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  1. Dan McCarney received a call a while back from one of the better running backs in recent school history. The conversation ended up being maybe the first step in Brandin Byrd returning to UNT — this time as a gradate assistant coach. McCarney relayed the story recently after the Mean Green’s spring game. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/05/could-we-see-brandin-byrd-back-at-unt.html/
  2. The pain that is centered in Sarah Korn’s back spreads quickly — a sharp, shooting sensation that can make it difficult for the newly minted North Texas graduate to run. Suffering from a herniated disc and two bulging discs is quite the dilemma for the longtime member of the Mean Green track and field team. The senior pole vaulter barrels down a short runway before jerking herself into the air and over a bar typically raised well above the height of a basketball rim before crashing into a foam pit — a process that for her is often painful from start to finish. Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20140514-track-and-field-unts-korn-at-end-of-long-painful-road.ece
  3. The NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate report today. The athletic department fared well on the report for the most part and did well in the major sports. Here are UNT’s four-year scores from the latest report: read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/05/unt-fares-well-on-ncaas-apr-report-again.html/
  4. The NFL Draft is in the books yet again without a UNT player being selected. The last player picked was Cody Spencer in 2004. That’s a decade long drought for those of you scoring at home. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/05/unts-nfl-draft-drought-continues-quick-thoughts.html/
  5. There are two areas where UNT should be strong next season – its offensive line and its secondary. The Mean Green’s core linemen have been together for what seems like forever. Guards Mason Y’Barbo ha and Cyril Lemon have started 37 and 35 games, respectively, while tackle Antonio Johnson has started 34. Center Kaydon Kirby is also back after starting last year. UNT has just one lineman to replace and has a guy who has started two games in Shawn McKinney ready to move in at guard or another back up with experience ready in tackle Ryan Rentfro. UNT is pondering moving Lemon to tackle for the first time in his career, which would change the lineup a bit, but the bottom line is this – if Lemon has an itchy toe, Y’Barbo knows it without having to ask. UNT should also be solid in the secondary where starting cornerbacks Kenny Buyers and James Jones return along with a solid backup in Zac Whitfield who plays a lot. UNT also has strong safety Lairamie Lee back. The Mean Green has to replace Marcus Trice at free safety, but has some good prospects there in Freddie Warner and Sheldon Wade. I don’t think there is any question that UNT’s biggest question is at quarterback. UNT fans wrung their hands all through last off-season at the prospect of Derek Thompson starting for a third straight year — something that was far from a given. All Thompson did was throw for 2,896 yards in a run-first offense and lead UNT to its third bowl win in program history. Oh, and he was the MVP of the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Read more: http://www.saturdayedge.com/17959/north-texas-football-2014-spring-wrap/
  6. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/05/monday-morning-notes-wesley-still-on-team-miller-gets-a-shot-recruiting-tidbits.html/
  7. College programs often develop connections to certain towns and even high school programs that become go-to sources for players. More and more, it appears as if Flower Mound is becoming that type of destination for UNT. What makes that connection all the more interesting is that UNT is recruiting player after player from the city who project as offensive linemen on the college level. UNT landed its starting center Kaydon Kirby from Flower Mound, signed Chris Miles from the same school in its last recruiting class and signed tackle Ryan Rentfro from Flower Mound Marcus, Flower Mound’s crosstown rival. Now, UNT is after Evan Curl, Miles former Flower Mound teammate who will be a senior in the fall. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/05/unt-recruiting-target-series-evan-curl.html/
  8. One player who filled a key role for UNT on its run to the Heart of Dallas Bowl is cornerback Zac Whitfield, who got some great news. Whitfield’s mom, Victoria, is now cancer free. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/04/monday-afternoon-notes-unt-mentioned-in-attire-protests-story-good-news-on-whitfields-mom.html/
  9. Billy McCray is taking a hard look at his options when it comes to continuing his career on the college level. The Leander Rouse standout has plenty of choices, thanks to athletic ability that could translate to playing on offense or defense on the college level, not to mention his performance in the classroom. - See more at: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/04/unt-recruiting-target-series-billy-mccray-iii.html/#sthash.tvNbHUHh.dpuf
  10. Chris Riddle was riding on top of the recruiting world not too long ago, waiting on a few of the top programs in the country who were recruiting him to offer a scholarship. An injury changed the course of Riddle’s recruitment and set up a key season for the Florida quarterback, who believes he could be in line to earn a scholarship offer from UNT. Riddle, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior at University Christian in Jacksonville first heard from UNT offensive coordinator Mike Canales a few days ago and spoke with him again on Sunday. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/04/unt-recruiting-target-series-chris-riddle.html/
  11. There have been times this spring when North Texas coach Dan McCarney has had to stop and remind himself of just how long former Guyer standout John Schilleci has spent with the Mean Green. The official tally is less than a year. The time that has passed just seems a lot longer considering all that Schilleci has been through in only a few months with the Mean Green. Schilleci earned a role as a special teams player almost immediately in the fall and has played at cornerback and safety this spring. That would be a lot for any freshman to handle. http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20140409-football-schilleci-following-holes-in-unt-secondary.ece
  12. http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/04/mgb-video-john-skladany-talks-about-the-progress-of-unts-defense.html/
  13. UNT’s spring game is scheduled for Saturday at Apogee Stadium. The game is always a key opportunity for players to make a move and improve their chances of playing heading into the fall. Who are some of the players with the most to gain/lose? Here’s a list and some thoughts on each player: 1A. Andrew McNulty – The story of the spring has been the quarterback battle between McNulty, Josh Greer and Dajon Williams. Right now it appears as if McNulty is slightly leading the race over Greer. A big game could help the McNulty secure the starting job heading into the fall. But wait -- there's more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/04/a-look-at-players-with-a-lot-to-gain-on-saturday.html/
