For whatever reason, the North Carolina Tar Heels have been frustratingly slow in releasing and updating their team rosters with any regularity in recent years.
Larry Fedora employed the ‘fog of war’ mentality, where he perceived an advantage (note: actual results may vary) from keeping a mystery basic biographical information such as height and weight.
While I wish the Heels could have taken the crown again, they have an excuse this year: a new coaching staff. With a new staff comes pretty extensive turnover, and with a new strength and conditioning staff comes an opportunity to see how the staff views players’ roles going forward.
- Devon Lawrence, most famously the younger brother of former Clemson manchild Dexter Lawrence, is not listed on the roster. He was rumored to be moving from running back to receiver (and, I speculated at one point, to linebacker), but seemed unable to find a place on the roster to make an impact. Best wishes to him in his future endeavors.
- I love, love, LOVE the pairing of defensive end/outside linebackers and the distinction between them and defensive tackles. At any given time, you should see two DT’s (nose and rush, or 1-technique and 4i) and three DE/OLB’s on the field.
- On that note, seeing Wisdom Asaboro at DT is a pleasant surprise; there was talk of him moving to the offensive line. JuCo transfer Raymond Vohasek, also listed as a DT, is a bit more surprising.
- I had assumed that Dominique Ross (who missed the spring due to injury) would come back as a DE/OLB. I was wrong. He’s listed as an inside linebacker, which will likely help Carolina get its best 11 on the field.
- Guys, Lancine Turay went from 245 lbs to 280 in his first full offseason. The redshirt freshman is still listed as a DE/OLB, and he’s a guy to watch (his brother was a standout at Rutgers, of all places). Chris Collins, who inexplicably burned his redshirt last year, is up from 215 to 240.
- At inside linebacker, redshirt freshman Matthew Flint is up to 240 from about 210 a year ago. If he keeps his speed, he could be a monster. (Sidenote: Javonte Williams trucked him in the spring game, and looking back at it, Flint did NOT look 240. So, he must have had a busy summer.)
- Tomari Fox is already 18 lbs. larger than his brother, Tomon, despite being three years younger.
- Overall, it appears there were two major trends in the trenches: trimmer defensive tackles and offensive linemen, and larger DE/OLBs. I count at least five offensive linemen whose reported weights are down from last year. Aaron Crawford was easily over 300 lbs. (comes in at 290 here) in 2018. With Jay Bateman’s schemes, the archetype is more complex than “largest humans closest to ball”.
Freshman/Newcomer/Changed Jersey Numbers
Hey, I’m your one-stop shop! (And will certainly miss some, so apologies)
1- Khafre Brown, FR WR
2- Dyami Brown, SO WR (was 21)
2- Bryce Watts, JR DB (transfer from Virginia Tech)
3- Antoine Green, SO WR (was 13)
4- Trey Morrison, SO DB (was 27)
5- Dazz Newsome, JR WR (was 19)
9- Cam’Ron Kelly, FR DB
11- Roscoe Johnson, JR WR (was...83?)
13- Don Chapman, FR DB
14- Emery Simmons, FR WR
17- Welton Spottsville, FR WR
18- J.T. Cauthen, SO WR (was in the 80’s)
20- Obi Egbuna, FR DB
21- Chazz Surratt, JR LB (was 12, nice symmetry, Chazz!)
23- Josh Henderson, FR RB
23- Javon Terry, RSFR DB (didn’t play last year)
27- Giovanni Biggers, FR DB
41- Eugene Asante, FR LB
52- Jahlil Taylor, RSFR DT (feel like this is new)
54- Ty Murray, FR OL
56- Tomari Fox, FR DE
61- Drew Little, FR LS
71- Triston Miller, FR OL
72- Asim Richards, FR OL
83- Justin Olson, FR WR (only WR not under 20, interestingly)
93- Kristian Varner, FR DL
94- Wisdom Asaboro, FR DL
95- Brant Lawless-Sherrill FR DL (and new hyphenated last name)
98- Kevin Hester, FR DL