By Megan Walsh, UNC Athletic Communications
Senior linebacker Kevin Reddick doesn't take a day off after a notable game for the North Carolina football team.
Against East Carolina, Reddick posted nine tackles, two of which were for a loss, broke up a pass and notched a sack in just four quarters of play.
And quarterback Bryn Renner said Reddick was back in the Kenan Football Center watching film with the same "business approach" he takes to his game the very next day. Now all of Reddick's focus is on Saturday's matchup against Idaho.
After a narrow loss to Louisville the week before, Reddick took it upon himself to up the intensity of Carolina's practices preparing for ECU. That paid off for the UNC defense, which put up a seven-sack performance against the Pirates.
"It should give us a lot of confidence," Reddick said. "We want to get out there again and have another game like we did last week or have better."
Reddick's effort, though, comes down to more than just the time he puts in at his position. Placed in a predominant role on the field since his freshman year, Reddick is now at the helm of the entire roster.
"He's been the heart and soul of this team for the last four years," Renner said. "Being the vocal leader, calling all the plays, really, he's the guy the coaches look to, to run that defense."
Renner said Reddick has become a leader beyond just the defense, as well, whether he's inspiring teammates up at practice or pulling a younger player aside to share some advice.
The New Bern native and 2012 Butkus Award candidate combines three years of starting experience to inspire offensive and defensive players alike, as well as rookies and veterans.
"There's not too many guys in the country like Kevin Reddick and being able to play with him just makes me that much more comfortable," linebacker Tommy Heffernan said.
"This is my first year starting and playing this much, so knowing that he's right next to me and, if I mess up a play or something that he has my back, is great. I listen to everything he says."
His impact on younger players stood out against ECU, as many rookie defensive players registered their first career sacks.
"Those guys that have the experience, those guys that have been out there in the fire, those guys that go and make some plays and then guys kind of feed of them," coach Larry Fedora said of Reddick and defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. "Then they turn it loose and they start making plays."
But all of Reddick's focus is now on the game ahead of him against the Vandals. With the goal of improving intensity and technique every week in place, Reddick is putting everything he has into preparing himself and his team for each game, week after week.
"It's going out there starting on Tuesday, having a good practice one day at a time," Reddick said. "We just go out there, fly around and give fanatical effort - just try to get ourselves set up for Saturday so we can go out there and have fun."