Battle For The Backup, But Maybe More

By Adam Caparell - March 05, 2008


After a pretty impressive first season under center for North Carolina, T.J. Yates figures to be the Tar Heels starter when fall camp opens in August. But as Yates recovers and rehabs from shoulder surgery, the fight to impress and possibly push Yates out of the job has taken center stage in Chapel Hill with spring practice underway.

Second year head coach Butch Davis kicked-off his second spring practice with UNC Monday, but wouldn't totally commit to Yates keeping his job when the season begins; not as he watched junior Cam Sexton and red-shirt freshman Mike Paulus take snaps as the two look establish themselves as worthy starters.

"You never want your quarterback out," Davis told the Raleigh News & Observer. "On the flip side, Cam and Mike will get decidedly more work; and there will be a lot more position competition [in August.]"

Yates had an impressive campaign in 2007, throwing for 2,655 yards, 14 TD and 18 INT last season, but if he struggles at all this season, Tar Heels fans could be quick to call for a change, especially if Paulus comes out of spring ahead of Sexton. Remember that Paulus - the brother of Duke guard Greg Paulus - was a highly regarded quarterback out of upstate New York when he signed with the Tar Heels last February.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 10:15 AM on March 05, 2008
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