FS Dexter Reid

2002 Statistics

Coach: John Bunting
13-11, 2 years
2002 Record: 3-9
at Syracuse WON 30-22
at Arizona State WON 38-35
at Virginia LOST 27-37
at Wake Forest LOST 0-31
at Florida State LOST 14-40
at Duke WON 23-21

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

There is clearly nowhere to go but up for the Tar Heels after a dismal 2002 season. What was most disturbing was the way the team totally collapsed late. In one four-game stretch, Carolina was outscored 172-33.

Last season was a painful transition year for Head Coach John Bunting and his staff. In 2001, Bunting's first season at the helm, he still had some veterans who had been recruited into the program by former Coach Mack Brown. In 2002, those veterans were gone and had been replaced by ones recruited by Brown's replacement, Carl Torbush.

Torbush failed in his three years as head coach, largely due to that volatile, untraceable mix of poor attitude(s) and work ethic(s) in many of his recruits, and marginally weak coaching. Understandably, Bunting was unable to effectively coach many of these jaded seniors. This, along with a rash of serious injuries, resulted in an embarrassing downward spiral that did not stop until the season-ending win over Duke.

With more of Bunting's recruits set to receive significant playing time, 2003's quality of play will be better. There are a few players in the skill positions who could have outstanding seasons, but without the foundation of a strong front seven and a solid offensive line, Carolina faces another losing season. The Heels will undoubtedly be more competitive. But a difficult out-of-conference schedule, along with a balanced (strong) ACC, mean drastic improvement(s) on their 3-8 2002 record is unlikely.

But something has to give - either better statistical results, or more wins, will need to occur for the present coaching staff to stay intact. Only so much blame can be put on the players. They are kids, and in college they are still working their way up that steep learning curve of life, let alone football. More responsibility is put on the coaches to motivate and shape impressionable young minds into well-rounded, personally capacitated men. The failure of the staff to gear 2002's squad properly has to markedly improve in 2003. The offense (line), especially, has to emerge as a coherent unit for Tranquill, and possibly Bunting, to keep his (their) job(s). Many coaches have done more with just as little, so it is tell-tale time for Tar Heels on many levels. Look for many improvements to be the result, enough for at least Bunting to stay.

Projected 2003 record: 5-7
QB - 4 DL - 2.5
RB - 2.5 LB - 2
WR - 3 DB - 3.5
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Darian Durant, 248-147-9, 2122 yds., 16 TD

Rushing: Jacque Lewis, 130 att., 574 yds., 2 TD

Receiving: Jarwarski Pollock, 31 rec., 464 yds., 4 TD

Scoring: Dan Orner, 9-14 FG, 26-27 PAT, 53 pts.

Punting: John Lafferty, 61 punts, 36.6 avg.

Kicking: Dan Orner, 9-14 FG, 26-27 PAT, 53 pts.

Tackles: Dexter Reid, 166 tot., 107 solo

Sacks: Jocques Dumas, Donti Coats, Clarence Gaddy - 2 sacks each

Interceptions: Michael Waddell, 2 for 33 yds.

Kickoff returns: Wallace Wright, 28 ret., 21.8 avg.

Punt returns: Michael Waddell, 17 ret., 4.2 avg.


QB Darian Durant
OFFENSE: Sam Aiken-WR, Zach Hilton-TE, Chesley Borders-WR
DEFENSE: Malcolm Stewart-WLB, DeFonte Coleman-SS, Kevin Knight-CB

written by James Johnson

Carolina's passing offense set school records last season for total yardage, completions, and attempts. This was primarily due to the efforts of quarterback Darian Durant, who returns for his junior season minus the turmoil of last off-season. Durant announced his desire to transfer, then reconsidered and returned to Chapel Hill. His performance last season offers great promise for this year, where he will be focused and healthy. His average of 8.73 yards per pass attempt vouches for his ability to get the ball downfield. Durant also showed the ability to pull the ball down to run for positive yardage. He will be somewhat overshadowed in a league with quarterbacks like NC State's Philip Rivers and Virginia's Matt Schaub, but he will be a very dangerous weapon in his own right.

