CHAPEL HILL, NC — Even with the return of Spencer Rolland to the North Carolina offensive line, senior William Barnes is anticipated to remain at proper sort out, the place he performed two weeks in the past at Georgia State in Rolland’s absence.
Barnes’ athleticism and physicality, paired with cross-training within the spring and preseason at each positions, has allowed for a seamless transfer and is smart for the North Carolina line.
“I’m nonetheless transferring round at proper guard and proper sort out as of proper now,” Barnes mentioned throughout participant interviews on Tuesday afternoon contained in the Kenan Football Center. “They nonetheless have me because the beginning proper sort out, however I’m prepared for coach to maneuver me wherever on the sector. Today, I had somewhat bit of time at left sort out. So who is aware of what might occur?”
Barnes performed 58 snaps at proper guard vs. Florida A&M, 66 snaps at proper guard and 4 snaps at proper sort out vs. App State, after which shifted to proper sort out for all 71 snaps vs. the Panthers in UNC’s 35-28 win.
Barnes mentioned he likes each guard and sort out and would not have a choice for enjoying one over the opposite. The variations are in approach, hand placement, and the kind of defensive gamers you face. “It’s simply sure methods that it’s important to have with regards to setting the cross professional at sort out after which transitioning to protect — not getting to date again off the road of scrimmage,” Barnes defined. “Coach has been preaching consistency and simply executing what he places me at.”
“I really feel like with regards to taking part in at guard there is a sure kind of physicality that you have to convey as a result of there’s lots of sturdy defensive tackles on the market which might be going to be inside,” Barnes added. “And then with regards to sort out, simply having the ability to get these fast guys set on the market as quick as potential and lock them up.”
This season Barnes is seeing constant beginning snaps throughout a number of video games for the primary time in his profession. He has performed right here and there throughout the earlier three seasons. He performed double-digit snaps on the offensive line eight occasions in 2021 and made his first collegiate begin vs. Virginia final season.
Barnes’ offensive line snaps at UNC: 2021: 228 snaps; 2020: 55 snaps; 2019: 47 snaps; 2018: 114 snaps
But this season Barnes has cemented himself as a starter, whose versatility offers the brand new offensive line coach Jack Bicknell some positional flexibility.
It’s been an extended street up to now for Barnes. The fifth-year senior arrived at UNC as a 247Sports Composite four-star within the 2018 class, the No. 53 prospects within the nation, and No. 6 offensive tackles. He was a big-time prospect and a big recruiting win for UNC. A nationwide recruit, Barnes held early affords from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, and Tennessee earlier than he dedicated to the Tar Heels.
Barnes’ transfer to proper sort out units up a contest for who will man the proper guard spot on Saturday vs. Notre Dame
“Spencer (Rolland) and Jonathan (Adorno) are each within the rotation of taking part in guard to see who’s gonna be taking part in this Saturday,” Barnes revealed. “They’re each working laborious, they usually’re each getting after it. The complete O-line is getting after it.”
Rolland returned to apply throughout the break after lacking the Georgia State sport with a lower-body damage.
Ahead for the UNC offensive line is a matchup with the Notre Dame entrance seven. The Irish gave up 172 yards speeding and recorded a sack within the loss to Ohio State, 219 yards speeding yards allowed and notched three sacks within the loss to Marshall, and gave up 112 yards speeding and bought six sacks within the win vs. Cal final week.
“It comes with execution,” Barnes mentioned about dealing with the Irish on Saturday. “These previous few years, positively competing towards Notre Dame, they have been an amazing group they usually’ve all the time come out with the win. But we have been working actually laborious to remain intense and dealing on either side of the ball within the trenches to guarantee that we now have that physicality, the identical physicality that they dropped at us two years in the past once they got here to our stadium. The emphasis of this yr is simply depth and consistency within the trenches on either side of the ball.”