In North Carolina football's season opener against Florida A&M on Aug. 27, spectators will see a handful of new faces on the field and the sideline.
Assistant head coach for defense Gene Chizik will be making his second debut with the program, after previously serving in a similar role with the Tar Heels from 2015-16. He'll look to turn around a defense that allowed the third-most points in the ACC last season, while new offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. will aim to redirect a unit that allowed the most sacks in the conference last year.
Five transfers — three defensive players and two offensive linemen — joined the program and will look to make an impact under Chizik and Bicknell Jr. 's tutelage. Here’s a look at some key transfers and where they fit in the rotation.
Noah Taylor, edge rusher
The 6 foot, 5 inch graduate out of Virginia has played 44 career games and started in 31. Taylor is listed on the roster as a jack — a hybrid of defensive end and linebacker — which is a testament to his versatility.
Taylor’s adaptability has contributed to his knack for making big plays. In 35 games over his last three seasons, he made 170 tackles, 13.5 sacks and three interceptions. One of his best performances came in a loss to North Carolina last season, where he made 12 tackles.
The Tar Heels allowed the fifth-most rushing yards per game in the ACC last season. The addition of Taylor should assist star junior defensive linemen Myles Murphy and Desmond Evans in making some noise in the trenches against opposing offensive lines.
Corey Gaynor, offensive line
The Miami graduate was one of the best offensive linemen for the Hurricanes in his junior season, starting all 11 regular-season games at center and serving as one of four team captains. However, Gaynor suffered a season-ending injury in 2021, which resulted in him making only three starts.