WR/KR/PR Brandon Tate

2006 Statistics

Coach: Butch Davis
1st year
2006 Record: 3-9
at Clemson LOST 7-52
at Miami FL LOST 7-27
at Virginia LOST 0-23
at Notre Dame LOST 26-45
at Duke WON 45-44

2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

The need for improvements here has been apparent during the recent five-year skid of non-winning seasons. The coaching changes seem long overdue for this venerable program, and they made a good choice on head honchos with Butch Davis, the man who rebuilt the Miami program after their infamous probation of the ‘90’s and then left for the NFL (Cleveland), giving the keys to Larry Coker to win the title in his first year with a Davis-built team. The coordinators both seem like excellent fits, and the talent here appears capable, ala Wake Forest last year coming out of nowhere, of possibly competing for their ACC half. Predictably, not much of the offense was unveiled during spring ball, but we know that with new signal callers, new backs and new schemes, it would be wise to learn to walk before they try to fly. The first two games offer warm up time to get their feet wet this way before the competition level rises. For only having seven starters back, the defense is surprisingly stacked with size, speed and a hunger that has them playing more like a cohesive group rather than like the isolated individuals they have seemed to be the last few years. Defense is the strength of Davis, and the potential of this much talent is what could turn UNC quickly into a force. Like in many coaches’ first year(s) with a rebounding team, Davis has to take the adjustments in stride and not lose site of the longterm rebuilding efforts when wins don’t come so easily. A losing record could just as easily be in the cards for the Heels as a bowl-worthy performance. Regardless, the foundation will be laid so that each upcoming year will incrementally bring the winning tradition back to Kenan Stadium.

Projected 2007 record: 3-9
QB - 2.5 DL - 3
RB - 2.5 LB - 3
WR - 3.5 DB - 3
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Joe Dailey, 112-195-10, 1316 yds., 7 TD

Rushing: Justin Warren, 7 att., 77 yds., 1 TD

Receiving: Hakeem Nicks, 39 rec., 660 yds., 4 TD

Scoring: Connor Barth, 10-10 FG, 24-26 PAT, 54 pts.

Punting: John Choate, 2 punts, 41.0 avg.

Kicking: Connor Barth, 10-10 FG, 24-26 PAT, 54 pts.

Tackles: Durell Mapp, 87 tot., 54 solo

Sacks: Hilee Taylor, 3 sacks

Interceptions: Chase Rice, 1 for 0 yds.; Quinton Person, 1 for 0 yds.

Kickoff returns: Brandon Tate, 38 ret., 23.7 avg., 2 TD

Punt returns: Brandon Tate, 20 ret., 9.7 avg., 1 TD


DE Hilee Taylor
OFFENSE: Jesse Holley-WR, Brian Chacos-OT, Charlston Gray-OG, Jon Hamlett-TE, Ronnie McGill-RB, Barrington Edwards-RB
DEFENSE: Brian Rackley-DE, Shelton Bynum-DT, Larry Edwards-LB, Victor Worsley-LB, Jacoby Watkins-CB, D.J. Walker-FS, Kareen Taylor-SS, David Wooldridge-P