Carolina's group of wide receivers consists of inexperienced and generally average players. The one possible exception to that label is junior Jarwarski Pollock. The small receiver averaged 15 yards per reception, so he does have the speed and quickness to be a serious downfield threat. But you don't see another wide receiver on the roster that can draw a defense's attention away from Pollock. Tight end Bobby Blizzard (senior, 6'3", 276 lbs.) will be the Tar Heels' most experienced receiver this season. Blizzard averaged 15.7 yards per catch, an amazing number for someone of that size. He should be an even bigger part of Carolina's passing game this season. The team will excel if it can develop a possession-type downfield target.

Junior Jacque Lewis (5'10", 184 lbs.) showed some promise as 2002's lead UNC running back. He didn't get a lot of touches (since the Tar Heels were frequently forced to play catch-up, and, accordingly, ignored their running game), but Lewis still averaged 4.4 yards-per-carry. He has deceptive speed and can be an impact receiver coming out of the backfield. But North Carolina has to commit to this offensive dimension if it is to improve 2002 average of just over 100 yards-per-game. He will perform if tapped. Chad Scott has provided a challenge to Lewis' starting job in Spring ball. Scott is a third team freshman All-American transfer from Kentucky. He sat out 2002, but look for him to eventually emerge as the team's focus for their running future. Wait, there is more good news for their quickly-recovering ground arsenal.

Fullback is an underdeveloped position at Chapel Hill. Accordingly, we prognosticate that transfer Rikki Cook (New Jersey's 2000 Gatorade Player of the Year) needs to emerge (after sitting out 2002.) He is a sprinter in a fullback's body, a position he played well in prep ball. The team needs both a FB and a running game - Rikki should solve both dilemmas with his ability to make defenses look his way. But he is so far untapped in anything the Tar Heels are doing in Spring scrimmages. If they can figure out how to get him some action, he will somehow be key in carrying the team to running success, either smacking head-to-head with some unsuspecting LB on a lead block, or carrying the ball. Probably both. But where is he? Coaching jobs will roll if the running game again chokes.

The offensive line could improve over last season and still not be all that great. The Heels finished with a starting line consisting of one junior, three sophomores, and a freshman (only two months past his 18th birthday.) Inexperience was obviously a factor in their struggles, but it does not totally explain allowing 46 sacks and managing only three yards per rushing attempt. None of the returning starters weigh less than 280 pounds. C Jason Brown (junior) and G Kyle Ralph (sophomore) are considered to be the best of the group - Brown could be the best center in the ACC. They will need to hasten their unit's development and lead their teammates toward marked improvement for Carolina to even be competitive. Durant's experience and a bevy of quality backs should help them along, too.


TE Bobby Blizzard


Returning Starters in bold
QB Darian Durant-Jr C.J. Stephens-Sr
FB Madison Hedgecock-Jr Rikki Cook-So
TB Jacque Lewis-Jr Willie Parker-Sr
WR Derrele Mitchell-So Danny Rumley-So
WR Brandon Russell-Sr Jarwarski Pollock-Jr
TE Bobby Blizzard-Sr John Dunn-Jr
OT Willie McNeill-Jr Drew Hunter-So
OG Kyle Ralph-So Jupiter Wilson-Sr
C Jason Brown-Jr Steven Bell-So
OG Jeb Terry-Sr David Marrazo-Sr
OT Skip Seagraves-Jr Chris Woods-Fr
K Dan Orner-Sr ..



written by James Johnson

When a defense gives up over 32 points and over 200 yards rushing per tilt, there are not many good things to surmise. Injuries devastated the Tar Heels' defense last season, with four veteran starters down for the count by the end of the year. The experience their replacements gained was often painful to watch, but should pay dividends in 2003. There was even one three-game stretch late in the season where Carolina gave up 47 points per game, so improvements are needed in all areas.

Not much of that was S Dexter Reid's fault. Reid led the Tar Heels with over 150 tackles, and is regarded as one of the best safties in the nation (3rd team NationalChamps.net All-American). He is strong on pass coverage with deceptive closing speed, and also a big hitter - a rare combination in a collegiate defensive back.

But the rest of the DBs have to utilize their speed to improve on a mere six INTs. The return of CB Waddell should help. His broken leg has not hampered his quickness as evident throughout Spring ball. But this is their best returning defensive unit, so UNC has to work forward with regards to what they can rely on with any confidence.