  14. UNT went through its final scrimmage before its spring game next week today. We kept a running blog going throughout the proceedings. I shot a little video with Dan McCarney, who gave his thoughts on where things stand at this point. It’s at the top of this post. And now for some thoughts. The story of the day was the improvement of UNT’s defense, which is what I wrote about for tomorrow’s paper. There are a few news tidbits I wanted to get to before then, starting with some injury/who’s not playing information. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/04/scrimmage-wrap-up-with-mccarney-video.html/
  15. On the football front, I am starting to wonder if things are lining up for Josh Greer heading into this weekend’s scrimmage after yesterday’s workout. Greer had a good day in practice and is one of the last three quarterbacks standing along with Dajon Williams and Andrew McNulty. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/03/wednesday-afternoon-notes-thoughts-qb-battle.html/
  16. It only seems appropriate on Selection Sunday that we continue our off-season questions series on UNT basketball with Part III — Can the UNT men recover lost momentum? It doesn’t seem all that long ago that UNT was sitting there on campus, waiting to see its name pop up on the NCAA tournament bracket. Here’s a blast-from-the past photo, the 2007 selection show party: Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/03/postseason-hoops-questions-part-iii-can-the-unt-men-recover-lost-momentum.html/
  17. UNT saw its season come to an end today, when the Mean Green fell to Tulane 66-61 in a second-round game in the Conference USA tournament. The second season of the Tony Benford era concluded with a 16-16 mark and naturally questions about the direction of the program. That’s the case good or bad in college sports. We went though the same process in football a few weeks ago when it was obvious UNT is headed up under Dan McCarney. The issue with UNT’s men’s basketball program is there are a couple of different ways to look at it. I asked Rick Villarreal about the program before UNT’s game against Rice. I used one quote on the blog yesterday. Here’s another piece of what Villarreal had to say. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/03/thoughts-on-unt-mens-hoops.html/
  18. Terri Cuffie sat behind the North Texas bench at Halton Arena earlier this season, holding one of the few people in the stands wearing Mean Green apparel. One-year-old Anthony Williams watched attentively during that game in Charlotte, N.C., back in January, his green UNT sweatshirt pulled over a black T-shirt, as his father, Alzee Williams, sprinted up and down the floor in a game the Mean Green lost on a buzzer-beating dunk. Seeing Terrence Williams slam home the game winner was tough for the Mean Green, but Alzee Williams, a senior guard, had a smile spread across his face as he stood holding his son, tears streaming down his face, after the final horn. Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20140308-men-s-basketball-players-gain-perspective-from-fatherhood.ece
  19. We reported back back in late February that Dan McCarney and UNT were close to finalizing a contract extension that could keep him at the school through 2018. That deal is a little closer to being finalized. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/03/mccarney-deal-closer-to-being-done.html/
  20. UNT lost its recruiting coordinator in Noah Joseph, who was pilfered by Indiana. So, while UNTs former safeties coach is now is Hoosier, whos your new man directing the recruiting show? UNT has settled on wide receivers coach Mike Grant. McCarney made a really good case that Grant is a good fit, saying that he is super organized and someone who has experience on the staff and knows the lay of the land at UNT. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/02/late-night-football-basketball-notes-and-your-recruiting-coordinator-is.html/
  21. We have been saying this for weeks, but it is worth reiterating that UNT and Dan McCarney are about done with a contract extension for the Mean Green’s head coach. The deal that has been agreed to in principle would be a new four-year deal with a vesting option for a fifth year based on a milestone for wins in a season. I was told that bench mark for the extension to kick out to five years is very attainable, but was not given the exact figure on the record. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/02/tuesday-afternoon-notes-mac-contract-update-assistants-update.html/
  22. UNT head coach Dan McCarney made it official this afternoon, announcing the hiring of new assistant coaches Perry Carter and LaMarcus Hicks. We went over this pretty extensively on the blog not too long ago. Carter spent eight seasons with the Houston Texans, including four as an assistant defensive backs coach. His UNT tie is that he spent the 2004 season working for Scotty Conley, the Mean Greens director of football operations. - See more at: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/02/unt-makes-it-official-with-carter-and-hicks.html/#sthash.L6hHAVgA.dpuf
  23. Under normal circumstances, I don’t put a lot of stock in team chemistry. Teams that have talent and win a lot of games tend to have players who like each other and bond for obvious reasons. It all goes back to talent in college athletics and always will. With that being said, the 2014 season appears to be one of those rare instances where chemistry could matter more than it usually does for several reasons. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/
  24. During the early stages of his tenure at North Texas, Dan McCarney talked a lot about his belief that there would be a senior class at some point in the Mean Green’s near future that would remembered for a long time. It would be the group of guys who banded together and brought UNT out of its near decade-long football funk. After the Mean Green finished 9-4 and beat UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, we now know that class finished out its time at UNT last fall. There is no way to under estimate the impact guys like Zach Orr, Derek Thompson and Brelan Chancellor made in their time at UNT, and especially their last season. That trio is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the players who finished out there careers at UNT in 2013. And that brings us to No. 3 on our list of key questions for UNT headed into spring practice: Can UNT overcome the loss of so many key players, coaches? read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/02/off-season-questions-series-no-3-can-unt-overcome-the-loss-of-so-many-key-players-coaches.html/
  25. It’s Sunday night. That means it’s time for a few notes. If you followed along on the blog and in the paper on national signing day, you know that UNT is sitting on an open scholarship. UNT is waiting to see if anyone qualifies late or if an interesting transfer prospect pops up. Well, how about this guy? read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/02/sunday-night-notes-ohio-state-transfer-on-the-market.html/
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