, North Carolina (PressExposure) April 10, 2009 -- Typically known as a basketball school, the North Carolina Tar Heels have turned a corner in the past decade as being a force to reckon with on the football side of things. The team does not have the same national recognition as the basketball team, however this stigma is beginning to change and they are definitely being noticed regionally and it is only a matter of time before they become a national powerhouse. The success of the basketball team has had a profound impact on the basketball team as some basketball players have performed double duty playing both basketball and football for the school, including current NFL player Ronald Curry.
Even though the program has not been able to maintain a consistent level of success they have had their moments as a solid team and have turned out some very successful players to the NFL. Their most famous alumnus is Lawrence Taylor who dominated the college ranks while playing for North Carolina in the early 80's before being drafted by the New York Giants, where he continued to make his alma mater proud by becoming one of the best defensive players to ever play in the NFL. He has also paved the way for many others to make a name for themselves at a smaller college in order to get noticed by NFL scouts for the leadership and performance they bring to these schools.
Other notable North Carolina alums that have had successful careers in the NFL include All-Pro Defensive End Julius Peppers who in fact was so highly touted coming from North Carolina that he was taken 2nd in the NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Also All-Pro cornerback Dre Bly was an elite cornerback in college and has been a highly successful NFL Player. And most recently Running Back Willie Parker, who has been an integral piece of the Pittsburgh Steelers running attack that has led them to the Super Bowl while Parker was the focal point.
In recent years, the North Carolina football team has improved tremendously thanks to the hiring of Head Coach Butch Davis who was the former coach for the Miami Hurricanes leading them to a National title. Davis took North Carolina to a bowl game in just his second year and looks to improve on this, by grabbing the 6th highest ranked recruiting class in the nation. North Carolina looks to be a team on the rise and with the leadership and coaching acumen of Davis, they have the right person to lead them on this path to national recognition.