North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams gave starting quarterback T.J. Yates one of his ultimate compliments during the coach’s Monday evening radio show: “I'd take T.J. Yates … as a foxhole buddy, because when it was chaos, that young man used his brain and he's tough enough to stand in there make throws,’’ Williams said in the audio clip, which was provided by the school. “And I just love him to death.”
In his autobiography, published before last season, Williams describes a “foxhole buddy” as one in his close-knit group of friends “that will be together until the end of time.” Yates, a senior, earned Williams’ praise after last week’s Music City Bowl, where the player was able, amid chaos, to snap the ball with a second left on the clock (the time was put back on after hands were shaken and the play was reviewed).
Williams called it one of the greatest plays he has ever seen, and it allowed a game-tying field goal to force overtime. UNC ultimately beat Tennessee 30-27 in double OT.