We've Built a High Ceiling, Do We Have a Big Enough Ladder?

Chuck FortContributor IJune 11, 2009

WINSTON SALEM, NC - OCTOBER 27:  Wide receiver Greg Little #8 of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels during the ACC game at the Groves Stadium, on October 27, 2007 in Winston Salem,North Carolina.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

So, of course it's the middle of the summer, but it's never too soon to start talking about football. For once, the Tar Heels might be worth talking about. Following the best season for the Tar Heels since 2001, expectations for 2009-2010 season should be high. We've been hearing for the last two years that Butch Davis is the man for the job and worth an increase in salary after only his first year in which he won four games.

Last year, the Heels won eight, but as I watched the last few games unfold I felt the Heels gave them away to Maryland, NC State, and West Virginia.

Now, the team is more experienced, with mostly juniors starting on both sides of the ball. Of course if anyone watched the NFL draft in April, you would have noticed that the Heels lost some pretty good talent like Nicks, Foster, Tate, Quinn, and Reynolds, particularly in the receiving core, that will have to be replaced through the nationally recognized recruiting class, which is No. 13 according to ESPN's Tom Luginbilli, including the No. 6 and No. 37 Wide Receiver in Jheranie Boyd and Josh Adams. So, it will be up to the rest of those that have been there to not just be older, but act like it.

Maybe this year the team—and its coaches—which had trouble living with success last year, can keep up its intensity while the nation watches on?