Usually, when a team has to replace 14 starters, hopes for the season aren't very high. Usually. However, four of North Carolina's returning starters are not your usual players.
First consider Jason Stanicek. A senior, Stanicek is on the verge of breaking almost every school passing record, some of which have stood since Charlie (Choo Choo) Justice set them in the 1940s. Then there is Marcus Jones, the best defensive player to wear a North Carolina uniform since Lawrence Taylor. Jones, a 6'6", 260-pound junior end, runs a 4.7 40 and bench-presses 500 pounds. What's more, after only a week of practice he won the ACC discus title with a throw of 162'9".
The Tar Heels' other exceptional returnees are a pair of tailbacks named Johnson. Last season Curtis Johnson, then a sophomore, had 1,034 yards and 11 touchdowns on 173 carries while splitting time with Leon Johnson, a redshirt freshman who ended up with 1,012 yards and 14 TDs on 179 carries. Their stats were so similar that as a service to bewildered defenses everywhere, we offer the following tips on telling them apart:
Curtis, who's 5'10", 208 pounds, is an inside runner who can also run outside; Leon, who's 6'1", 210, is an outside runner who can also run inside. Curtis has been a tailback since his sophomore year in high school and wears a tailback's number (32); Leon was an option quarterback until spring practice of '93 and wears a quarterback's number (12). Curtis is quiet, serious and deeply religious; Leon is a cutup who docs impersonations of his coaches and teammates, including Curtis.
About those 14 starters...when it comes to patching a lineup, who better than Johnson & Johnson?