John Shoop is the guy coach Davis trusts to hold his offensive reigns. All of his prior stops reflect vast improvements soon after his arrival, but most of those were in the professional ranks. Still before any real game snaps, the offense does seem to be better disciplined (physically and mentally) and also seems to be that much tighter in the execution of their entirely new playbook. Some staffs would have their guys learn to walk before they run, but Davis & Shoop actually have the entire three-deep competent and ready to start, if need be (though how effectively is debatable). The speed and angles of the new schemes have ball-carriers making plays in open spaces. Important is the emergence of quarterback frontrunner T.J. Yates, a RS frosh who played only one year of prep ball. Cemented in the pocket as he delivers, Yates has embraced the new system with confidence, and his great spring game proves he has enough of a grasp on things to hold off Cameron Sexton and this year’s No.4 pro-style hurler Mike Paulus (unless Yates falters). Ex-Cornhusker QB Joe Dailey didn’t impress the new regime much with his mistake-prone résumé, but his move to receiver doesn’t preclude his arm’s viability for trick plays. Similarly, Yates’ history as a punter should keep foes focused when he is in on fourth-down. And if that isn’t enough, the “slash” nature of freshman Anthony Parker-Boyd (RB/WR/QB) will give defenders fits as they try to mark him and all of UNC’s offensive possibilities (we won’t even mention FB Bobby Rome and his worthy QB history). The wealth of the Tar Heel’s backfield weapons is exemplified by sophomore Richie Rich and his ability to explode quickly through fleeting holes without hesitation. In their by-committee approach (no one separated themselves enough during spring ball), prep phenom Tony Elzy seems like the toughest back of the bunch (nicknamed “the hammer” for crushing would-be tacklers) while Johnny White’s ankle surgery shouldn’t affect his speed come fall. Just exactly how the new formations employ and separate the roles of the H-back and tight end have yet to be seen as coaches kept as much as they could under wraps. Accordingly, Richard Quinn should wind up a pure TE with his downfield speed, as should 6’6 top-recruit Vince Jacobs. Springdale, Ark.-product (same as coach Davis) Zack Pianalto is that needed pure blocker, but even his presence doesn’t telegraph the play call with his decent hands. And speaking of decent hands, the receiving corps remains loaded with Brooks Foster and Hakeem Nicks returning. Along with these top two snarlers, soph Kenton Thorton has emerged and Brandon Tate has taken over the second starting slot with the selfless work ethic that accompanies his proven abilities (on returns). 6’5 Dwight Jones, this year’s No.4 national receiving recruit, has to see time with his potential. As we all know, none of this matters if the offensive line can’t block…luckily, this line only loses one starter, and the new face, left tackle Kyle Jolly, has proven ready. Athletic (ex-TE and DE) for his size, Jolly saw action as a true freshman and impressed enough to surge past the other redshirted newbies who now occupy the second team slots. The interior looks good - senior Scott Lenahan made the Rimington watch list at center, and Calvin Darity will hopefully again anchor every game from right guard. Ben Lemming’s return from shoulder problems that kept him out of spring would displace Garrett Reynolds or Jolly, but that would be a good problem to have – too many capable linemen. This unit should help elevate the running game to more than 3.6 yards per carry and earn the backs more than 12 ground scores. The overall speed and execution of what’s needed will take this offense time to master, but by mid-season, expect consistent production, the kind not seen in Chapel Hill in quite some time.


C Scott Lenahan


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB T.J. Yates-Fr (6-3, 205) Cameron Sexton-So (6-1, 190)
RB Richie Rich-So (5-9, 190) Johnny White-Fr (5-10, 190)
Anthony Elzy-Fr (5-10, 210)
HB Zack Pianalto-Fr (6-4, 215) Bobby Rome-So (5-11, 240)
WR Hakeem Nicks-So (6-1, 210) Kenton Thornton-So (6-4, 225)
WR Brandon Tate-Jr (6-1, 190) Joe Dailey-Sr (6-1, 205)
Brooks Foster-Jr (6-3, 200)
TE Richard Quinn-So (6-4, 235) Vince Jacobs-Fr (6-6, 225)
OT Kyle Jolly-So (6-6, 305) Andre Barbour-So (6-6, 298)
OG Ben Lemming-Jr (6-4, 295) Aaron Stahl-So (6-2, 290)
C Scott Lenahan-Sr (6-1, 290) Lowell Dyer-So (6-3, 270)
OG Calvin Darity-Jr (6-3, 295) Alan Pelc-Fr (6-6, 320)
OT Garrett Reynolds-Jr (6-7, 300) Wyatt Hicks-Jr (6-5, 270)
K Connor Barth-Sr (6-1, 190) ..



