Shakeel Rashad: Expectations for the 2016 UNC defense
Shakeel Rashad, Jeff Schoettmer, Sam Smiley, and Justin Thomason were all big parts of North Carolina's 2015 defense which helped the Heels to a 11-3 record and the ACC Coastal Division Championship. But Rashad, who spoke recently with CarolinaBlue, thinks that UNC will be even better this season despite the losses in the middle.
UNC Football’s Fifth-Year Seniors Have Seen It All
As UNC’s incredible football season approaches its conclusion, all five of the team’s fifth-year seniors each celebrated another milestone....they graduated from school and put one of the final touches on their difficult, but triumphant, journeys. Recruited by former head coach Butch Davis back in 2011, redshirt seniors Marquise Williams, Landon Turner, Jeff Schoettmer, Sam Smiley, and Romar Morris were thrown right into the midst of the NCAA academic scandal as soon as they set foot in Chapel Hill.
Injury Ends Sam Smiley's Season
Sam Smiley, who helped shore up the secondary in North Carolina's resurgent defense, will miss the postseason. The senior suffered a torn left Achilles tendon in UNC's win over N.C. State last week that will end his season. He had surgery on Wednesday, the school confirmed. Smiley, a Jacksonville, Fla. native, started all but one of UNC's regular season games in 2015.
Injury reports for Saturday’s football games involving UNC, State, Duke and Wake
North Carolina at Virginia Tech: UNC - Probable: S Sam Smiley; Doubtful: P Corbin Daly, RB Ty’Son Williams; Out for the season: S Cameron Albright, DT Aaron Crawford, LB Joe Jackson, TE Caleb Samuel, WR Taylor Vippolis; Virginia Tech - Out for the season: CB Kendall Fuller (knee), RB Shai McKenzie (knee), RB Marshawn Williams (knee).
Tar Heels let defense do heavy lifting in defeat of Virginia
North Carolina has a defense good enough to win ACC football games. Let that sink in. UNC didn’t allow a second-half point for the second game in a row, stumping Virginia 26-13 on Saturday at Kenan Stadium. “Just being disciplined,” Tar Heels safety Sam Smiley said. “Whatever we didn’t do right in the first half, we’re trying to do right in the second half.”
Shakeel Rashad Named ACC Linebacker of the Week
Shakeel Rashad, UNC, Sr., OLB: Rashad forced a fumble, intercepted a pass, broke up another and had two tackles – including a 10-yard tackle for loss – in North Carolina's 53-14 win over North Carolina A&T. In the first quarter, Rashad forced a fumble that was scooped up by teammate Sam Smiley and returned 52 yards to set up a UNC score.
Lucas: Rapid Reactions - NC A&T
Shakeel Rashad was a playmaker for the defense. He forced the fumble that led to Sam Smiley's 52-yard return in the first quarter, and he also picked off an interception in the second quarter. The Tar Heels are going to "white out" Kenan at the home game against Delaware on Sept. 26. Here's hoping that one is also a night kickoff. Evenings at Kenan are just plain better than the afternoon starts.
Free safety Sam Smiley embraces old man role
North Carolina safety Sam Smiley is a sage among his peers. The fifth-year senior — who is slated to start at free safety this season — has silently guided his teammates since making five starts as a redshirt freshman. But as the only senior likely to see action in the secondary during UNC’s season opener against South Carolina, Smiley accepts his role.
Smiley returns at good time for Heels
Sam Smiley started out working with the third defensive rotation at strong safety upon his return to practice, but by the time the Spring Game rolled around earlier this month, he was getting reps in practice with the second team, and even spelling the first-team guys at times. "It feels good to be back out there with the boys," said Smiley.
Talent Building in UNC's Secondary
Jabari Price and Tre Boston graduated, while Tim Scott shifted to free safety from corner. Those significant changes, however, didn’t prevent other members of the secondary from announcing their presence in spring practice, including Saturday’s spring game. Junior safety Sam Smiley, who missed last season due to a foot injury, led all defensive players with 11 tackles.
2013 Season Preview: Linebackers and Secondary
UNCs secondary kept getting thinner and thinner as last season went on. The Heels are already off to a bad start in that regard this year, losing Sam Smiley for the season. They've also converted receiver Damien Washington to safety to try to backstop that position. Carolina returns most of last year's crew, and thanks to those injuries there's a lot of game experience spread around.
Tar Heels hope to stay healthy on defense
UNC finished training camp Monday relatively healthy, with the notable exception of the safeties, where three of the top four players at the position missed parts of preseason practices. Projected starting strong safety Sam Smiley is out for the season with a toe injury, and his replacement, Dominique Green, missed most of camp with an ankle injury.
UNC defense 'not even close,' Koenning says
For a while it was a running joke among UNC coaches about how much depth the Tar Heels had on defense. The days of joking about plentiful depth are over for Koenning, whose defense has been decimated by injuries during the preseason. Sophomore Shakeel Rashad and sophomore safety Sam Smiley, two players who were vying for starting positions, have been lost for the season due to injuries.
Football notebook: August 7
North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora has preached the necessity of depth for his Tar Heel team since practices began a week ago. But with eight practices now complete, the Tar Heels have begun to lose some of that depth due to three season-ending injuries. Sophomore bandit Shakeel Rashad, safety Sam Smiley and wide receiver Dalton Stogner will all miss the 2013 season due to injury
Season-Ending Injuries For UNC Trio
After one week of training camp, three North Carolina players have been lost for the season due to injuries. Head coach Larry Fedora announced the news on Wednesday about Bandit Shakeel Rashad (knee), safety Sam Smiley (foot) and wide receiver Dalton Stogner (knee).