UNC quarterback Bryn Renner is looking forward to the addition of freshman receiver Quinshad Davis. PHOTO: Robert Willett
CHAPEL HILL — Quinshad Davis couldn’t practice but there he stood on Monday morning on the North Carolina practice fields, wearing a pair of receiving gloves and his No. 14 jersey. He looked the part, anyway.
Davis, perhaps the Tar Heels’ most anticipated incoming recruit, hasn’t yet been cleared to practice because of an unspecified medical issue. But his clearance is coming soon, UNC coach Larry Fedora said.
“I think we’re real close,” Fedora said. “I mean, it’s really good. I think there’s a couple signatures to be made and then we’re ready to go. So I’m anticipating him being out here on Wednesday is what I’ve been told.”
The Tar Heels won't practice on Tuesday but will resume on Wednesday.
Davis, a 6-foot-4 receiver from Gaffney, S.C., earned Parade All-American honors a season ago, and also was South Carolina’s Gatorade Player of the Year. Once he’s cleared to start practicing, he’ll be a welcome addition to a receiving corps that is already experiencing depth woes.
Erik Highsmith, the senior who is the Heels’ leading returning receiver, is the latest to battle an injury. He wore an orange jersey in practice on Monday, signifying his limited participation in practice. Two other receivers -- Reggie Wilkins and Sean Tapley -- have both missed practice time due to minor ailments.
“We’ve been looking at Quinshad coming back for a while now,” quarterback Bryn Renner said. “He had a great summer. The kid worked his butt off with [strength] coach [Lou] Hernandez and really deserves to be out here and playing with us. I think he’s chomping at the bit."
Renner said he constantly sees Davis out on the practice fields, catching machine-thrown passes by himself. Davis, in fact, told Renner recently that he’d stayed out on the field long enough to catch 300 balls.
Renner described Davis as a “gym rat” – or whatever the football version might be.
“He’s always in the film room, always in his playbook,” Renner said.
Davis is likely thankful he can step out of the film room and onto the field. Depending on how quickly he catches on, Davis could play a significant role in the Tar Heels’ offense.
At least, that’s Fedora’s hope.
“We don’t have much depth right now, so we need that body out there and need him learning,” Fedora said. “Because we hope that he’s going to contribute.”