By Gray Gardner.
TheClemsonInsider.com continues or series on the ACC following spring practice. In this edition we discuss coach Davis’ thoughts about North Carolina.
Butch Davis is looking for more depth at running back this fall.
The Tar Heels return their leading rusher from 2009 at the position, Ryan Houston. Houston redshirted last year due to the NCAA investigation in Chapel Hill. But Davis isn’t willing to put the offensive load on Houston’s shoulders alone. Instead, he hopes to have a stable of running backs at his disposal.
“You have to have a stable of running backs,” he said. “If you’re going to have seventy-five to eighty-five reps and forty of those are runs, you’re going to have plenty of downs to have a second guy in there getting reps.”
Davis said he always rotated running backs when he coached at Miami (FL), even when he had stars like Clinton Portis.
“I don’t know if I even want to have one guy that I say, ‘This guy is getting ninety-five percent of the reps,’” Davis said. “I think it’s a detriment to the kid.”
Besides Houston, Davis will look for Hunter Furr, Giovani Bernard and Travis Riley to contribute at the position – all young players with relatively no experience.
–Bryn Renner has been tagged as Carolina’s starting quarterback for 2011. Davis said Renner has been studying film from last year’s starter TJ Yates, as well as film from several NFL quarterbacks.
“We’re optimistic that he’s going to do a good job,” Davis said. “But he will certainly be challenged as far experience goes.”
–Butch Davis is worried about his depth on defense.
“I think our depth is questionable, honestly,” he said. “We’ve had some injuries, guys have had off-season surgeries.”
Davis said that it’s too early to tell if it will continue to be an issue come August camp. For now, his off-season priority is getting guys ready to play.
“We’ve got to get some guys well and continue to grow some of those guys.”