The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday December 4th

Receivers Aim to Pose Bigger Threat

Aikens, Borders factor in offensive scheme

No, not pictures snapped by media photographers. But by themselves. With their hands as imaginary cameras.

The North Carolina wideouts started a post-touchdown celebration in practice this preseason that seems more fit for the runway than the football field. When one of them scores, the other pretends to take pictures of his teammate while he does his best bodybuilder imitation.

Although neither senior would promise that the show will go on during the regular season, Aiken said he's confident that a penalty now and again for, say, excessive celebrating wouldn't be a big deal despite the extra point being moved back.

"We've got a kicker that can punch it through there, so I wouldn't mind getting a couple penalties," Aiken said.

He'll more than make up for it with his performance on the field.

Though Aiken lacked the flashing quickness of Bosley Allen and fan popularity of Kory Bailey, two of last season's wideouts, he quietly put together a season last year that has made him an early favorite for 2002 All-ACC honors.

He led the Tar Heels with 46 receptions for 789 yards and caught eight touchdowns, tied for the second most in UNC history. Because of UNC's suspect running game, it's almost a certainty that the solid 6-foot-2, 205-pounder will see many passes come his way.

Borders already has gone through that phase once. After playing 27 snaps and catching two passes his sophomore season, he hauled in 27 receptions for 448 yards and four TDs in 2001.

He and Aiken headline what could be the best receiving corps in the ACC.

"We're challenging each other every day," Borders said. "I think that's what's making us a better group as a whole."

The ascension of sophomore Jarwarski Pollock hasn't hurt either. He turned heads this past spring when he grabbed six passes for 100 yards in the Spring Game and should be on the field frequently this season, as the Tar Heels are expected to generously employ multiple-receiver sets.

But the touchdown celebration? That's a senior thing. "It's just those two," Pollock said, smiling. "I just get up and go."

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