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The UNC secondary, with the help of newcomers, now has some speed to back up its confidence
effective," he said. "It's a very unsel
fish, hard-working, technique-oriented
Gash, a 6-2, 220-pound sophomore
who played on back-up and special
teams last season, will be expected
to take charge on the field this year,
"I feel really comfortable with
outside linebacker," Gash said. T
understand the concept of the posi
tion." Starting at inside linebacker will
be Hollier, a 6-2, 235-pound sopho
more, and true freshman Thigpen.
They will be backed up by junior
Timmons, who was sidelined with a
leg injury last spring, and senior John
Reed, who has started at outside line
backer for the last two seasons.
In his freshman season Hollier led
the Tar Heel squad in tackles, with
70, and hits, with 117. Torbush said
Kick Off The fear WM
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Hollier has made considerable im
provement since his rookie year.
"I feel really good about Dwight
right now," he said. "He's a hard
worker and he has a chance to be an
outstanding ball player."
"I'd just like to contribute to the
team in a way that will help us to be
the best team we can be," Hollier
The surprise on the defensive line
up is Thigpen. "He reminds me of
Dwight, but probably a little bit
faster," Thompson said.
The inside linebackers' youth could
work fn their favor, as is the case,
with the entire defense. There are eight
underclassmen starting defensively.
Torbush said the defensive out
look should brighten considerably this
"In my mind, at no time last year
were we as good as we are right now,"
9 3HUE 9 3J1UE ? 3I1UE 9
No Rush Service
from page 13
Some strengths of the lineback
ers, Timmons said, are quickness and
lateral running, but the Tar Heels'
second line of defense is not as con
sistent as it would like to be. But this
group has worked hard to improve
on last season's effort.
"The inside and outside lineback
ers know where to drop more than
last year," Timmons said. "You won't
see too many passes dropping be
If their athletic ability and aggres
sive attitude are any indication, the
Tar Heel linebackers should meet their
own and their coaches' high expec
tations for an outstanding season.
"They're young, eager to learn,
and very anxious to play," Thompson
said. "This is the best collective group
of guys I've seen."
are returning lettermen Carl Watts
and David Boon at center, Brian
Bollinger and Deems May at tight
end, and fifth-year sensation Pat
Crowley at guard (see story, page 8).
The vacated tackle positions will
be filled by two inexperienced but
capable players. Gone. are starters
Darrell Hamilton and Creighton In
corminias. Now vying for the top roles
are Oberg and junior transfer Kevin
Donnalley. Depth may be a problem
with junior Bill Boyd as the top
backup on both sides.
Watts, shifted from guard, can do
a solid job at center. With more game
experience at this spot, he may de
velop into one of the top centers in
the ACQ Boon saw limited action
last year behind graduated All-ACC
player Jeff Gamica and is back in
reserve this season.
Tight end is a center of uncer
tainty for the Tar Heels. Bollinger,
with experience as the number three
By JAY REED
Assistant Sports Editor
As an old saying goes, the best
offense is a good defense.
For North Carolina's youthful 1989
gridiron group, defense will be an
integral part of the team's success.
Leading the stalwart force on the other
side of the snap will be a relatively
inexperienced but excited defensive
"Collectively they have 13 var
sity college football game starts un
der their belt," said secondary coach
Vince Hoch, "and six of them are
Doxie Jordan, and he's out this week."
But the lack of experience might
just surprise some opposing quarter
backs. The group that always gets talked
about last in a football discussion (and
media guides for that matter) will get
an early opportunity to shine and gain
some deserved acclaim.
The newest members of this blos
soming secondary are Torin Dom and
Dom, a 6-1 , 202-pound senior from
Southfield, Mich., flip-flops from a
well-established place in the offen
sive backfield to a projected starting
position at left cornerback. The for
mer tailback has already been picked
. in some polls to be a pre-season All
Atlantic Coast Conference defender.
