Fedora: Stars will emerge in spring play
Posted April 11, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — North Carolina will hold its annual Spring Football Game on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Kenan Stadium and second-year head coach Larry Fedora is guaranteeing a 'W' for the fans.
"Every day I come off the field and I’m not happy," said Fedora. "That’s the way it works because if somebody does good, that means the other side of the ball is doing bad or has a breakdown, so I can’t win. On the other side of that, for the spring game I can guarantee a win."
The game will be televised on ESPN3, as an added bonus the Tar Heels' new Nike uniforms will be unveiled Saturday, and Fedora wasn't giving away any clues even to the colors that they'd be.
"Our players don’t even know yet, they haven’t seen them," Fedora told Mike Maniscalco and Mark Thomas on 620AM The Buzz Thursday.
This spring North Carolina looks to fill a void left by star running back Gio Bernard. Bernard, who'll be in attendance to receive the nation's top punt returner in 2012 award from College Football Performance, rushed for 2,481 yards and 25 touchdowns during his career in Chapel Hill.
The loss of players, like Bernard, is one that Fedora says all coaches deal with.
"You sit and think okay what am I going to do," said Fedora. "But you get into spring ball, you get into the off season, you start working hard and then you start getting excited about the young guys who start to step up and they’re your new stars.
"It seems like every spring somebody jumps out that nobody knew about. I think that’s the great thing about college football and spring ball, it gives kids opportunities but they have to sustain that. They have to be able to do that through the summer through the fall camp. And if they continue to do it, history shows if they do it through that time, they’re probably going to be able to do it during the season."
Offensively the Heels return their starting quarterback Bryn Renner and dual threat tailbacks AJ Blue and Romar Morris. And after one season behind them, everyone is more comfortable with Fedora's up-tempo spread offense.
"It’s been a lot of fun and we’ve been able to get so much more in during spring ball just because, one, our kids are in so much better conditioning. They understand what we expect, they understand the tempo of practice, how we’re going to do things," Fedora said. "So we’re able to start coaching more details and try to get a whole lot more detailed in everything we do."
Fedora says he has no doubt that come 141 days, these players will be ready to line up against their first opponent and Saturday will be their first glimpse at that game day atmosphere.
"These guys get excited when they see people in the stands. To have a spring game and to have something going on in April where the people can come out and have a great day, it’s supposed to be great weather," said Fedora. "Come out and just spend the day here, and come out and watch some dang Tar Heel football. It ought to be a lot of fun."
UNC Spring Game Schedule of Events
11 a.m. - Bell Tower Park Opens
• Food vendors
• Interactive games for kids of all ages, including inflatables and face painting
• Photos with the new Carolina football Uniforms, Rameses and the UNC Cheerleaders
• Official Carolina merchandise
• Live music on stage with GrooveTown and the UNC Marching Tar Heels
• 12:45 p.m. - Autograph session with Carolina football players, autographs cards will be given to the first 3,000 fans
• 3 p.m. - Spring Game Kickoff