Some 50 Tar Heel Lettermen visited campus Saturday to watch the Tar Heels scrimmage and have lunch with the team and staff in the Blue Zone.
Coach Larry Fedora welcomed the group—which ranged from recent graduates to players from the mid-1950s—and told them the door was always open around the Kenan Football Center.
“Thank you for being here,” Fedora said. “I pointed to you guys at the beginning of practice and told the players, ‘There are a bunch of old football players over there, they came out to see you at 8:30 on a Saturday morning. Why would they do that?’ I told our guys that everyone gets to a point they can’t play anymore, but they’d give anything to go out and do it again, as hard as it was. I know all of you guys would be willing to do it again, that’s how strong the bond is having played and competed.
“We’re in the dog days of camp, and you know how tough that is. We’re coaching their rear ends off 24 hours a day. It’s wall-to-wall ball. We don’t have to worry about campus, about looking good. We’re total football right now.
“I want you to know how much we appreciate your coming back. I always want you to feel welcome. I want you to know we do understand you are the guys who built this place, I want our players to know you and hear your stories, know how this place was built and maintained and how we now have to build on that tradition.
“We have made some progress in a year. We are a little better in a lot of areas. We have a long way to go, guys, a long way to go. We understand it is a privilege to wear that interlocking NC on the side of our helmets or on our chest, it’s not a birthright. Much is expected of you, I understand that. These are still young guys, they will still make mistakes, but they’ll learn from them and be better men because of it. I want all of you to be proud every time we step on the field. We are going to play hard, fast, physical, smart, and every single game when we walk off the field, you’ll be proud of us.”