One player selected from UNC was the Giants' second rounder, DT Marvin Austin, who would have been a first round selection had he not been suspended for violating a draconian NCAA rule.
One reason for the increased interest by the NFL in Chapel Hill these days is the approach by head coach Butch Davis, who is a former NFL head and assistant coach with an impressive track record of success.
Davis prepares his players for the next step.
Quarterback T.J. Yates, who was selected in the fifth round by the Houston Texans, sang the praises of Davis in a recent interview with Eddy Landreth of the Carrboro Citizen:
“Our offense is extremely similar to the Houston Texans. That was one of the main reasons they said they took me was because they knew the transition would be easy for me. Coach Davis handles the program with an NFL mentality. He brought in NFL coaches, installed NFL offenses and defenses, and it paid off.”
That mentality translates over to defenses as well. Austin was one of five UNC defenders gobbled up by NFL teams last weekend. Giants' WR Hakeem Nicks, a former Tar Heel star, is enjoying his alma mater's recent bounty and had this to say about new teammate Austin to SNY Giants Insider Mike Garafolo:
"I’m sure he’s going to fit right in and I know he’s going to be ready to work. … They made a decision and I feel like it’s a good addition to us....He’s a great kid....He works hard, he loves the game of football. I know he’s going to come to work hard. … He’s definitely not (a bad person). He’s a guy that just goes after it on the football field. He loves the game. He likes playing it.. I’ve talked to him. He’s ready to get after it.”