Austin, Williams Talk Return

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Juniors Marvin Austin and Deunta Williams talked to reporters on Monday afternoon via teleconference about their decision to return to North Carolina for the 2010 season.


Opening comments:
"My decision to return to the University of North Carolina was basically because I thought it was the best decision for me and my family. I think we have a chance to be special, so that's why I came back."

Was it a group decision to come back?
"Yes. All of us were basically feeling the same way. We felt like we could go to the next level and play and actually do some things, but we felt collectively as a group that we wanted to come back. We just felt like something was missing, that we didn't accomplish everything we could have… It wasn't like we got together as a group. It was just something we all felt in our hearts."

How serious did you get about jumping to the NFL?
"It was very serious because coming out of high school, it was my goal to come and play three years and get to the next level and play with the best. But I feel like we have unfinished business. There are a lot of things that I can get better at with my game, technique-wise. And also, this is a great atmosphere at Carolina. We've got a chance to be a pretty decent team. And just talking to Coach [Butch] Davis and Coach [John] Blake, they know what it takes to be a great pro on the next level. I don't just want to be a good player, I want to be a great player."

How did the chance of injury play a role in your decision?
"That was one of the big factors, because football is a violent sport. You can get injured just from standing around. So it was definitely something I took into consideration. I just think that if I go out there and play as hard as I can with all of my effort… The last two or three years I really haven't gotten injured – knock on wood – but it's just something that's part of the game. I feel like if it's going to happen, then it's going to happen. It's part of football. I just felt like I had to do the best thing for me and take everything out of the equation. It was a factor, but not really that big of a factor."

Did the bowl game loss play a role in your decision?
"No, I don't think [my decision] would have been any different. I already knew what I wanted to do, I just didn't really say anything. Like I said, I felt in my heart that I needed another year to get better trained, get bigger, faster and stronger. So the outcome of the bowl game didn't really factor into my decision."

When did you make your decision?
"Well, I actually made my decision on my birthday, which was Jan. 1. I put it on my Twitter or whatever. I just got tired of everybody asking me and listening to what the agents said, so I just got tired of the whole thing. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, so I said I was going to make it a birthday present to myself."


Opening comments:
"I think the major reason was because we've got a chance to be special. I think there's a lot of unfinished business. We've got everything for four years now and I don't want to end it without doing something special. I think we've got a shot at doing that next year. Also, I'll have the chance to get my degree and finish up strong."

Was it a group decision to come back?
"I think Marvin hit it on the head, really. I felt like we all sat down a couple of different times. We all talked about it throughout the year, but we've got unfinished business. I think the major thing is that you never know if we'll land on a defense in the NFL that is as special as we were as a unit. So I think that's the major thing that we all had to consider. We all took that into consideration when we were [figuring out] what we were going to do."

How serious did you get about jumping to the NFL?
"I think it was a serious decision. You never know anyone situation and different guys have different things to deal with. Going from not having a lot of money to having a lot of money is definitely a decision a lot of people have got to think about. There are always different situations to think about next year, so it was a very serious decision, but like Marvin said, I think we all did what was best for us."

On keeping tabs with the others during the process:
"I think I did a pretty good job of keeping in contact with everybody. Marvin was the only one that gave us a little bit of trouble, but everybody else was pretty cool about communicating. So I definitely was hitting everybody up. I was talking to Bruce [recently] and I think we need to do a little commercial like, ‘We're Back.' I've been trying to hook that up right now."

Define what you mean by saying that next year could be "special":
"When I was talking about it, defensive-wise, I think we did pretty good. But I think it was that we were always compared to [the '96 team]. So I want to surpass those guys. Whatever they did, I want to do that times-two. I feel like with the athletes we have on the defensive side of the ball, I think that we can do that."

When did you make your decision?
"I actually made mine on my birthday, too – after the Boston College game. I went out and had a pretty good game that game and everybody was asking me all of the questions. But even with it heating up at that time, I felt in my heart that I didn't want to leave Carolina. I really didn't. And so I was keeping it to myself. I told my mom after the game that I wanted to come back and finish it again. And no matter what the rest of the season held, I was going to come back."

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