CHARLOTTE — Tommy Barnhardt played football at North Carolina from 1983 to 1985. After being drafted in 1986, the punter appeared in 186 games for five NFL teams — including a one-year stop in the Carolinas, where he played for the Panthers in their inaugural 1995 season. On Wednesday, sports editor Chapel Fowler caught up with Barnhardt, who gave his take on this year's football team, the academic-athletic scandal and more.
The Daily Tar Heel: What was your favorite memory while playing at UNC?
Tommy Barnhardt: Probably the Florida State game in 1985. We had a lot of challenges with their punt-return team — Deion (Sanders) was the No. 1 punt returner in the nation as a freshman. That was a big game. We knew it was going to be a test for us, because they were in the top five in the country. We had to adjust a lot of protection and get the ball off quicker. That was the best game of my career. He got five return yards on eight punts. So it was really a good game for the punt team.
DTH: How do you think the football team will do this year?
TB: I think they’re going to do well. I like coach (Larry) Fedora. I like his creativity on offense. Scoring always makes the game fun and exciting. But, at the same time, we’ve got to be able to stop somebody. I think if he gets that honed up, we can be right there in the top 10.