Monday, August 22, 2011

Ter Heel notes: Barth comfortable from 55

CHAPEL HILL – Last season, North Carolina’s Casey Barth proved he could make the big kicks when his team needed them the most – booting, for example, a game-tyer, then game-winner, against Tennessee in the Music City Bowl.

Now, the fourth-year starter wants to prove he make the long ones, too.

Barth, a senior from Wilmington, spent the offseason working to get more distance on his kickoffs and field goals, trying to show the coaches that he can kick the latter farther his career high of 49 yards. As a result, interim head coach Everett Withers has allowed him to practice from longer distances during training camp.

The result: “I really am comfortable from 53, 54, 55 … and if my coaches aren’t yet, I hope they’re getting there,’’ Barth said.

The difference, he added, is confidence. Last year, he never practiced kicking much longer than 50 yards, and because of that, he questioned whether he really did have the leg for it. “But this year, they’re pushing me and I’m pushing myself to get comfortable,’’ he said. “And that’s helped me add probably 3, 4 yards to what I could do last year.”

It helps that he has a couple of veterans around him; snapper Mark House and holder Trase Jones are both seniors, “and I feel lucky that we’ve been together for so long … because we all take pride in a big kick, because we’re all part of it,’’ Barth said.

He’s also been aided by working out with older brother Connor, a UNC alum who is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Casey needs only five more field goals to move past his brother into first place on UNC’s all-time list: “We both do sort of keep track, but I think that competition spurs me on, too.”

Withers said that Barth has become one of the leaders of the team, and is excited to see what he can do this year after making 19 of 22 field goals last season, and making 71 straight extra points dating back to 2009.

Thus far this training camp Barth said, the longest field goal he has made is 49 yards – but he can go longer. “I tried one from 54 and it hit the upright,’’ he said. “So they [the coaches] know I have the leg for it, I just have to get it more on target.”

MCADOO NOT DRAFTED: Former defensive end Michael McAdoo, who the NCAA ruled permanently ineligible because of academic misconduct, was not selected in Monday’s NFL supplemental draft.

He is now eligible to sign with a team as a free agent. McAdoo filed a lawsuit in July against the NCAA and the school, which is ongoing. Ai judge denied the player’s request to be reinstated for his senior season with the Tar Heels.

KEEPING HYDRATED: Withers and roughly 10 players went to some near-by dorms over the weekend to pass out Gatorade to students moving in.

“That was a neat experience,’’ Withers said. “You get on campus, you get away from this building, and you meet some of the new students on campus. I tell you what, it was great, the support that we got.

BRIEFLY: Withers said Monday he has awarded scholarships to five walk-ons: running back Matt Kolojejchick, receiver Mark McNeill, defensive end Adam Curry, offensive lineman Peyton Jenest and defensive back Pete Mangum. … Tailbacks Ryan Houston (shoulder) and Gio Bernard (hand) continued to practice in non-contact jerseys Monday.

-- Robbi Pickeral


Anonymous said...

ter heels?

Anonymous said...

Must be a UNC grad writing - Ter Heels.

The academics are astounding at the Ter Heels school.

Anonymous said...

the type set is more likely a ncsu
grad. So airheads will have some-
thing to do.