“The only thing I remember was seeing those pylons,” Guy recalled. “I kept thinking, ‘I’m going to make it.’ But I didn’t see that weakside tackle was in my blind spot. I didn’t see him. He got a good pull on my shoestring, and that was it.
“They’re worried about other players, they’re not worried about me,” Guy continued. “So whenever I can get a one-on-one we want to make that play. Anytime we can get an interception or a fumble, it’s going to be good for us.”
It was Guy’s best statistical game to date – one INT, five tackles and 1.5 for loss.
Guy played in all 11 games last season – starting five – rotating at defensive tackle with senior Shelton Bynum. He finished with 21 tackles, five tackles for losses and three sacks.
As a freshman, Guy started 11 games – the first three at end before switching to tackle. His 14 tackles and 1.5 for loss were good enough to earn freshman All-ACC honors from The Sporting News.
“He’s improved in the last year his ability to lock out on the play with his hands and keep more separation,” UNC defensive tackles coach Kenny Browning said following Tuesday’s practice. “That’s huge because he’s not a real long-armed guy. He’s got to develop a little more in his pass rush. I’m expecting him to play better than last year. He’s good on screens, and sometimes [the blocker] will pull out and he’ll follow him. We want him to play his responsibility, but sometimes he can sense something and you react.
“He’s got maybe the best ‘get-off’ of the whole group.”
While the Tar Heels return a starting tackle in the duo of Bynum and Guy, they must also replace Chase Page – a seventh round draft pick by the San Diego Chargers – and Khalif Mitchell, who was dismissed from the team prior to preseason practice.
Despite concern about depth at the tackle position, Browning said he believes the four on the two-deep – Guy, Bynum, Cam Thomas and Kentwan Balmer – will be more than enough to continue UNC’s steady improvement up the middle.
“We jumped up like 35 spots last year,” Guy said referring to UNC’s NCAA defensive ranking. “The Top 25 is our vision, and we can see that. Anytime we can start off with a full rotation, it’s going to be a special season; especially when we’ve got three players returning who have played a whole lot of snaps.”