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UNC QB Marquise Williams wants to change ‘basketball school’ label

By Andrew Carter
acarter@newsobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/20/21/07/1hnZG0.Em.138.jpeg|190
    Robert Willett - rwillett@newsobserver.com
    If North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams had his way, he’d be able to call a South American country and talk to someone about UNC and generate some recognition for Tar Heels football, for once.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/20/21/07/YbF4R.Em.138.jpeg|473
    JEFFREY A. CAMARATI - UNC ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
    Marquise Williams

GREENSBORO If North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams had his way, he’d be able to call a South American country and talk to someone about UNC and generate some recognition for football, for once.

At least that’s what he said, in so many words, Sunday during ACC Kickoff. Williams, a fourth-year junior, was talking about his desire to change UNC’s reputation and how the school always has been known, athletically, at least, for basketball.

“They don’t talk about Carolina as a football school,” Williams said. “And that’s what kind of ticks me off about the whole situation. Nobody shows us respect.”

He went on.

“Of course it’s been a basketball school,” he said, “but we want people to know North Carolina as a football school. I don’t want to call somebody from, like, Brazil, and be like, ‘Hey, you ever heard of North Carolina?’ The basketball school? ‘No, the football school.’

“You know, I want to change things like that.”

Swofford hopes UNC can ‘move forward’

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said he couldn’t remember another instance when the NCAA reopened an investigation, the way it has its investigation into academic misconduct at UNC.

Swofford attended UNC on a Morehead Scholarship, played football and graduated in 1971. He was UNC’s athletics director from 1980 through 1997.

The NCAA’s investigation will focus on suspect African Studies courses and their relationship to athletics. Some problems in the courses date to the 1990s.

“Whether the reopening will lead to anything any different, I have no idea at this point in time,” Swofford said. “But any time – I think any commissioner would tell you that any time an institution is having an NCAA issue, you’d like to get it clarified and put to rest and move forward as soon as you can.”

Hood impresses with strength

A lot of unknowns surround Elijah Hood, as with any freshman who has yet to play a college game, but his strength appears certain, at least. Hood, a Charlotte running back who is among the most heralded members of UNC’s freshman class, could play a significant role in the backfield.

If he doesn’t, though, it’s not likely to be because of a lack of power.

“If you haven’t heard, this guy squatted 605 as a freshman on Friday,” Williams said. “I’ve seen offensive linemen doing that, but he’s a running back squatting 605?”

Hood is joining a crowded backfield and will compete for playing time with T.J. Logan, Romar Morris and Khris Francis. Logan, who was among UNC’s most productive freshmen a season ago, likely has the best chance to enter the season in the top spot on the depth chart.

“T.J. Logan is a guy that can cut the backfield up and do anything he wants,” Williams said. “He has like seven gears. It’s like a Mustang with a neon speed and everything like that.”

Carter: 919-829-8944; Twitter: @_andrewcarter
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