Fedora: Prior success paves way for future success
Posted February 8, 2013
North Carolina head football coach Larry Fedora completed his first full off-season of recruiting Wednesday as 17 players signed to play for the Tar Heels in 2013.
“You want to get every single one of them that wants to be at North Carolina and can help us win a championship,” Fedora told Mike Maniscalco and Mark Thomas on 620AM The Buzz Friday. “The proof will be in the pudding two or three years from now when we develop these young kids.”
And many of those young kids were athletes from Kenan Stadium’s backyard.
“We know, to do things the way we want to do it here, we have to do it with in-state kids,” Fedora said.
Fedora signed seven in-state football players with the highlight being Northern Guilford’s TJ Logan. The running back compiled 3,146 yards and 47 touchdowns, averaging 10.7 yards per carry, despite playing in the fourth quarter only twice during his senior season. Fedora admitted that North Carolina star running back Gio Bernard may have done a better job recruiting Logan for the Tar Heels than Fedora did himself.
“There’s no doubt about it,” said Fedora. “Gio is a tremendous ambassador for our program, any time you have someone having that sort of success, people notice.”
Even though Carolina was not eligible to play in a bowl game last year the team made the most of their season, notching a big win over NC State and ending with an 8-4 record, giving Fedora another good recruiting pitch.
“Kids want to win, and they want to go to a program where they have a chance to win,” said Fedora. “In our case, not only are they going to have a chance, it’s going to happen and they are going to be a vital part of it happening.”
Fedora’s 17-member incoming class ranks in the Top-20 in the country but even with talent like that Fedora said it will be a process to get them ready to play at the college level.
“The guys we identify and evaluate, we believe they can come in and play. What they do when they get here is up to them. It’s a lot different than high school, it’s a grind every single day,” said Fedora. “The guys that are mature enough to handle the daily competition are able to step up, make plays and get on the field.”
The student-athletes’ level of maturity plays a part in their character which was a big focus for the Tar Heel head coach throughout the recruiting process.
“When we evaluate kids it’s one of the factors that is important to us. We believe in the long run it always comes back. No matter what kind of player you have, it still boils down to his character,” said Fedora. “If he has flaws it will usually come out on the football field or in the classroom, and it’s going to end up hurting you more than helping you.”
In his first season as head coach Fedora made a lot of noise with his high-powered spread offense and the coach thinks it’s a trend that’s beginning to make its way into the National Football League on a more regular basis.
“I think it’s really exciting what is happening in pro football right now. You’re seeing them taking more athletic quarterbacks and the college game is actually trickling up into the NFL. Two teams playing in the Super Bowl were doing a lot of things that happen in the college game,” Fedora pointed out.
Maybe the Tar Heels head coach is on to something. Either way he's ready for another season to test it out.