Clark also moved across the line
of scrimmage to secure a place in the
defensive backfield. The 6-1, 212
pound junior from Charlotte left a
wide receiver post to take over as
For both Clark and Dorn, defen
sive experience is lacking, but their
enthusiasm and athleticism will be a
well-needed addition to the back.
"Reggie's very versatile and Torin
has natural ability with his speed and
quickness," said senior secondary
reserve Larry Whiteside.
The other two proposed starters
will be Doxie Jordan and Clarence
Jordan, a 5-11, 179-pound free
safety, started the 1988 season at
cornerback, but, because of Dorn's
conversion, the Hampton, Va., sopho
more returned to the position he played
in high school.
Because of a recent motorcycle
injury, however, Jordan will be un
able to start in the season opener
man in 1988, will most likely start.
He is a fine blocker despite seeing
minimal playing time last year. May
shifted here from quarterback after
spring workouts, and Craig Brown, a
red-shirt freshman, will be top backup.
Inexperience is a problem at all
positions on the offensive line
except right guard. Crowley is inar
guably one of the most skilled line
men in the nation. He is a three-year
starter and two-time All-ACC selec
tion, and ranks now as a top All
America candidate. His fine spring
performance has created an expecta
tion of excellence for his final year
as a Tar Heel.
Millen, at left guard, has enough
potential to fill the slot and should
prove an indispensable addition to
the starting lineup.
Due to age and accomplishment,
Crowley is the motivator on the team.
And he has become a special inspira
tion to Millen. Millen. finds himself
against VMI. In his place will proba
bly be true-freshman Rondell Jones,
a 6-3 190-pounder from Sunderland,
Md., who defensive back coach Vince
Hoch has very high hopes for.
Carter, a 5-11, 190-pound senior
out of Toledo, Ohio, was used in a
reserve role for the 1988 season and
will bolt in to position as starting
right cornerback for '89.
The secondary is being praised by
the coaching staff as well as spouting
an abundance of confidence them
selves. "I think the sky's the limit (for the
secondary)," said Hoch, a 19-year
veteran of college coaching. "I'm
optimistic about their ability. I'm
optimistic about their enthusiasm."
Dorn, who has the potential to
become an all-star in just one season,
decrees that the secondary utilized
the spring practices to obtain essen
tial team work for its '89 opponents.
"The secondary we have right now
went through the spring together, and
I think we built some kind of bond .
between us," Dorn said. "We have a
certain feel for each other right now,
and we have a whole lot more confi
dence than maybe some of our guys
had last season."
But, what is the key to their suc
cess? "Last year (the coaching staff) just
sat back and let us play, but this year
they have given us a definite role,"
And what is that role?
"Making big plays early in the
season," Whiteside said.
For players like Jordan and White
side, it will be to hold together an
untested group of athletes and be role
models for the younger players.
And, for Clark and Dom, their
role will be to insert a spark into a
part of the UNC team that has not
been around in a long time.
"I just have to go out there and
give 110 (percent)," Clark said.
"If we keep our intensity and con
fidence levels up and do some good
things right off the bat," Dom said,
"I think you'll see some good things
as the season goes along."
The role of the secondary is cru
cial to the Tar Heels' success in '89.
"They make or break any defense,
or any team for that matter," Hoch
from page 12
in the same position Crowley was in
three years ago. After a red-shirt year,
Millen will start at guard and play
opponents three and four years his
senior, Crowley is a stabilizing force
for the young starter.
"I try not to let anything faze me,"
Millen said. "I have to look to Pat I
worry about stuff like that. Pat may
not think so but I do. He knows he's
the leader on the squad and off the
field. I try to model myself after him."
If all the new starters gain neces
sary experience this season, then Tar
Heel fans can expect a continued
legacy of greatness on the offensive
line. They may not have to wait long
for results, either. According to
Millen, "The offensive linemen won't
be considered pansies this year. We're
going to be good." Chalk one up for