Dancy Starting at Left Guard

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Left guard Will Dancy will notch his first career start in North Carolina’s season opener against Liberty on Saturday night.

The junior transfer from Eastern Arizona College signed with UNC in May 2013. He appeared in 10 games last season, primarily backing up Caleb Peterson at left guard.

“Right now, Will Dancy will start the game,” UNC offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic said following Tuesday’s practice. “Caleb’s going to play; he’s back practicing. Jared Cohen, the true freshman, is probably going to play some, too, at one of those guard spots.”

Dancy, a 6-foot-4, 305-pounder originally from Graham, N.C., was discovered by the UNC coaching staff 16 months ago after it combed the junior college ranks looking for help on the interior.

“His improvement from last year to this year is probably the most of anybody on this team,” Kapilovic said of Dancy. “People don’t always notice that with an offensive lineman, but he’s much better. He’s not going to look pretty sometimes; he’s a grinder. He’s the strongest guy on the O-line and now we’ve got to be able to get him to transfer that strength to the field and play with some confidence, but he has improved tremendously.”

Peterson, a redshirt sophomore who started 12 games at left guard last fall, was sidelined during spring ball due to a shoulder injury and then suffered an ankle injury in the second scrimmage of training camp on Aug. 16.

With Cohen’s emergence as a viable option during his first training camp, the left guard position battle has proven to be competitive.

“That’s a spot that nobody has really just grabbed,” Kapilovic said. “There have been some pluses by all of those guys, so we’re going to see how it plays out.”

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