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Yates is a Texan, and it couldn't be a better situation

Posted May 3, 2011

What a difference 18 months can make.

It seems like yesterday North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates was getting booed at the Dean Smith Center when his image popped up during the famous in-game "I'm a Tar Heel" video feature.

Now he's in the NFL.

Yates was part of a school record nine Tar Heels selected in the NFL Draft, going in the 5th round to the Houston Texans (152nd overall). And while going from college to the pros is a huge step in any sport, Yates is going to feel a little more comfortable with this situation.

"Coach (John) Shoop had been telling me, he was talking to coach [Greg] Knapp (Houston's QB coach) a lot because we run pretty much identical offenses. I really couldn't have gotten into a better situation because the transition to me is going to be that much easier. We've been watching Houston Texans film for two or three years now. We do a lot of the same things on offense," Yates told Mark and Mike on 620 The Buzz.

"That was one of the reasons why they said they took me."

Part of the NFL scouts' intrigue surrounding Yates was his intelligence and ability to understand some of the more complicated offenses in the league. In this case he's fitting in to a system he says is "identical" to the one ran in Chapel Hill. One veteran quarterback scout said before the draft that on top of his intelligence, he's got plenty of arm and can make all the throws.

Texans head coach Gary Kubiak has even said Yates reminds him a lot of Matt Schaub. So Yates has a lot working in his favor before he's even thrown a pass for his new team. And who knows when that will be with the labor situation in the NFL.

"It's kind of weird because after that phone call took place (on day Yates was drafted) I'm not allowed to talk to my coaches at all. Neither is my agent. I'm not allowed to get a playbook, I'm just still sitting here. It hasn't really hit me yet," Yates said.

Until the lockout is resolved Yates said he'll be waiting and working out. He also joked that he's following the lockout in the news "a little more serious" than he was a week ago.

Whenever all that ends Yates will be on his way to working out his contract for the Houston Texans and getting ready to practice with a high powered offense. Someone had to point out to him that he'll get to pitch footballs to Andre Johnson.

"I was like, oh my god, you're right," Yates laughed. "I'm gonna be spoiled like having Hakeem Nicks all over again."
 

35 Comments

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  • dsalter May 4, 12:36 p.m.

    He's a project. Matt Schaub is the starter and will be for a while. But, it will give Yates time to learn how fast those guys in the NFL can really move until he gets his shot. He's a decent QB.

  • morgannyy May 4, 12:28 p.m.

    Ah, NOT QUITE "in the NFL" yet. You know, there's all that little stuff like making the team!

  • Cragsdale May 4, 11:53 a.m.

    Yawn, our daily update on anything Carolina from the Raleigh branch of the UNC Sports... View More

    — Posted by packfan79

    Maybe if your school did something worth mentioning more often you'd see more stories about them in the news. Have a nice day.

  • Smedley May 4, 8:22 a.m.

    will he be the first ever unc player to START an NFL game at QB???

    — Posted by SAC71GOPACK

    We're not called "Tailback U" for nuttin'.

    — Posted by GoLower

    I thought tailback U was the USC Trojans because of all the Heisman trophies and such.

    I see Yates as a perfect fit for the practice squad. He does take a good beating after all.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh May 4, 7:21 a.m.

    I'm so happy for TJ - glad to see all his hard work and dedication pay off. Good luck TJ!

  • littleriver69 May 4, 6:27 a.m.

    Yates will never make it in the NFL as a QB. He was no good as a college QB. He'll get the league minimum for one year then cut. Little to no talent as a QB. Get real.

  • packfan79 May 4, 6:27 a.m.

    Yawn, our daily update on anything Carolina from the Raleigh branch of the UNC Sports Information Department.

  • Tarheel born May 3, 9:05 p.m.

    Good luck TJ.........Go Heels.........

  • Ken D. May 3, 8:12 p.m.

    will he be the first ever unc player to START an NFL game at QB???

    — Posted by SAC71GOPACK

    We're not called "Tailback U" for nuttin'.

    — Posted by GoLower

    There are a few of us who post here who are actually old enough to remember why UNC had that reputation. Not only did they produce some great tailbacks, they also consistently had some of the best pulling guards in the country leading the way. Not many of the tailbacks went on to great pro careers, but the O-lineman excelled.

    Lately, not so much.

  • beckerunc May 3, 6:37 p.m.

    Congrats TJ and best wishes !!!

More...

 

 

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Local
Final
NCCU 65
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Final
NCSU 60
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3rd
PIT 2
CAR 3
 
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CHA 101
GSW 105
 
2nd
UF 35
UNC 43
 
1st
TULSA 14
ECU 14
 
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
4th
CHA 101
GSW 105
 
3rd
TOR 52
DAL 66
 
4th
DET 72
MIL 85
 
4th
ATL 72
NOP 60
 
Half
HOU 44
LAC 56
 
Half
OKC 59
NYK 33
 
Half
IND 47
ORL 45
 
2nd
SAN 41
SAC 36
 
1st
DEN 15
PHO 7
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
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MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
2nd
VT 10
UVA 6
 
1st
TULSA 14
ECU 14
 
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 59
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
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WISC 69
OKLA 56
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
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PEAY 62
STEPH 83
Final
FSU 58
CSOU 47
 
Final
VALPO 66
DRAK 46
Final
CIN 69
MTST 51
Final
SDU 75
PRIN 65
Final
WASU 76
RICE 74
 
Final
CSFU 64
USCU 79
 
Final
GT 61
RIDE 54
 
Final
TXPA 79
ALAST 91
 
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
 
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TCU 57
BRAD 49
 
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WAKE 65
DELST 72
 
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HART 83
EMERSON 50
 
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STJ 66
GONZ 73
 
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HC 48
 
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MD 61
MON 56
 
Final
JVST 74
SAV 71
 
Final
MIAMI 87
SALA 75
 
Final
RUTG 68
VANDY 65
 
2nd
PETE 55
TENST 54
 
2nd
MARS 32
CLST 43
 
2nd
JST 38
HOF 49
 
2nd
INDST 36
MEM 48
 
2nd
UF 35
UNC 43
 
2nd
LATU 39
SAMF 35
 
2nd
TULA 60
SELA 49
 
2nd
NEB 54
TENNM 44
 
Half
MISS 31
CREI 37
 
Half
PORT 30
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MARQ 9
MSU 9
 
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ARK 14
UNT 13
 
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NCOL 20
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UAB
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WASH
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UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
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WAS 5
NYI 2
3rd
PIT 2
CAR 3
 
3rd
NJD 4
DET 4
 
3rd
BUF 1
MON 1
 
3rd
CLB 0
VAN 3
 
3rd
BOS 1
WIN 1
 
2nd Intermission
FLA 1
OTT 2
 
2nd
STL 1
EDM 1
 
1st Intermission
DAL 0
MIN 2