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Friday May 20th

Analysis: A look into the UNC football transfer portal

Senior wide receiver Beau Corrales (15) embraces head coach Mack Brown for senior day at the game against Wofford on Nov. 20, 2021 at Kenan Stadium.
Buy Photos Senior wide receiver Beau Corrales (15) embraces head coach Mack Brown for senior day at the game against Wofford on Nov. 20, 2021 at Kenan Stadium.

Since Aug. 1, over 900 FBS scholarship football players have entered the transfer portal — enough to field a starting lineup on both sides of the ball for roughly 40 teams. 

Since fall 2021, players seeking a fresh start have been entering the portal at a higher rate with the guarantee of immediate eligibility granted by the one-time transfer rule instituted by the NCAA.

Mack Brown and the North Carolina football team are no strangers to this trend. 

Since Aug. 9., the Tar Heels have watched 10 of their own enter the portal, a list that includes former starting wide receivers Beau Corrales, Khafre Brown and Emery Simmons, defensive back Trey Morrison and linebacker Eugene Asante to name a few. 

North Carolina countered their losses through their pursuit of transfers, picking up a pair of early commitments in positions of need from Miami center Corey Gaynor and Virginia linebacker Noah Taylor thus far.   

Another way Brown and his staff have been able to mitigate their losses is by continuing to land elite recruits from the high school level. 

After reeling in a top-15 class in 2021, North Carolina built on its success in 2022 by signing a top-10 class that features two five-stars in defensive tackle Travis Shaw and offensive lineman Zach Rice set to go along with a plethora of highly-recruited four-star prospects. 

While the Tar Heels have lost a lot over the past year, they have continued to replenish their roster with talented players that fit needs. There are only so many scholarships that can be given, and the departures have helped open up spots to bring in players who will strengthen what the team is trying to do on both sides of the ball. 

After the recent announcement that Brown would be parting ways with defensive coordinator Jay Bateman and hiring Gene Chizik and Charlton Warren to lead his defense, the open scholarships will also give the new staff a chance to bring in some players that fit their needs from a schematic standpoint. 

Last year, the Tar Heels struggled mightily at times on the defensive side of the ball during their up and down 6-7 season, and the open scholarships will only aid Chizik’s process of reestablishing the North Carolina defense as a formidable group. 

While the losses shouldn’t be taken lightly, North Carolina has a bevy of options on the team as it is. Brown has been outspoken about his desire to be upfront and honest with his players regarding playing time, and sometimes that leads to people wanting to pursue other opportunities, especially with the comfort of the new one-time transfer rule. 

There are a lot of glaring issues that need to be addressed heading into next season, and the Tar Heels seem to be making the necessary changes to take the next step towards becoming an elite program. 

After finishing the season in an embarrassing manner, in a 38-21 loss to the Gamecocks, adjustments had to be made. Luckily, that process has begun. Going into the 2022-2023 season, the North Carolina roster will look very different. Brown has a lot of room to work with given the departures that have occurred. 

With every subtraction, there will be an addition, and this time around, fans hope the Tar Heels will find the right personnel to help forget about some of the nagging struggles of the 2021-2022 team. 

@austinb_unc

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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