UNC head coach Larry Fedora credited his rookie triumvirate for making situational plays during Saturday’s scrimmage, which didn’t come as a surprise to those close to the program.
“They’ve been a tremendous, immediate, quick impact,” offensive coordinator Blake Anderson said earlier this week. “They all bring something different to the table.”
Logan (5-foot-10, 180) serves as a speed option out of the backfield and has already shown his big-play ability. The Greensboro, N.C. product earned AP Player of the Year honors last fall after rushing for 510 yards and eight touchdowns in the 3AA state championship game.
Switzer is a lightning bug at the A-back position, checking in at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. UNC’s offensive coaching staff felt “Switz” was one of the top playmakers in the country in the slot last season and he’s living up to that reputation through the first half of training camp.
“He just makes people miss at the drop of a hat,” quarterback Bryn Renner said. “He does a great job of giving one wiggle and getting up field.”
Despite primarily playing tailback in high school, Switzer has adapted quickly to being in the slot, according to Anderson. His addition provides versatility to operate in and out of the backfield.
Anderson added that both players have been “tremendous” in the punt and kick return game.
“Switz and T.J. both have breakaway speed and great quickness in space,” Anderson said.
Howard serves a different role as a big target on the edge and across the middle. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder out of Rochelle, Ga. is backing Quinshad Davis up at split end (X receiver).
“In a 1-on-1 matchup, he doesn’t lose many jump ball opportunities,” Anderson said. “He’s been the best at elevating and catching the ball all camp, and that’s everybody. The quarterbacks have gained a tremendous amount of confidence in putting it near him.”
Renner confirmed his coach’s comments and offered further insight into the freshman’s development.
“It’s tough to see a real glimpse of it in the summer just because there are no shoulder pads, but going across the middle, taking hits and really just molding into a college football player is what he’s had to do,” Renner said. “And he’s done a good job of doing that.”
Adding to their potential is the fact that this rookie trio was recruited as ideal pieces for Fedora’s up-tempo spread offense.
“They’re filling some roles we really didn’t have a year ago that we just manipulated with other people,” Anderson said. “That allows us to get closer to what we really want to be.
“I don’t know how much they’ll be used, but they’re all going to be impact [players] at some point during the season.”