Can you feel that sensation in the air? No I’m not talking about the sleet/freezing rain pelting you. I’m talking about the sensation of spring football. It’s a great tease for us football fans until college football goes into hibernation. So with that lets talk a little bit about some keys to UNT having a successful spring football campaign.
Stay Healthy- One key to last year’s run to a great season was the fact that they key components stayed healthy. I want to see UNT go hard and be aggressive in the spring, but I’d like for those key guys to keep their health. To me it’s the most important thing this spring.
Establish Leaders- UNT had a core group of leaders last year with its seniors. No one can ever underestimate what they did for the program. Now UNT will need a new group of leaders to make its mark.
Develop Defensive Line Depth- Same story different year. This year UNT is replacing 4 guys who started games last year and they are replacing production. The key to UNT’s success is largely based on their ability to control the opponents run game and that all starts with the big guys up front.
Find Separation at QB- I know some people may believe that this should be number 1 on the list. Well, I’m not one of those guys. I don’t think there will be a starter named coming out of spring practice. I’m completely okay with that because I think each one of the guys who is battling for the job will need extra practice. What I’m hoping is that the list is cut down to a competition of 2 guys for the starting job.
Get New Coaches Acquainted– UNT had to replace 3 solid coaches this offseason. Luckily Coach MaCarney has strong contacts in the football coaching realm and was able to replace those guys with 3 quality candidates (Kevin Patrick, Perry Carter, LaMarcus Hick). These guys have some big tasks ahead of them this offseason. They need to get acquainted with the rest of the staff, their position players, and the recruiting trail.
Just as a reminder what UNT is trying to replace from last year alone:
QB- 3053 total yards; 19 total tds;
RB- 1146 total yards; 11 total tds
WR/TE- 3049 all purpose yards; 14 total tds; over 60 % of total targets for passes
OL- 13 starts
DL- 107 tackles; 25 TFL; 19 sacks; 14 QB hurries; 2 FF
LB- 202 tackles; 18 TFL; 4 sacks; 3 QB Hurries; 9 pass break-ups; 4 FR; 3 FF; 2 INTs; 1 blocked kick
DB- 112 tackles; 4.5 TFL; 1 sack; 9 pass break-ups; 5 INTs; 1 FR; 2 FF; 3 blocked kicks
My best guess for starters coming out of spring:
QB: 1a Josh Greer 1b Dajon Williams
RB: 1a Mark Lewis 1b Antoinne Jimmerson
WR: 1. Carlos Harris 2. Darius Terrell 3. Darvin Kidsy
TE: Marcus Smith
LT: Antonio Johnson
LG: Mason Y’Barbo
C: Kaydon Kirby
RG: Shawn McKinney
RT: Cyril Lemon
DE: Daryl Mason
DT: Austin Orr
DT: Alexander Lincoln
DE: Quenton Brown
OLB: Derek Akunne
MLB: Anthony Wallace
OLB: Sed Ellis
CB: Kenny Buyers
CB: Zac Whitfield
SS: Lairamie Lee
FS: Zed Evans
K: Zach Paul
P: Blake Macek
KR: Carlos Harris
PR: Carlos Harris
2014 North Texas Spring Football Schedule
March 4 – 3:30 p.m.
March 6 – 3:30 p.m.
March 18 – 3:30 p.m.
March 20 – 3:30 p.m.
March 22 – TBA* (scrimmage)
March 25 – 3:30 p.m.
March 27 – 3:30 p.m.
March 29 – TBA* (scrimmage)
April 1 – 3:30 p.m.
April 3 – 3:30 p.m.
April 5 – TBA* (scrimmage)
April 8 – 3:30 p.m.
April 9 – 3:30 p.m.
April 11 – 3:30 p.m.
April 12 – Spring game* 2:00 p.m.
Dates and time are subject to change