CHAPEL HILL — Marquise Williams ended last season as North Carolinas starting quarterback and hes hoping hell begin this season the same way. Thats not a given, though. He understands that.
Williams, though, will represent the Tar Heels offense at the ACCs annual preseason kickoff on Sunday in Greensboro. That has to be a good thing for him, right? It has to mean, on some level, that he has solidified himself as the Tar Heels starting quarterback, right?
I dont take anything of it, saying Im the starter, Williams said Wednesday during a pre-media day meeting with media members. Because Im still going to compete.
Get used to hearing Williams say the word compete or its variation, competition a lot. He said it often on Wednesday and, undoubtedly, the competition he shares with Mitch Trubisky, a second-year freshman, will be a topic of interest when Williams answers questions in Greensboro on Sunday.
Williams, a fourth-year junior, helped lead UNC to victories in five of its final six games last season. His mobility was an asset, especially given the Tar Heels inconsistent pass blocking.
Trubisky, though, entered UNC last year as one of the teams most heralded recruits. He was named Mr. Football in Ohio during his senior year of high school, and he expressed confidence in the spring that he could earn the starting quarterback job.
If that talk bothered Williams, he didnt express it. At least not publicly.
And though Williams appearance in Greensboro doesnt mean hes solidified himself as a starter, it probably does mean that his work during the off-season has pleased coach Larry Fedora and his staff. Players mired in the doghouse arent just let out to greet a roomful of reporters.
Its just given me confidence, Williams said of being selected to go to media day. And its just given me trust that my coaches trust me to put me in that situation, and they know what Im going to say to the media when things hit the wall and stuff like that.
So Im preparing for it, and Im excited to be there representing the University of North Carolina.
Williams laughed when asked how tired he might be on Sunday of the quarterback competition questions. He said he wouldnt be and, in fact, that hes trying to anticipate what kinds of questions hell be asked.
He said he had a dream in which media members were peppering him with questions. Maybe it was good practice.
Im preparing myself and Im just going to have fun with it, Williams said. Im not going to let one get under my skin with it. Im just going to have fun and hopefully I dont (upset) nobody by laughing at them.