Meanwhile, in Chapel Hill…

I’m pretty sure people are starting to notice that North Carolina’s defense this year is loaded.

Not that I put much stock in Todd McShay’s projections, but he’s got FIVE Tar Heel defenders listed as possible first round picks in next year’s NFL draft.

They are:  Defensive end Robert Quinn, outside linebacker Bruce Carter, defensive tackle Marvin Austin, safety Deunta Williams and inside linebacker Quan Sturdivant.

Even if these five never make it into the first round, it is still remarkable to have them all being discussed as presumptive high picks in the same draft.  No doubt, Butch Davis has done a remarkable job recruiting on that side of the ball.  This defense–one of the best to ever come out of the ACC?–should keep the Tar Heels in every game and enable them to improve upon last season’s eight wins.

Alas, if North Carolina displayed any hint of dynamism on offense, we might be talking about more lofty aspirations…

Quan Sturdivant has a cool name…which means he should be a high NFL draft pick

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About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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6 Responses to Meanwhile, in Chapel Hill…

  1. David April 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    I just saw your Heisman watchlist from last year. C’mon man, I know you don’t like FSU, but to not include Christian Ponder was criminal.

    In his 9 games last year, he threw for 68.8% completion percentage(2nd highest of any BCS Conference QB). His total yds per gm average was 322. He threw for 395 yards with 3 TD’s against that vaunted UNC Defense last year. FSU was a top-10 offense before he got hurt because of him. And put the cherry on top, he’s a senior with a bachelor’s degree and is working on his MBA.

    The reason FSU was 7-6 was not because of their offense, but because their defense was one of the top 5 worst in the country last year. They added Mark Stoops as their coach and their defense will be vastly improved, so 9-10 wins would not be unexpected. And I remember you saying you didn’t like Jimbo Fisher as FSU’s new coach because the team hadn’t done well in the last few years while he was head-coach-in-waiting. Fisher at best was 4th in seniority with the coaches so to assign the blame to him for the team’s failures the last few years is unfair.

  2. HP April 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    I’m not sure I’ve ever written anything that would make one think i was anti-FSU. Now, I have spent some time ridiculing and lamenting FSU’s decline this last decade under an aging Bowden, but it’s not indicative of any hatred of the institution or program.

    As for Ponder, while it’s true I haven’t been particularly impressed by him, let’s not write him off of my preseason list yet, as my current lists are just preliminary and very early. I will naturally take him into account when I do my official preseason Heisman rankings.

  3. Ed Newman May 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    I like Ponder and I think he’ll probably put Heisman type stats together in his senior year. I just don’t think FSU is going to win enough games for him to be considered anything but a long shot.

    Chances are that FSU will be underdogs to Oklahoma, Miami, and Florida. They have very losable games to Clemson, BYU, North Carolina, Wake and BC as well. I’ll be surprised if they finish the season with fewer than 3 losses. I won’t be shocked if they finish with 5 losses. Gonna be tough to be a Heisman winner unless FSU is much better than expectations.

  4. David May 4, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Ed Newman,

    The only reason FSU would be an underdog against Oklahoma is because the game is in Norman. Oklahoma has Landry, who is less experienced than Ponder and a chunk of Sooners went to the NFL.

    FSU lost to Miami on the last play of the game. Though FSU is on the road for this game, the last 4 winners of this game has been the road team.

    FSU will be facing a first time starter in UF’sJohn Brantley. UF has lost most of their team to the NFL. This game will be in Tallahassee. First time starter + lots of new starters + game in tallahassee = FSU win

    Clemson – FSU lost to them last yr because Ponder had broken ribs and he eventually broke his shoulder in the game as well. This years game is in Tallahasee and Clemson has no CJ Spiller and Jacoby Ford. FSU will be favored

    BYU – FSU beat them by almost 30 points last year and the game was AT PROVO. This year the game is in Tallahassee and BYU doesn’t have Max Hall and Dennis Pitta. FSU will be favored.

    UNC – Ponder threw for almost 400 yards against them and beat them AT CHAPEL HILL. This years game is in Tallahassee. FSU will be favored.

    Wake – FSU beat Wake last year AT WAKE without Christian Ponder. This years game will be in Tallahassee with Ponder. FSU will be favored.

    BC – FSU lost by 3 points and the game was IN BOSTON. This years game will be in Tallahssee. FSU will be favored

    Heisman Pundit, Ponder hit 70 percent of his passes and threw for at least 250 yards in eight of nine games played last season. Have you even seen him play?

  5. Glen May 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    You gotta love optimism.

  6. Amy May 5, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    Please use this page as the Case Keenum Heisman page … this was created by the University during the middle of the 2009 season. Much of the facebook stuff is fan-generated and has nothing to do with the University.

    http://www.uhcougars.com/casekeenum/intro.html