It’s finally that time.  GAME WEEK! 

No more long days/weeks of training camp at the football facility (including, if you were lucky, naps you might be able to catch by hiding in any available dark spot in the facility), coaches on your back 24 hours a day, waking up to the 5:30 am bullhorn, uncomfortable dorm living arrangements (although not for this year’s team that stayed at the Aloft hotel for training camp…I never thought I would be so jealous in my life), or being locked away from civilization as we know it. 

When you are locked-up in training camp, your normal everyday life is snatched away from you and your primary focus is solely on getting better as a team and as a player.  When you can muster the strength or find some down time, another important priority is to joke around with and forge new bonds and friendships with your 120 teammates.  These are the guys that you are going into the “Arena” with on the football field and who will become your brothers off the field and in the game of life. 

We are now a mere 48 hours away from kicking off with Elon and for a lot of these guys it will be like getting back on a bicycle and, for some, the jitters will be at an all-time high.  The anticipation and build up to that first kickoff to the season is unlike any feeling a player can have.  I wish there was a way to bottle it up — it’s something that I miss every year around this time, and if you ask anyone who has laced it up at any level, they are probably going to tell you the same thing. 

There is nothing like college football, especially in the South.
Carolina Football fans are very excited to see this new era of Carolina Football begin under the leadership of Larry Fedora and the era of Butch Davis finally coming to a close.  With Coach Fedora and his staff’s high flying “basketball on grass” type offense and attack style 4-2-5 defense, he is the right man that this team and University needs to take this program where all Carolina fans want it to be – to first win the Coastal Division on a consistent basis and then win the ACC to play in a BCS bowl. 

Yes, this can happen with this man at the helm; I truly believe it can be executed with the support of the UNC community and its fan base.  As funny as this may seem, Saturday will be an important step in moving that ball forward.  Fans want to support this program and rally around these young men (they are not kids) and this new staff, and I believe they are going to get it done in an impressive way. 

There are several reasons to be excited about what we’re going to see this year.  As a former offensive lineman, I believe it all starts up front and with an O line that has been ranked in the top 5 nationally by several major publications, this unit is led by preseason All-American Jonathan Cooper and Future NFL 1st day prospect James Hurst and will lead the charge out of the gates.  They will be opening holes for preseason ACC-Player of the Year candidate Gio Bernard as well as protecting our gun slinging, fiery quarterback Bryn Renner. 

On the other side of the ball, we have a true leader at linebacker to lead this year’s defense in Kevin Reddick.  When all is said and done, there is a lot to be excited about in Kenan Stadium this year!
Come early, tailgate, enjoy beautiful Chapel Hill and all it has to offer, be obnoxious, be loud and stay late. 

Also, “understand that if you go up to get a drink, you just missed a Tar Heel touchdown.” – Coach Fedora.

Let’s get ready for a new and exciting era of Carolina Football to begin!