CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina signed 29 football players on Wednesday, and coach Butch Davis says he expects to have the full NCAA allotment of 25 in camp by the fall.
His mindset when it comes to the idea of "oversigning":
"We did it several years at the University of Miami where we oversigned, and basically what you're trying to do it target kids that want to come to the University of North Carolina,'' he said.
"We have a plan for every kid that falls into that category ... whether it's a grayshirt opportunity because of an injury, whether it's an academic siutation where someone may have to go to a postgraduate [school], whether it's somebody that they need some age, some maturity ... there's a variety of different guys that this fits."
Davis declined to say which signees will not be on the roster next season, but it sounds as if each incoming player agreed to the plan.
"Here's the secret that goes into it: you have to be honest with the player, the high school coach, the parents, and say, 'This is our plan for your son.'" Davis said. "And surprisingly, as in the case of the University of Miami, when we did these sorts of things, some of the kids that we've signed are full qualifiers.
"They are fully academically eligible to accept a scholarship, they could have gone to any other school that they chose, and be immediately eligible at that school.
"But they said they wanted to come to Carolina, and they were willing to put off that opportunity until later."
Because of the small number of seniors in lthe 2008 outgoing class, a few more current players will have to graduate, go on medical hardship or transfer in order for UNC to bring 25 new ones in (the NCAA allows teams only 85 scholarship players per season).
Here is what's known so far:
• The Tar Heels, who used all 85 scholarships last season, lose 13 true seniors, including Jabir Jones, a walk-on who was put on scholarship, and Richard Quinn, a redshirt junior who said before the season he planned to graduate.
• Junior wide receiver Hakeem Nicks left early for the NFL draft, opening up a 14th slot.
• Quarterback Cameron Sexton, a redshirt junior, will graduate in May and transfer to a Division II school. In addition, redshirt juniors Richie Rich and Kenton Thornton and sophomore B.J. Phillips have decided to graduate.
• Darius Powell and Tavorris Jolly were dismissed from the team this season for violating team rules. Kennedy Tinsley was also suspended, and it's unclear if he will return.
• Reserve offensive linemen Zack Handerson and Morgan Randall will go on medical hardship scholarships next season because of reported shoulder injuries. That means they won't count toward the 85 limit.
That leaves 22 scholarship openings — and perhaps 23, depending on whether Tinsley returns — so far.