Scouting the ACC: North Carolina

After what was a disastrous start to the '01 campaign, UNC turned it around last season pulling big upsets and putting themselves into a solid bowl game. They may be hard-pressed to match that in '02 as they lost a tremendous amount of talent, evident by the pair of players drafted in the top six last April. The majority of their pro-prospects are of the late round variety.

North Carolina Tar Heels

Possibly their best receiver, Bosley Allen, was dismissed from the team and looks as though he's headed towards I-AA program Sam Houston State. Allen, a nice sized pass catcher with reliable hands as well as a feel for the game, had a lot going against him. Besides the fact that he's made some rather poor choices (word was he considered leaving for the draft last April as the writing was on the wall) Allen sustained a serious knee injury as a true sophomore, considered career threatening at one point, and was never a game breaker. Shake it all up and Bosley has a major hill to climb if he's to get drafted in '03. Sam Aiken has both size and skills for the next level and the light may have finally gone on. Aiken needs to improve the consistency of his hands and step up to the plate this season proving he can handle the duties of being the number one wide out; if he does he will get drafted. One player we like for the future is junior running back Andre Williams, a nice sized interior runner who looks like he can carry the load. An eye must also be kept on quarterback Darian Durant; an athletic and prospect that makes plays with his arm and legs. Durant is built like a running back and at barely 5'-11'' that is where he may ultimately wind up.

On the other side of the ball it may be slim pickins' and opponents could have a field day after five players in the front seven and half the defensive secondary was lost to graduation or early entry to the draft. Junior Dexter Reid is a hard hitting safety that likes to mix it up against the run while showing the range to be effective in pass defense, but must iron out his instincts and become a little more effective making plays in reverse or defending in space. Michael Waddell is an adequately sized corner with instincts but seemingly lacks the pure speed for man-to-man situations and is better suited as a nickel in zone.

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