Tuesday, March 27, 2012

UNC's T.J. Thorpe up for Johnny 'The Jet' Rodgers Award

North Carolina's T.J. Thorpe is a finalist for a new college football award named after Nebraska Heisman Trophy winner Johnny "The Jet" Rodgers. The award will be given to the nation's top return specialist.

Rodgers won the Heisman in 1972 and is regarded as one of the top punt and kick returners in college football history.

The winner for the 2011 award will be selected by Rodgers and announced Thursday. He said national media members will be enlisted to select future winners.

Joining Thorpe as 2011 finalists are Arkansas' Joe Adams, Texas A&M's Dustin Harris and Louisiana State's Tyrann Mathieu.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

UNC spring football game information, Charlotte scrimmage

CHAPEL HILL — A couple of quick North Carolina spring football tidbits for you on this Wednesday:

First: UNC’s spring football game will be April 14 at 3 p.m. at Kenan Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.com, and admission is free. Some more information:

--There will be a pregame “Street-fest” on Stadium Drive, with live music from Liquid Pleasure and Chase Rice, a former UNC linebacker who’s now a country music artist.

--Stadium Drive will be blocked off from South Road to Gate 2 of Kenan Stadium. Amid that stretch will be food vendors, merchandise tents and interactive games.

--There will also be an autograph session with coaches and players. Stay tuned for a complete schedule at some point soon.

Second: UNC will host an open scrimmage in Charlotte on April 5 at Mallard Creek High at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, and there will be some Bojangles food available for purchase.

Said UNC coach Larry Fedora, in a statement: “I’m excited about the opportunity to take the Carolina football team to Charlotte for an open scrimmage. We are reaching out to our fans and alums in the Charlotte area and encouraging them to get a first-hand look at our football team.

“Charlotte has always been an important area for Carolina athletics in many aspects.”

The Rams Club and the UNC athletic department will host a football tailgate at 5 p.m. at Mallard Creek High, and Fedora will make an appearance there. Parking is free.

-Andrew Carter