In what has been a hectic start to the college football offseason, Mack Brown and North Carolina have managed to land some new talent of their own out of the transfer portal. After losing substantial roster depth to the NFL Draft and the portal, the Tar Heels had some work to do, and we all knew it. It is still rough around the edges, but in the last couple of weeks, we are starting to hear more about the future and less about the past.
Here are some recent additions that have decided to come to Chapel Hill:
OL Howard Sampson (North Texas):
After two seasons at North Texas, the 6-foot-8, 325 pound offensive lineman decided to reunite with Coach Randy Clements and fight for a starting spot on the OL. This position group was one of the more depleted from the early parts of the offseason, so while there wasn't too much experience for Sampson with the Mean Green, this is a valuable addition. He will carry three seasons of eligibility with him to Chapel Hill.
RB Darwin Barlow (USC):
It's been a chaotic collegiate career for the Tar Heels newest running back, as North Carolina will be his third home and final year of eligibility. During three years at USC, Barlow could never solidify himself in the offensive rotation. In 2023, he had just eight carries. Barlow will likely be in line to backup star Omarion Hampton, and add depth to a running back room that was another focal point of this offseason for Mack Brown and staff.
OL Zach Greenberg (Muhlenberg):
The former Division III offensive lineman was the most recent pickup for the Tar Heels. As the third addition to the OL out of the portal, Greenberg was all-conference and all-region at his former university. The 6-foot-4, 290 pounder had offers from a handful of other Division I programs and will have two years of eligibility left at North Carolina.
These three additions now bring the incoming transfer portal class up to seven for 2024. The commitments prior to these, such as QB Max Johnson and OL Austin Blaske, are definitely more notable than these latest pickups, but you have to applaud the emphasis on depth at these weaker positions.
Tar Heel fans are still waiting to see a defensive reload out of the portal after losing five of their own a month ago. Mack and his staff are clearly counting on the incoming freshman class to make some noise, because there are still sizable holes on that side of the ball.
The transfer portal window seems to never close, so there is no need to panic quite yet. That said, I’d hope to see some heavier activity in the coming weeks, especially in the secondary.