In his position preview earlier this week, THB writer Max Sloan described the outlook of this season’s defensive line as “an exciting mixture of experience, talent, and youth.”
Jahvaree Ritzie, a four-star recruit out of Glenn High School in Kernersville, North Carolina, checks the talent and youth boxes in Sloan’s description.
With his talent, dedication to the program as an early enrollee, and the overall outlook of this year’s team, Ritzie was named to the 2021 247/Sports Preseason True Freshman All-American Team.
Quality depth has been the mantra for head coach Mack Brown since returning to Chapel Hill, and this has been realized with the defensive line.
When posed the question concerning playing time and snap counts, defensive line coach Tim Cross had a colorful metaphor for making those decisions in his press conference this week:
They’re gonna get the snaps they earn. And Jeremy just asked me that a little bit ago. It’s like, I got ten kids and four popsicles. Okay? You’ve got to break them off, right? And make it fair, but it ain’t gonna be equal, right? So you’ve got to make it work. And sometimes you’ve got to slice it up to where it looks good, everybody gets a taste, but all of them won’t get the same the same size chunk.
From all reports, Ritzie and fellow early-enrollee Keeshawn Silver should get some nice sized chunks of that playing time popsicle.
Carolina, Clemson, Louisville, and Notre Dame each have a player represented on the preseason team.
Let’s see how this true freshman can make a difference this season for the North Carolina Tar Heels.