Coples works as LB; Jones, Okakpu sit out UNC pro day
Posted March 20, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — At Tuesday's Por- Day held at North Carolina, many had their eyes on defensive end Quinton Coples while wide receiver Dwight Jones and linebacker Ebele Okakpu were held out by the school.
Coples is projected in the top 10 of the NFL Draft by many prognostications. He did not run the 40 yard dash Tuesday but stood on his combine time of 4.78. The 6-foot-6, 284-pounder did go through a series of drills and he was asked by Jets coach Rex Ryan to take part in some linebacker drills.
"He wanted to see how I would react in a three-point scheme so I went out there, showed him what I have and gave it all I had," Coples said. "A lot of teams are moving to a three-point scheme so I wanted to make sure I was aware of how to play that scheme (before the workout) and how to drop into coverage and things of that nature."
The birthday bash that briefly cost Jones his eligibility also means he sat out Tuesday when the rest of the Tar Heels put on a show for NFL scouts.
UNC declared Jones ineligible in December after learning that he allowed his likeness to be used to promote a party at a club in Burlington, N.C., an NCAA violation. They then petitioned the NCAA and got Jones back for the Independence Bowl on Dec. 26.
Jones led the ACC in 2011 with 79 receptions and was third in the ACC (24th in the nation) in receiving yards with 1,119. He joined teammates Quinton Coples, Tydreke Powell and Zach Brown at the Senior Bowl.
Okakpu, dismissed from the team in the fall for conduct detrimental, was also not allowed to perform at UNC Tuesday.
The omissions were in contrast to last spring, when players caught up in the NCAA's investigation of the football program returned to the field in Chapel Hill.
After almost two years of turmoil cost the program 15 scholarships over three seasons and the shot at a bowl game in 2012, Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said the university was trying to put distance between current players and mistakes of the past.
"Larry’s trying to establish a sense of accountability within the team," Cunningham said of new head coach Larry Fedora. "This does factor into being accountable and responsible for your own actions.”