Monday, August 31, 2009

Tar Heels depth chart for The Citadel

North Carolina released its two-deep chart for Saturday's opener against The Citadel (6 p.m.). There were few surprises but among the highlights:

• Sophomore Zach Brown will get the starting nod at weakside linebacker over freshman Kevin Reddick. Brown, the hero of timing day with a 4.28 in the 40, played primarily on special teams last season.

Reddick enrolled in January but missed spring practice with mononucleosis. Coach Butch Davis said Reddick will play significant snaps on Saturday.

• Junior Greg Little and sophomore Dwight Jones are listed as the starters at receiver, where Davis said as many as five players will see action on Saturday. Junior Johnny White and freshman Joshua Adams are listed as the backups.

Redshirt freshman Todd Harrelson, freshman Jheranie Boyd (Ashbrook High) and freshman Erik Highsmith are also in the mix.

• There's an "or" at backup quarterback between sophomore Mike Paulus and redshirt freshman Braden Hanson (Charlotte Latin). Either Paulus, who started one game last season, has lost ground or Hanson has gained ground.

There's no pre-scripted plan for either to play against The Citadel, Davis said.

• He's not on the two-deep but freshman A.J. Blue (North Gaston High) turned heads in training camp. He will likely be the third running back used, behind Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston (Butler High) and ahead of Jamal Womble. He could also be used to return kicks and, according to T.J. Yates, he has the strongest arm of anyone on the team.

• As expected redshirt freshman Jonathan Cooper will start at left guard and junior Da'Norris Searcy will start at strong safety. Cooper replaces Aaron Stahl and Searcy replaces Trimane Goddard, a pair of starters from last season. Cooper and Searcy were penciled in after the spring and held their respective spots.

• Junior walk-on Trase Jones has a unique double-duty. Jones is the holder and the backup kicker. Jones also returned punts last season. Casey Barth, a sophomore, is the only scholarship kicker on the roster with Jay Wooten's decision to transfer this summer.

-- J.P. Giglio