Saturday was football media day at North Carolina, and so that meant it was a time for lots of questions, and some answers, about the Tar Heels' quarterback competition between Marquise Williams, the incumbent, of sorts, and Mitch Trubisky, the challenger.
Williams is the fourth-year junior from Charlotte who led UNC to victories in five of its final six games last season. Trubisky is the second-year freshman from Ohio who arrived at UNC as a heralded prospect. I wrote a story about their competition that you can read right here.
Also figured, though, that you might want to hear from these guys in their own words (some of them are included in the story above, of course). So here are Williams and Trubisky, on a variety of topics:
Marquise Williams, on the challenges he has endured to this point: “That's what makes me. A lot of adversity is going to hit you, man. The better you overcome adversity, the better you are. I done seen it all.”
Mitch Trubisky, on becoming more vocal in practice: “I'm getting a little bit more comfortable with being vocal, I think that's one of the big things the coaches wanted me to do, because coming in and trying to play quarterback, the quarterback is a leadership role, and stepping into that role, I've got to be more vocal.”
Williams, on the competition: “I love that Mitch is pushing me to be the best. He's going to be a great quarterback for this university.”
Trubisky, on what will decide who wins the job: “I don't really know yet. I know the keys to our offense (are) 100 percent ball security and explosive plays, so I would say the quarterback who can make the most plays while hanging onto the ball longest. And whoever makes the offense best when they're on the field is going to win the job, I guess.”
Williams, on if he's feeling more pressure now that the start of practice is here: “I'm relaxed. I feel confident. I've been confident since I played last year. I got my feet wet, and I know the game. And that's one thing – I'm just confident and more relaxed and I'm just poised.”
Trubisky, on his lack of experience: “I think that's a big challenge for me. That's one thing I don't have.”
Williams, on splitting first-team work with Trubisky in practice: “We're on and off each day. But we're pushing each other. That's what we need, and that's what I love about the game. And I don't want anything to be handed to me. I want to earn what I deserve.”
Trubisky, on sitting out last season: "It was definitely a different mindset. But I tried to, as much as I could, prepare myself as if I was going into the game so like during the week watch as much film as I could, prepare during practices (like) I was going to play. ... But knowing you're not going to play – it's a different feeling. I don't know how to describe it, but it's weird.”
Williams, on criticism of his passing: “You've only seen five games from me, and as coach (Blake) Anderson said, he didn't give me an opportunity to do what I was able to do. And that's what I'm going to do this year. I know I'm a passer and a runner, I'm just not a runner. That's what I like to do – I like to shock people, and I'm going to shock the world this year.”
Trubisky, on how the quarterbacks support each other: “Whoever's out there, whoever's in our group – we're going to be a family, we're going to push each other to be the best we can.”
So there you have it.
The season starts Aug. 30 against Liberty. We've got a while to go with this thing.