Heels still a work of progress after spring game

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Led by third-year starting
quarterback Bryn Renner, North Carolina’s Blue team clobbered the White
team, 34-10, in the Tar Heels’ annual spring football game on Saturday
at Kenan Stadium.

UNC played two quarters as if it was a real
game, though the punts included just the snapper and punter. The last
two quarters were played with a running clock before the announced crowd
of 15,000. Here are a few things to take away from North Carolina’s game:

1. Coach Larry Fedora said he isn’t comfortable with his
team’s depth at any position

Fedora could have just been talking about
Saturday’s event itself, as several of UNC’s top players did not dress.

In
particular, though, he couldn’t have meant the tailbacks. That group is
deep with Romar Morris, A.J. Blue, Khris Francis, and T.J. Logan coming
in this August. The second-year coach could not have meant wide
receiver, either. 

UNC has plenty of talent at receiver, with
sophomore Quinshad Davis leading a group that also includes Sean Tapley,
(six catches). Many of the Tar Heels that will run pass routes are a
bit inexperienced, but Tapley says having a veteran QB like Renner will
help speed up the process of lifting so many gifted receivers to his
level. 

Seventeen different players caught passes Saturday, even with some of the best receivers sitting out.

2.
True freshman quarterback Mitch Trubisky is as quick and fast as
advertised, and he definitely has potential as a passer

Trubisky, who
enrolled early in January, started for the White team, UNC’s second team
on offense. He completed 10 of 18 passes for 170 yards with one
touchdown and two interceptions. 

Trubisky struggled throwing
the ball when on the move and the speed of the game appeared to be an
issue at times. He did perform better when with the first unit for a
couple of series in the second half. He threw a touchdown pass then, but
was picked off on the next possession. 

A native of Mentor,
Ohio, Trubisky was a four-star recruit and 15th-best quarterback
prospect in the class of 2013, according to Scout.com. He was also named
Mr. Football in Ohio last fall. 

“I didn’t not expect him to
pick things up and grasp the offense as quickly as he did and command
the offense as he has, which is tough for a kid to do,” Fedora said
about Trubisky. 

3. Kareem Martin had a sensational spring game

Martin registered seven tackles, six for loss of yardage, including four
sacks. Those six TFLs caused the opposition to lose 32 yards.

Saturday
heroics aside, Martin also had a very good spring. The 6-foot-6,
265-pound senior must be a consistent producer for the Tar Heels, as
they must deal with losing some of their best players from a year ago. 

Martin
should be ready, though. He was thrust into a starting role in 2010
because of attrition hitting the Heels. This year is his final
go-around.

For his career, Martin has 96 tackles, 25 TFLs, eight sacks, 10 pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

Star Watch: Romar Morris

Romar
Morris isn’t Giovani Bernard, but the talented sophomore tailback
offered more than a few glimpses of why he can have a big year. 

Morris
carried the ball 15 times for 80 yards and a touchdown; he also caught
two passes for 25 yards. He runs hard, uses blockers well — something
Bernard did really well — and is a receiving threat.  Morris converted a
few bubble screens into nice gains, churning those wheels.

Last season, Morris also ran for 386 yards and two scores, while catching 12 passes for 204 yards and two more touchdowns.

“He’s
a guy that take it from goal line to goal line,” Fedora said. “There
are only so many backs out there that can do that … Romar’s not going
to get run down from goal line to goal line because he can explode.”

Impact Player: Bryn Renner

Renner is poised to have a special season; and if Saturday is any indication, he’s well on his way to achieving that goal. 

He
threw one ball that might remind fans of his old gunslinger ways, and
it was picked off in the end zone. Otherwise, Renner was excellent and
quite efficient, completing 16 of 27 passes for 216 yards and three
touchdowns.

Renner completed a bunch of short stuff and only
threw the ball downfield several times. But the Virginia native was also
working with a lot of reserve wide receivers.