The defense had accumulated only 14 sacks in their first 11 games before Duke's offensive line collapsed and gave up seven in Carolina's season ending victory. The Tar Heels were also only credited with six quarterback hurries, meaning that opposing quarterbacks could enjoy coffee and a roll before throwing the ball.

With only one projected starter on the defensive line weighing in at over 265 pounds, the Tar Heels defense will spend a lot of time being pushed around by any team with a decent running game, which includes most of the ACC for 2003. An eighth man in the box seems like it will be a regular occurrence. Sophomores DE Tommy Davis and DT Kendall High are Carolina's best hopes for improved DL play. Both started and took their lumps. But enough new blood and talent is there for this unit to overcome allowing 4.8 yards-per-rush. The Tar Heels need some punishment out of them this year. The big guys up front will also have a new position coach. Brad Lawing comes to Chapel Hill after helping Michigan State to the top of many Big Ten defensive statistics in 1999 and 2000.

Carolina's LBs are very small. Among those likely to see extensive playing time this season, sophomore Jeff Longhany is the only player listed at over 240. Doug Justice, a starter as a redshirt freshman, was the closest thing to an impact player Carolina had on the front seven. Justice should develop into a force with another year in the weight room (and on the field) under his belt.


CB Michael Waddell


Returning Starters in bold
DE Jocques Dumas-Jr Kendall High-So
DT Donti Coats-Sr Jonas Seawright-Jr
DT Chase Page-Jr Mickey Rice-Fr
DE Tommy Davis-So Alden Blizzard-Fr
SLB Clarence Gaddy-Jr Melik Brown-Fr
MLB Doug Justice-So Devllen Bullard-Jr
WLB Clay Roberson-Sr Jeff Longhany-So
CB Derrick Johnson-Sr Cedrick Holt-So
CB Michael Waddell-Sr Chris Hawkins-Jr
SS Michael Harris-Sr Tommy Richardson-So / Mahlon Carey-So
FS Dexter Reid-Sr Chris Curry-Jr
P John Lafferty-Sr Paul Roberts-Sr




Carolina's place kicking duties are in good hands/feet of Dan Orner. Orner, a senior, had an amazing game at Syracuse converting three attempts from beyond the 50-yard line. Overall, he converted on 8-of-11 kicks and made all 24 of his extra-points. Senior Torpher Roberts will again handle kickoffs. He has a very strong leg as he demonstrated in the Heels trip to Arizona State with five touchbacks on five kicks in the desert air.

Senior John Lafferty will again handle the punting chores. He kicked to a mediocre average of 36.5, but his hang time is adequate. UNC is going to need more than 31 net yards when they punt, or this weaker part could offset any superiority the return game may provide.

Sophomore Wallace Wright will return kickoffs again. He had plenty of opportunities on a team that allowed 421 points. Jarwarski Pollock earned the punt return job late in 2002 and showed the promise of becoming a dangerous weapon. His speed (4.3 in the 40 at Spring drills), especially the fear he creates in just his first step, should be the difference in a game or two.


True freshman Ronnie McGill rushed for 104 yards in his Kenan Stadium debut on Saturday to lead the White team to a 21-10 victory over the Blue team in North Carolina's annual spring football game.

McGill and quarterback C.J. Stephens, who completed 11 of 17 passes for 113 yards, led the White team offense, while sophomore cornerback Cedrick Holt added an interception for the White defense.

"Throughout the entire spring, we [the offense] had the edge over the defense," Durant said. "They came out today fighting and they fought to win. I was very surprised at the way they played."

Rushing (att-yards)
Ronnie McGill 24-104
Chad Scott 5-13
Jacque Lewis 6-33
Willie Parker 10-52
Jarwarski Pollock 2-6
Drayton Henderson 1-1
Andre' Williams 1-1

Passing (comp-att-int, yards, TD)
Darian Durant 9-19-0, 115 yards
C.J. Stephens 11-17-1, 113 yards
Matt Baker 7-16-0, 68 yards, 1 TD
Landon Mariani, 1-4, 3 yards
Tom O'Leary 1-2, 24 yards

Defensive Leaders
Jeff Longhany 8 solo, 3 assists
Devllen Bullard, 5 solo, 1 assist
Rashaad Tindall, 5 solo, 1 assist
Melik Brown, 5 solo, 1 assist
Tommy Richardson, 6 solo
Cedrick Holt, 5 solo, 1 INT