North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples might be one of the best NFL prospects in the nation, a reputation that could limit his production this season if opponents gang up to shut him down.
But with junior defensive end Donte Paige-Moss anchoring the UNC defensive line right alongside him, Coples doesn’t mind being the center of attention.
“It’ll give each other a better chance to make plays,” Coples said. “They just can’t double team me and leave (Paige-Moss) open or double team him and leave me open. I feel like it’s great and helps the defense out a lot.”
The pair of projected first-round draft picks will headline the 2011 UNC defensive line, which has been one of the most talked-about positions during the offseason.
According to an ESPN.com report, the NCAA returned to Chapel Hill in May to question Coples about his attendance at an NFL draft party. But just more than a month later, the NCAA cleared the Tar Heel of any wrongdoing.
Coples’ innocence was no doubt a relief for interim head coach Everett Withers, who said he expects the preseason All-ACC selection to be a leader on the North Carolina squad this season — in whatever capacity that may be.