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.