Julian Rochester, whose playing status for the opener had been in question due to an off-field incident earlier this year, will play against North Carolina, according to Coach Smart.
“Julian’s done everything we’ve asked Julian to do. He’s done a great job for us, and we’re excited about where Julian is. I continue to answer that question over and over and over. Julian’s done a great job.”
When asked if that meant Rochester would play, Smart replied, “Why wouldn’t he?”
When asked about Rochester and the other young defensive linemen getting playing time against UNC, Smart replied:
“We’ll have to play a lot of guys up front. So the plan is not about what year you are in school, it’s how ready you are to play. And each one of those guys has repped in camp, so our expectation is that all those guys will be able to go out there and perform to our standards. Certainly going to be probably a little anxiety for those true freshmen, but to be honest with you, they’ve all come in and really competed hard, and they all play really hard.”