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Carolina's T.J. Yates returns from Manning camp

Posted Friday, July 17, 2009

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Rising junior is ready for the 2009 season.

Chapel Hill, NC - University of North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates recently returned from the Manning Passing Academy on the campus of Nicholls State in Thibodaux, La. It was the second consecutive year Yates has attended and much like the first, it was a great opportunity to be among many of the top signal callers in the country.

"I had a great time," said Yates, a rising junior from Marietta, Ga. "We all had the chance to interact with Eli and Peyton, compete in some passing drills and serve as counselors to approximately 900 kids. It was an honor to be a part of it."

Yates was one of approximately 25 college quarterbacks on hand to serve as camp counselors. Others in attendance included Duke's Thaddeus Lewis, Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor, Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Texas' Colt McCoy and Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson. Former North Carolina tight end Deems May was also on the camp staff.

In addition to their counselor duties, the college QBs had several competitions of their own. In the "Air It Out" drill, players had to hit giant Wheaties cereal boxes that were attached to golf carts 20, 30 and 40 yards downfield. The carts would zip across the field and players had to hit the moving target.

"It's a lot harder than you might think," said Yates, who advanced to the second round. Johnson won the event.

Yates primary duty at the camp was to teach campers how to throw the long ball, a skill he's developed the last two seasons while throwing touchdowns to Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Tate and Brooks Foster.

"You have to get a high release, wide base and get some air under the ball so the nose will be pointing down and land right where you want it," he explains. "We put a bucket downfield and had the kids try to throw into it."

Yates has been on target for much of his Carolina career, completing 59.8 percent of his passes, while throwing for 3,823 yards and 25 touchdowns in 19 career games. Yates is completely healthy entering the 2009 season and, along with teammate E.J. Wilson, will represent the UNC football program at the ACC Football Kickoff on July 26th in Greensboro.

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Carolina's T.J. Yates returns from Manning camp
Yates has been on target for much of his Carolina career.
photos by Gene Galin
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