North Carolina opened training camp Aug. 6. DTH/Codey Johnston

Football: Filling holes in training camp

Carl Gaskins. Kevin Bryant. Aaron Stahl.

Not exactly the trio of offensive players that fans and coaches of the North Carolina football team were worried about replacing this training camp.

And while these three certainly don’t have the star power of departed wide receivers and NFL draftees Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Tate and Brooks Foster, their absence this season leaves the Tar Heels’ offensive line decidedly thin. That’s a problem at a position crucial to protecting quarterback T.J. Yates and opening up holes for UNC’s running backs.


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signing day

Signing Day

It's official: Coach Butch Davis' 2008 recruiting class was no fluke. Davis and his assistant coaches brought in the No. 8 class in the country this season according to and excelled in the state of North Carolina signing 12 of its top 35 players. Some of the class' real standouts come from in-state; others fill crucial voids left by graduating Tar Heels. Here's some of the best of the best.

Sports briefs for January 26

CHARLOTTESVILLE Va. — No. 13 Virginia edged No. 14 North Carolina 156-144 in collegiate dual meet men's swimming Saturday afternoon. Each team won seven of 14 individual events but the defending ACC champion Cavaliers prevailed by winning both relays and outscoring the Tar Heels by 14 points in those two events.

Sexton to graduate could move to D-II program

When quarterback Cameron Sexton was given his second chance as a starter for the Tar Heels this season he won five games and threw for a career-record 1261 yards. Now after announcing he will graduate in May he could look for a second chance as a starter at a Division II school next year.

QB Sexton will graduate in May

12:30 P.M." WEDNESDAY JAN. 14 -- North Carolina quarterback Cameron Sexton informed the coaching staff earlier this week that he will graduate from UNC in May with a degree in communications.  Sexton an academic senior who started six games in 2008" has one year of football eligibility remaining and will explore his options for continuing his playing career next season.

Hakeem Nicks? heroics couldn?t carry the Tar Heels in the second half against West Virginia. Nicks had three catches for 36 yards after halftime.

Nicks shines Heels fall short in Car Care Bowl

DEC. 27 CHARLOTTE — As soon as North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates unloaded the ball he knew there could be trouble. It was at that moment that Yates could see West Virginia linebacker Pat Lazear jumping wide receiver Cooter Arnold's route for a game-breaking interception.

Junior wideout Hakeem Nicks reaches for the end zone in his first of three touchdowns of UNC?s bowl game. Nicks ended with 211 yards.

Hakeem Nicks declares for NFL Draft

Hakeem Nicks spent three years living his dream in Chapel Hill. What's left but to continue The Dream in the National Football League? After a record-setting season and jaw-dropping performance in North Carolina's Meineke Car Care Bowl loss it took Nicks only nine days to announce he would forgo his senior year of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft.

Nicks declares for NFL Draft

11 A.M." MONDAY" JAN. 5 -- Defensive coordinators throughout the ACC just breathed a huge sigh of relief. Hakeem Nicks isn't their problem anymore. After spending three seasons terrorizing collegiate defensive backs and setting nearly every receiving record at North Carolina"" the junior wideout announced Monday that he'll forgo his senior season at UNC for the greener pastures of the NFL.

Hakeem Nicks" junior wideout will have to shoulder an even heavier offensive load this weekend against Virgina. ?He?s been the one really solid consistent week-in and week-out player? coach Butch Davis said. ?You can always count on Hakeem to deliver this kind of performance.?

Bittersweet ending for Nicks

6:30 P.M." SATURDAY DEC. 27 CHARLOTTE – During Saturday's postgame press conference" Hakeem Nicks was asked if even he was surprised by one of the ""SportsCenter catches"" he made in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Tar Heels fall in Car Care Bowl

6:45 P.M. SATURDAY DEC. 27 CHARLOTTE -- As soon as North Carolina quarterback T.J Yates unloaded the ball he knew there could be trouble. It was at that moment that the offensive and defensive lines parted and Yates finally saw West Virginia linebacker Pat Lazear jumping wide receiver Cooter Arnold's route for a game-breaking interception.

WVU presents new challenge

7:45 P.M. FRIDAY DEC. 26" CHARLOTTE -- It's easy to look at North Carolina's opponent in Saturday's Meineke Car Care Bowl and think that all the Tar Heels have to do to win is shut out the West Virginia offense. But lost in the shuffle resides one of the more fierce defensive units in the nation that relies on a ""3-3 stack defense"" -- three defensive linemen" three linebackers and five defensive backs -- to maximize the speed and athleticism of its players.

Tar Heels excited for bowl game

If there are any extra tickets for the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 27 at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium Ryan Houston wants them. A native of the Queen City Houston will play in front of a home crowd when North Carolina makes its return to the post-season against West Virginia and the sophomore running back is faced with a lot of ticket requests.