The GABAbag

Miss you, Devonte. - Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE

New linebacker projections, cool names, "terrific uniforms", and other miscellaneous sillies.

If we kicked off today, starters would likely be Kaiwan "Cakelines" Lewis at Mike linebacker and Sharrod Golightly at Spur, although there doesn't seem to be much of a gap between he and Jordan Diggs. (In case you need a deflating reminder of the value we lost at Spur, go here.) As for the Will position, my vote's for Cedrick Cooper because he's just so goshdarn likeable. However, he's been sidelined with a dislocated elbow that will keep him out of practice through the end of next week. In addition to Cooper, Marcquis Roberts and Kelvin Rainey are practicing at Will. Skai Moore is a name coaches and players are quick to mention as a true freshman who we might see early, although a starting role would be doubtful. For more information on linebacker/defensive stuff, read Connor's most recent fall practice piece.

The popular opinion here seems to be James Hurst, North Carolina's hulking senior left tackle who's projected to be a first round pick. I don't claim to have an in depth knowledge of the entirety of Clowney's 2013 matchups, but the Hurst/Clowney matchup is a week 1 storyline that's steadily gaining steam. There's an excellent interview with Deke Adams behind The Big Spur paywall on the subject of the challenges UNC's offensive line will present.

Despite all this talk of a quarterback rotation, I'd be unsurprised to see a lot less of Dylan Thompson than the chatter might suggest. I think the meaningful snaps will go 85/15 in favor of Connor, assuming he stays healthy and doesn't contract "Hi I'm Stephen Garcia, What's a Football" Syndrome. It's standard for a fanbase to latch onto the wrinkles whenever they're suggested—you'll recall within the past few years when fans on the street would have had you thinking we'd be operating out of the wildcat on the reg, simply because coaches said it was a viable option and Stephon Gilmore was around. Of course, that happened almost never. While I think there's more to Dylan playing than there ever was to the wildcat formation being an offensive cornerstone, if things go as planned I think Dylan gets mop-up duty and may lead the occasional drive to keep the rust at bay. But as we all know, he's proven and available and that's what's keeping him in the conversation.

I can't tell you the designer's motivation (view the unis here), but I can tell you that I think they're terrific. Hey isn't it funny how the word "terrific" is used in Twitterspeak exclusively to mean "grown-up good". For instance, you'll see tweets like "Read this terrific article on a one-legged mountain climber" or "A terrific analysis of how to successfully defend the triple option". But you'll never see, "Terrific account from Les Miles on what kind of hats he puts on his dogs". It's usually "awesome" that's reserved for the lighter/oddball stuff.

As for our difference in opinion, I certainly don't consider them bland although I do recognize that they're a bit less flashy than previous iterations. But these unis strike a pleasant balance between contemporary boldness and classic appeal. No half-assed attempts at a futuristic splash—freaking lightning sleeves or cammo patches or whatever. Back to basics! I think these will look just fine on gamedays.

(By contrast, Oregon's uniforms are awesome, but not terrific. Do you follow?)

Thank you for this topical question. I looked up "Bandit Shark" and actually got a few hits, but I'm pretty sure people are miswriting "banded shark". So I'm gonna take a different approach to this, and choose not to relegate Vic Hampton to any one shark comparison. Vic is the Sharknado. Fast and violent like a tornado, and he's been known to spit some trashtalk (which represents the sharks as they're flung from the whirlwind...get it?) So next time you see Vic barking at some poor WR he just shamed, just shake your head and say, "There goes Vic, spittin' out sharks again!"

The Rubber Chickens asks, "Kane Whitehurst has shown flashes in practice and that has sparked debate as to whether or not he can be a contributor in the fall. Given that, can you think of at least three cooler names than 'Kane Whitehurst'?"

We at the GABAbag love name-related questions—thanks for asking! The name "Kane Whitehurst" possesses a strong, iambiac cadence, laced with that sinister Old Testament edge. A few contenders that spring to mind, which may or may not pack more punch than Kane's steely monicker:

Brock Lesnar: Professional wrestler who's dabbled in MMA, NFL, and likely some other physically demanding three letter organizations. For some reason, the "A" in Lesnar kicks it up a notch. It has the look of an alien overlord or something. "BOW BEFORE LESNAR!"

Titus Andronicus: Titular character of Shakespeare's first tragedy, a play renown for its violence. Also the namesake for a fiery indie rock band who released one of my all-time favorite records.

Dick Army: Former Republican representative from Texas. No punchline necessary.

Vlad The Impaler: Including epithets in this discussion isn't really all that fair—they're like name steroids—but not every first name/epithet combo has such powerful standalone components. Take "Jack the Ripper". Sure, "The Ripper" is a pretty chilling addendum, but "Jack" could just be some dude who jumps over candles or something. But Vlad? Man, when I meet a guy named Vlad, I just assume he's in the Russian Mob or a heavyweight boxer, or both. Tack on "The Impaler", and we've got a name that'll soil some shorts.

Easy. Dylan Thompson, because he's probably carrying a cross with him at all times. Pull that sucker out and flash it at Zombie Clowney, and we're good to go. Wait, what? That works on demons, not zombies? In that case, plan B.



Anyway, I'd pull a Bill Murray in Zombieland and hastily apply some zombie makeup. They don't go after their own kind, ya know! Then I'd tag along with Clowney like a remora and we'd be bros. I'd prolly get him to sign my t-shirt (in blood) and then sell it on eBay. What're Zombie Clowney sigs going for these days?


As always, leave your answers in the comments section.

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