There have been 37 credentials issued to NFL scouts for Thursday's nationally televised Miami-North Carolina game and five general managers are expected to be in attendance, a UNC athletic department spokesman said. The 37 credentials is a record for a Tar Heels home game.
Those scouts will see UNC senior quarterback Bryn Renner, who "definitely" will start, coach Larry Fedora said. A left foot injury caused Renner to sit out UNC's most recent game, a loss to Virginia Tech on Oct. 5 that dropped the Tar Heels to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the ACC.
Renner told reporters the inability to plant his foot was the reason he missed the loss to Virginia Tech; he also said he had been working with the first-team offense in practice since early last week.
Renner (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) has struggled this fall with his accuracy, completing 59.9 percent of his passing attempts, and he has seven TDs and three picks. Last season, he threw for 3,356 yards, 28 TDs and seven TDs, and completed 65.4 percent of his passes.
Renner will be one of the seniors the scouts will be watching closely. His Miami counterpart, Stephen Morris, is another. Though Miami is unbeaten, Morris (6-2, 218) also has been disappointing this season; he is averaging just 190.0 passing yards per game and has spent much of the season battling an ankle injury. He has thrown nine TD passes and four interceptions, and is completing 61.1 percent of his throws. He threw for 3,345 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven picks last season, when he completed 58.2 percent of his passes.
Other seniors who will be in the spotlight include North Carolina offensive tackle James Hurst, UNC free safety Tre Boston, UNC defensive end Kareem Martin and UNC defensive tackle Tim Jackson. Miami seniors that will draw interest include offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson (who will not start after coming off a one-game suspension, the third season in a row in which he has missed at least one game because of a suspension), offensive lineman Brandon Linder (starting at tackle but usually a guard), wide receiver Allen Hurns and defensive end Shayon Green.
North Carolina junior tight end Eric Ebron, considered the best draft-eligible player at his position by some analysts, and Miami junior linebacker Denzel Perryman also will draw attention.