CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Leadership and success in football act in unison.
With every great team, position group or unit, there’s always a leader behind the masses that initiates the charge.
After last season’s disappointment, head coach Mack Brown knew something had to change within his program to help UNC hop back on its upward trajectory. So, the hall of fame head coach revamped and revitalized a group that has been a part of his teams for years — a leadership committee.
“The leadership committee this year has made a big difference,” junior linebacker Cedric Gray said at the ACC Football Kickoff on June 21. “Last year the leadership committee would just be guys who would vote on stuff. I think this year we’re taking it to the next level of how we can be leaders of the team.”
Alongside Gray stand a mixture of budding, young talent and multi-year veterans to round out the 15-member committee. With its range of voices and experiences, the committee enables players like sophomore Power Echols and graduate transfer Corey Gaynor to exchange ideas.
Likewise, the bond formed within the group over the offseason has molded into a togetherness that stretches past the committee’s weekly meetings.
“We meet once a week, but we’re always texting and FaceTiming in our group chat,” senior running back British Brooks said. “This year is the first year that we’re actually putting effort into it.”
While most of the committee’s members were scholarship players from their first day in Chapel Hill, Brooks stands as the only former walk-on of the group.
Brooks passed up on his only Division I offer from Charlotte and instead enrolled at North Carolina. After earning a walk-on spot with the Tar Heels in 2018, the Gastonia, N.C. native slowly worked his way up to becoming a two-year special teams captain.