Letter from Ryan Switzer

UNC sophomore star Ryan Switzer submitted a letter to Inside Carolina on Thursday addressed to Tar Heel fans.

Tar Heel Nation:

As we are getting ready for the upcoming 2014 season, I felt obligated to write you all a couple things that have been on some of our guys' minds. First and foremost, I speak on behalf of the entire team when I tell you how excited we are to begin preparation for August 30th to take on Liberty. We have been at it since we got back to campus from the bowl game. Lifting 5 days a week, running sprints, pushing sleds, dragging sleds, have all has been part of our daily lives for sometime now. As most of you know we went through a 2 week period of 6 a.m. conditioning, known as, “Blue Dawn.” But what most of you don’t know, was how hard and grueling that was. Especially with class afterwards, and then another lifting session in the afternoon. Then came along summer workouts, where running 300-yard perimeters and 26 100-yard sprints became the norm. A time for most college students to go back home with families and be lazy, we were here working our tails off to make sure that we were ready for this season; making sure that we were as prepared as possible to continue to change the culture around Chapel Hill.

Here’s what I’m getting at. With all the work we have put in to get to this point, we need you to help complete the puzzle. Guys on the team have put so much into themselves and this team to make sure we are the best we can possibly be. For some of the guys on this team, me being one of them, football is everything for us. We breathe it, we eat it, and we sleep football. Everything we do in our lives revolves around the game of football. With that being said, you should know just how much we care and how much we have sacrificed to this team and community. But again, we need your help. I can understand your frustrations of past seasons, not being able to finish, not being able to “win the big one.” I understand your passion, because I too was once a little boy in the stands crying when my team could not get the job done. I understand your embarrassment when we got blown out at home to ECU last year. Believe me guys, we understand. This year will be different.

But again, we need you. We need you there early. We need you there loud. We need you enthusiastic. We need you crazy. Our stadium holds over 60,000 people, and we need it filled every single time we step onto that field. We feed off your energy so much more than you would think. Stepping out on the field for warm-ups and seeing students already there, and fans filling the seats two hours early is one of the most exciting feelings for us players. It shows you care. It shows that you appreciate everything we have gone through just to get to that fall Saturday. We are even trying to cut back on some of the noon games because even I know those can be a pain to travel to. Liberty: 6 p.m. San Diego St. 8 p.m. We are changing the way we do things, folks. We feel there is more excitement around our program now than there has been for a long time. We realize that we are truly blessed to be in the position we are. No more taking things for granted. No more lack of effort. No more slow starts. No more not being able to finish. If the season does not turn out how we all want it to, it will not be because we weren’t prepared or did not give it our all. Liberty, SDSU, VT, GT, PITT, and UNC-Raleigh need to leave Kenan this fall wondering what got into you guys. I believe you can do it. We love Carolina, and understand our responsibility to uphold the Carolina name. God Bless.

- Ryan Switzer #3

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