This side of the ball, especially the line, is coach Davis’s strength, and by getting Chuckie Pagano to coordinate (worked together in Miami), with Pagano’s specialty being DBs, it shouldn’t take too long before UNC has one of the leagues best stopping squads. The talent is stacked and awaiting their individual chance to impress, for nearly every position seems to have open competition until the right mix is found. The linemen have been working hard, none more than senior leader Kentwan Balmer. Balmer looks destined to live inside this fall, though, he has the speed off of either corner to slide out and cause mismatches. DT Kyndraus Guy is expected back from knee troubles by August, and the competition with Aleric Mullins, the rising sophomore who has proven ready to start, will only buoy the Heel’s No.100 run defense. This says nothing of how things will be shaken up upon the arrival of both the nation’s top tackle prospect, Marvin Austin (4.68 speed!), and four-star signee Tydreke Powell. Hilee Taylor has been competitive with Balmer all spring, trying to outwork his classmate and offer the kind of needed example for elevating the entire DL’s psyche. Able to pass rush as a standup end, Taylor can also drop back when needed, as can backup Garrett White, another converted LB. Greg Elleby seems to have bumped outside after competing at tackle, passing Darrius Massenburg for the other start there. Needless to say, there should be a full 60 minutes of effort given weekly from the men with the most Tarred Heels. Wesley Flagg is the rising star who now roams the middle with vengeance. One of four true freshmen to play at UNC in ’06, Flagg has unusual speed for his size and just needs to learn the new defensive schemes to reduce his reaction time. Senior Durell Mapp slides over after living in the middle in ’06, and as the team’s top tackler, expectations for the corps are rightfully high. Chase Rice proved his worth against Rutgers, helping to keep UNC close with his seven stops. Experienced depth affords Davis a formidable front seven that will surely earn more than 23 sacks and should keep foes from getting close to the 29 rushing TDs allowed last year. Pagano’s successes with Cane secondaries (1995-2000) offer a legitimate template for how he and Davis would like things to turn out, but with only one upperclassman (a junior) slated to start in coverage, their work is cut out. The duo of underclassmen starting at corner may have surged by Quinton Person, but the senior will be seen early and often as he teaches Strong and Burney the ropes. This is a deep unit that allows for their different packages to always have fresh legs. At safety, Trimane Goddard appears healthy after missing 2006 due to breaking the same foot twice. His INT in the spring game showed him at full speed. The rest of the youth, led by freshman strong safety Shaun Draughn, has more promise than experience, but we think that under this coaching staff, the entire secondary can turn into something that is worth much more than the sum of its parts. The same goes for the whole defense. The balance of youth and experience has many new faces, a factor which will be of benefit with all of the new looks being employed and the new attitude that has emerged after the old crew finished 92nd for total effort. SWARM!!!


LB Durell Mapp


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Hilee Taylor-Sr (6-3, 241) Garrett White-Jr (6-2, 235)
DT Kentwan Balmer-Sr (6-5, 288) Camaron Thomas-So (6-3, 315)
DT Aleric Mullins-So (6-3, 285) Tavares Brown-So (6-0, 275)
DE Greg Elleby-Fr (6-4, 260) Darius Powell-Fr (6-2, 220)
LB Durell Mapp-Sr (6-2, 225) Martel Thatch-Sr (6-2, 215)
LB Wesley Flagg-So (6-0, 215) Mark Paschal-Jr (6-0, 225)
LB Chase Rice-Jr (6-3, 215) Bruce Carter-Fr (6-3, 210)
CB Kendric Burney-Fr (5-9, 175) Kendric Williams-Sr (5-11, 190)
CB Jermaine Strong-So (5-10, 185) Quinton Person-Sr (5-11, 185)
SS Shaun Draughn-Fr (6-0, 195) Bryan Dixon-So (5-11, 205)
FS Trimane Goddard-Jr (5-11, 192) Deunta Williams-Fr (6-2, 195)
P Terrence Brown-Jr (6-3, 190) John Choate-Sr (6-2, 190)




Kicker Conner Barth still looks as automatic this year as he did in going 10-for-10 last year (with a long of 54 yards). “With the exception of death and taxes, he's about the most sure thing I've seen in a long time," says coach. Terrance Brown is the JUCO-transfer who should give a kick in the pants to what was a marginal-looking punting dimension. Junior Brandon Tate returned three to the house last year, and the threat he poses cannot be ignored by foes on any kick/punt.