football Edit

THI TV: Players Tuesday | Jones, Barnes & Rucker

CHAPEL HILL – Tuesdays on game weeks during football season means some of North Carolina’s players are made available to the media to field questions about the previous game, themselves, teammates, and to look ahead to the next opponent.

In UNC’s case, the Tar Heels are coming off consecutive upset losses at home to Virginia and at Georgia Tech. Plus, the Heels host FCS member Campbell this Saturday at Kenan Stadium for a noon kickoff.

UNC is 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the ACC.

Below are videos and notes from interviews with J.J. Jones, William Barnes, and Kaimon Rucker:

J.J. Jones, Jr. WR


*Jones discussed how the team is regrouping after the surprising losses, how the leadership is needed now more than any previous time this season, how they process the last two weeks, and that all of their goals remain intact.

*He said they can still win the ACC championship, and said with high energy in practice this morning, they took a good step forward.

*Jones also discussed Doc Chapman, how he never hears Omarion Hampton speak, and what went through his mind when Tez Walker was laying on the field for so long at Georgia Tech.

*Jones has 28 receptions for 456 yards, giving him a team-leading average of 16.3 yards per reception.

William Barnes, GR. OL

*Barnes lost his starting job a few weeks into the season, but is back as a starter now and at a new position; left tackle. He played 59 snaps in the loss at Georgia Tech earning his best PFF grade of the season at 63.4.

*He spoke about getting back into the lineup, playing well at GT, how the team is moving forward, issues scoring TDs in the fourth quarter, and what was more challenging to get over, the loss to UVA or loss at GT.

*In addition, Barnes spoke a lot about Omarion Hampton, sensing as a blocker when he’s going by, and the film of watching Hampton roll over a 330-pound Tech defender.

Kaimon Rucker, Sr. Jack

*Rucker discusses what DC Gene Chizik’s message was Sunday and earlier today at practice, about the things that went wrong the other night, plus Rucker agrees with Cedric Gray that there was too much pre-snap confusion in the game.

*Rucker got plenty of questions about the last two games, but also about the need to put those games behind them and move forward, that they can still play for the ACC title, and an interesting response to a question asking if Chizik ever gets mad.

*Furthermore, Rucker discussed the prayer he, Drake Maye, and Jahvaree Ritzie said for Tez Walker when the junior receiver was laying on the turf at Georgia Tech, plus why he paints a one finger on each hand pink.