Monday, November 8, 2010

UNC's Houston should remain a redshirt

Ryan Houston is suddenly in a tough position, but the smart choice here is for him to not burn a redshirt year with North Carolina facing just three games on the schedule, plus a bowl.

The Tar Heels may need him, and UNC coach Butch Davis said Monday that he will discuss the situation with Houston this week. Let's be honest here - when a $2 million a year college football coach says, "Son, we need ya," it takes a lot for a college kid to say, "Whoa, I'll pass."

But this is a situation where returning is a big blow for Houston, and for little gain. N.C. State faces a similar situation with true freshman Chris Hawthorne, a kicker from Raleigh. But as O'Brien pointed out, the Wolfpack has a shot at an ACC title - when you're playing for a championship, all bets are off.

That's not the case with UNC. The Heels are too far behind Virginia Tech to have a realistic chance. Houston is a senior who could redshirt because he hasn't played at all this year. He is faced with giving up a full year as the likely start for three games in a season that's going to end somewhere like Nashville, Tenn.

Carolina has faced an amazing amount of adversity this year, and the season-ending injury to Johnny White is yet another blow. But playing Houston would be a short-term gain and long-term mistake. It's in his interests, and UNC's, for him to remain a redshirt.

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