North Carolina head coach Butch Davis has chosen Yates, the redshirt freshman from Marietta, Georgia to start at quarterback when the Tar Heels open the season against James Madison on September 1st, beating out Cam Sexton and Mike Paulus.
Yates is very much an unknown entity. He hasn’t played a down in college, and he didn’t play organized football until his senior year in high school. However, the decision didn’t surprise me. While the spring game is rarely indicative of future performance, he was clearly the QB most comfortable with the offense, making good passes and allowing for yardage after the catch. He’s been taking the lion’s share of snaps throughout training camp. And after the Cam Sexton/Joe Dailey tag team of last season, almost any QB change should be somewhat of an improvement. Unfortunately, the UNC offense will rely heavily on Yates as they don’t have much of a running game, which also means he’s going to take a lot of hits…oh, so many hits. But if he’s able to get the ball to the Heels’ many talented receivers, it could open the rest of the offense.
So, was throwing Yates into the fire a good choice? I’ll give you an answer on September 2nd. In the meantime, I wish him the best of luck; he’s going to need it.
Stay tuned for some thorough UNC season previews in the coming days.