Tar Heel Times
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UNC Football Alumni

Complete coverage of North Carolina Football Alumni.

David Thornton returns home

In so many ways, David Thornton has lived out his own version of the American dream. A lightly-regarded high school player from Goldsboro (N.C.), Thornton worked his way up from walk-on scout team player at North Carolina in the late ’90s to starter and All-ACC standout on a Tar Heel defense loaded with future NFL players his senior season of 2001. Thornton, of course, became one of those NFL players. (Rivals.com)

Former Tar Heel Stu Holt Rejoins WKU Coaching Staff

A familiar face returns to the sidelines for the Western Kentucky University football team as Stu Holt comes back to the Hill as the tackles and tight ends coach. Holt replaces A.J. Pratt, who left the staff last month to pursue other opportunities. Holt earned his bachelor's degree from North Carolina in 1995, where he lettered in football each of his final two seasons in Chapel Hill. (WBKO.com)

David Thornton Q&A

Former North Carolina standout linebacker David Thornton discussed his NFL retirement, coming home to UNC and the state of the Tar Heel football program with reporters on Friday afternoon. What made you come back? When did you decide to come in? “Well, I didn’t officially retire until today. I was waiting for the CBA to ratify. But I made the decision to retire within myself a couple of weeks ago." (Inside Carolina)

Seahawks sign veteran kicker Jeff Reed

Kicker Jeff Reed was signed Wednesday by the Seahawks, bringing in a veteran to compete with Brandon Coutu for the job that opened when Olindo Mare left for Carolina. Mare accepted a $4 million signing bonus from the Panthers. Reed is entering his 10th season in the NFL. (Seattle Times)

Anthony Elzy Signs with Buffalo Bills

Bills GM Buddy Nix has been busy this first week of camp with several roster changes and there were a couple more Friday. The Bills signed a familiar face in free agent RB Bruce Hall and rookie free agent RB Anthony Elzy. Ironically, Elzy was a reserve running back for the North Carolina Tar Heels and stepped in for Bills fifth-round draft pick Johnny White last season when White broke his collarbone. (BuffaloBills.com)

David Glenn Chats With Kendric Burney, August 5

David Glenn recently caught up with former UNC cornerback, and current Carolina Panther, Kendric Burney. Among the topics they discussed: the differences between college and professional football; how Burney dealt with not getting drafted; his excitement about staying in the state of North Carolina; the scouting report on the Carolina Panthers’ quarterbacks; and Burney’s feelings about Butch Davis’ dismissal. (ACC Sports Journal)

Johnny White signs NFL contract, becomes a father on same day

Ever feel like you had an incredibly hectic, perhaps life-altering day? Try Johnny White’s day last Friday. A week ago, the former Asheville High football star realized two dreams in a matter of hours: signing his first NFL contract in the car rushing him to the airport to fly back to North Carolina for the birth of his first child. (Asheville Citizen-Times)

Former Tar Heels linebacker Chris Hanburger stays low key on Hall of Fame

How is former UNC linebacker Chris Hanburger from the great Redskins teams of the 1970s going to handle the fuss and fame on Saturday, when he’s inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? “He would rather just have somebody say, ‘Hey you’re in the Hall of Fame’ and that’d be the end of it,” former Redskins employee Bubba Tyer said. “He’s got that right,” Hanburger said from his home in Darlington, S.C. (Burlington Times News)

Texans put rookie QB T.J. Yates on accelerated learning curve

T.J. Yates, 24, has been placed in a tough position in camp. There's no time for him to dwell on mistakes. He's too busy processing large volumes of information and taking two-thirds of the snaps thanks to NFL regulations preventing Matt Leinart from practicing until today. The last three days have been mentally grueling for Yates, who just received the playbook last week. But he isn't complaining. (Houston Chronicle)

Gerald Sensabaugh returning to Cowboys

Gerald Sensabaugh will be another familiar face in an unfamiliar defense for the Dallas Cowboys. The unrestricted free agent safety re-signed Wednesday with Dallas, getting a $2.5 million, one-year contract to return to the Cowboys instead of a longer-term deal he had hoped to get from them or another team. (Associated Press)

Mack Brown could heal Heels

North Carolina has an opening for a new athletic director, whose first responsibility will be to hire a new football coach next December. And while some interesting names have been bandied about, including South Carolina AD Eric Hyman, who played football for the Tar Heels, the most intriguing name is Texas football coach Mack Brown. (Fox Sports Carolinas)

Marvin Austin Shaking Off A Year in Limbo

Marvin Austin has heard the critics. He knows N.F.L. teams bypassed him in first round of the draft over concerns about his character. Now, as he competes for a job with the Giants, he is at a place he long envisioned, ready to show he belongs in the N.F.L. “I think I was one of the better players in the draft, but that’s over with and I’m glad to be a Giant,” Austin, a second-round pick, said. (New York Times)

Robert Quinn has new son, signs deal with Rams, and a trip to the injury list

Robert Quinn had quite the eventful weekend. St. Louis' first-round draft pick agreed to a contract on Saturday, but missed the first day of training camp so he could celebrate the birth of his first son. The 6-4, 265-pound defensive end then was placed on the non-football injury list Sunday, sidelined by right knee injury stemming from a workout in North Carolina two months ago. (Durham Herald-Sun)

Hilee Taylor fails to report to the Lions

After enduring the 2010 NFL season with the Panthers, linebacker Hilee Taylor was waived early in camp. His contract was awarded to the Detroit Lions. Only problem? Taylor hasn’t shown up in Detroit. As a result, the Lions have placed Taylor on the reserve/did not report list. Given that players under contract are subject to daily fines of $30,000, it’s safe to say that Taylor isn’t inclined to ever show up. (Pro Football Talk)

Letter from Deems May

North Carolina fans have looked to Deems May for candid commentary over the years, and the former UNC and NFL tight end has provided it on the Tar Heel Sports Network and at Inside Carolina. Last week's developments produced an influx of media and fan requests, and May has opted to address them in the form of a letter to the fan base. (Inside Carolina)

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