stadium this fall.

"I want to see them just take Notre Dame out," McAdoo said. "They've got the firepower to do it this year, too. It's not anything really [against Notre Dame]; I just want to see them beat a [historically] good team."

In the meantime, McAdoo said he plans on stopping by UNC during preseason practice to monitor how the Tar Heels are looking for the coming season.

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