Rounding the Turn

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Head coach Butch Davis spoke to reporters following Wednesday's practice, as No. 17 North Carolina prepares to visit Maryland on Saturday.

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Butch Davis Wednesday Post-Practice:
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* The NCAA allows each FBS member institution 56 official visits to use for recruiting purposes during the fall and through National Signing Day, which falls on the first Wednesday of February. Some head coaches favor having their prospects on campus on game weekends to soak up the atmosphere, while others choose to have their recruits officially visit during the offseason months on December and January, when more attention can be given to each individual. Davis is not necessarily married to either particular method.

"There was a time, obviously, that you would have preferred to have them all in December and January," Davis said. "But with the nature of so many early commitments, where kids are either trying to decide where they want to go, if they're a kid that's going to enroll in the second semester – obviously you've got to get those kids in immediately – and then with a lot of kids, [it's] the last piece of the puzzle. They think this is where they want to go to school. They've been to camp, and they want to see a game. They want to be here for the game day experience and the atmosphere, and their parents want to see what it's like to be here on Saturday."

But while the potential student-athletes see plenty of football and game day festivities, there is a is a downside to fall visits.

"You don't get the full impact of the opportunity to spend an awful lot of time with the players," Davis said. "Because the players are sequestered on Friday night, they're in team meetings Saturday during the day and then they're playing the game. And so they get a brief opportunity on Saturday night after the game and maybe a little bit Sunday morning to meet and mingle, as opposed to a full 48 hours where they get a chance to hang out with guys all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday and they get a chance to go out with them on two different nights."

North Carolina has already hosted eight official visitors, with four more scheduled for the Nov. 22 matchup against N.C. State, and those numbers represent unchartered territory for the second-year head coach.

"We've probably done more bringing kids in during the season this year than I've ever done in any of my coaching years," Davis said.

But with a 7-2 (3-2 ACC) record and the No. 17 national ranking, one thing is for certain – recruiting has definitely picked up steam in Chapel Hill.

"We've actually had kids that have called us that we thought we were off the radar [with], and Mom, Dad and the kid called and said, ‘Hey, we really want to come and take a look at North Carolina,'" Davis said. "And so we've made room for some of those guys to try to get them in on an official visit weekend."

* There's no doubt that the Tar Heels have struggled out the gates in various contests this season, but there's also no doubt that UNC has exploded on the scoreboard after halftime, outscoring its opponents 162 to 83 in the final 30 minutes of play.

It has to be the halftime speeches, right? But while Davis may would like to attribute the success to his words of wisdom, he credited his players' ability to dissect their opponents' tendencies in the first half.

"A lot of times, the other team's intentions and how they're going to attack you somewhat reveals itself in the first half," Davis said. "Our kids are really good about making sideline adjustments during the course of the first half, and then they're certainly good about listening to us tweaking or potentially adding or doing something differently at halftime to try to help them in the second half. "

* Davis has mentioned several times this week that's he delighted to move past the complex Georgia Tech offense this week, but those comments are not intended to slight Maryland's offensive scheme. While the NFL structure presents very little change from week to week, college football is quite the opposite, as styles are as fluid as they are numerous.

"This is kind of a crash course, to get back into somebody that's got traditional formations and multiple personnel groupings," Davis said about Maryland's offense. "They're going to run in and out. They've got five wide receivers in with the quarterback in the shotgun, and they go to multiple tight ends and two backs, so you're going to see the gamut against it in a short amount of time to get ready for it."

* When T.J. Yates took the field in the closing minutes of the 28-7 victory over Georgia Tech, some observers may have wondered if a quarterback controversy would begin to brew. But Davis provided a definitive answer to the inquiry as to whether or not Cam Sexton was secure in his current role on Wednesday night.

"Yes, absolutely – there's no question," Davis said. "He's going to continue to be the starting quarterback."

While talking about quarterback situation, the UNC head coach also provided an update on Yates' progress.

"I don't think that we still know to any stretch of the imagination right now on T.J, how fully healthy that he is," Davis said. "Although he's played in a game, he hasn't had to scramble for his life, he hasn't had to take a sack [and] he hasn't gotten hit and had to uncover himself under a big pile of people. So it's just guarded optimism. It's great to have him back."


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