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April 23, 2014

Larry Fedora

COACH FEDORA:  I think we had a pretty productive spring.  We finished up on April 12th.  Since that time we've been doing exit interviews with our players.  They've been finishing up their classes.  I think we're in the last week of classes.  They're getting ready for exams and preparing for a great summer and great fall camp that will lead us into next year.

Q.  I know you've had some time since the end of spring practice.  How would you evaluate the quarterback competition between Marquise and Mitch?  When do you anticipate making that call?
COACH FEDORA:  I think both guys have competed really well.  That's brought out the best in both of them.  I think they will continue to do that through the summer and through fall camp.
I wish we could have that type of competition at each and every position on our team.  When we do have that, then we're going to be a really good football team.
I'm pleased with where both guys are, with how they've handled the situation.  I don't have a given date that I'll make a decision.  That way, that gives everybody something to talk about all year.

Q.  Did anybody separate themselves in the spring?  Is one guy ahead of the other at this point?
COACH FEDORA:  I think there were certain days where we had one that would do better than the other, then the next day the other would compete.  That's the great thing about the competition going on right now.
I can tell you this at this point, I do feel comfortable we got two guys that we can win with.  That's a great thing right there.
As far as when it will be determined, I don't know.  We'll see how it works out.

Q.  What did you see from the defense this spring, what improvements struck you the most?
COACH FEDORA:  First of all, I think our defense is probably a little bit more experienced than our offense right now when you talk about on‑the‑field playing time, all those things.  We have some seniors on the defense.  We have one scholarship senior on the offense.  We have I think seven on the defense.
We're still a really young football team.  But any of our age is on the defense.  I just think our guys developed a little bit quicker.  We have guys that have been playing in the system for three years on that side of the ball and they totally understand what we're trying to do.

Q.  Interested in your take on the possible unionization of collegiate athletes.  Any of your players been talking about it at all?
COACH FEDORA:  I mean, if any of our players have been talking about it, I haven't been aware of it.  In the state of North Carolina, a state school, it can't happen.  That's not been an issue.
But I'm not fully aware of all the details on it in the Northwestern case.  All I hope is that their players are well‑informed on the pros and the cons and they've thought about the ripple effect that will happen one way or the other with what they accomplish.
I look forward to seeing what's going to happen.

Q.  What do you feel was the biggest development for your team this spring?
COACH FEDORA:  I would really have to say defensively I thought our guys have a good understanding of what we're trying to do on defense.  Because of that, I thought they made the most progress this spring.
I couldn't pick out one position or one player.  I would just say as a whole defensively I thought we had a pretty good spring.

Q.  For your guys to play the kind of pace you wanted to, what was that like?
COACH FEDORA:  I've been a no‑huddle football team since 1999.  Basically I don't know any different.  We've been up‑tempo, we've been multi‑tempo.  Done it a lot of different ways.
Since 1999, we've evolved with the way we practice.  One thing that I can tell you is we practice the way we're going to play.  Everything we do within our practice plan is an up‑tempo type plan.  Our guys understand that's the way we practice because that's the way we play.  That carries over to what we do in the weight room, the way we condition in the summer.  Everything that we do is oriented that way.

Q.  What is your feeling about the expanded NCAA meal allowance?  How has nutrition changed over the years?
COACH FEDORA:  It's definitely changed over the years.  We have two full‑time nutritionists here, one that works entirely with our football team.  I think it's one of the last frontiers that hadn't been fully tapped yet when you're talking about the development of your players.
It's interesting.  James Hurst, one of our seniors, is getting ready for the draft.  Comes back from training and talked about how his body weight went down, his body fat went down, his muscle mass went up.  We started talking about it.  James, what did you do?  I did what you guys have been telling us to do for the last two years.  I really bought into it.  It's amazing the results.
If these kids can start buying into this, what we're doing nutrition‑wise, I think they're going to see great results for them athletically and the way they perform on Saturdays.
I do think the reforms that the NCAA are proposing, I think they're good.  I don't know if it's completely thought out on how it's going to be implemented or the cost involved, how it's all going to take place.  I do definitely think it's a good thing.

Q.  Is that the only drawback really, the potential cost on athletic departments?
COACH FEDORA:  In what I've read, I would say that's it right now, just the cost.  I don't think there's any way you could say that feeding your players more, providing more for them can be a negative thing.  I don't see it that way.

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