The opening of the early signing period was a successful one for the Tar Heels, as Mack Brown and his staff were able to sign an 18-man class that ranked 13th in the country according to 247Sports Composite team rankings. With limited spots available to begin with for this class and the return of three scholarship seniors, there was a question as to whether or not this was the end for the Tar Heels in this 2021 class.
This is a question that is a little complicated to answer. In terms of high school prospects, it appears that the Tar Heels are almost certainly done and will stick the 18 players that they signed on Wednesday. However, in his post-signing day presser, there was a question asked by Max Olson of The Athletic as to whether or not Mack and the staff had left room for the possibility of adding some grad transfers from what will simply be a loaded transfer portal this offseason. With that, let’s take a look at the positions that the Tar Heels are most likely to target a transfer at in our opinion this offseason.
The last two classes have been strong ones for the Tar Heels in the front four, but it hasn’t been nearly as strong on the edges as it has been on the interior. There were some rumors that the team had shown some interest in Alabama transfer Kevin Harris when he first entered the transfer portal, but he committed to Georgia Tech a couple of weeks ago. The Tar Heels edge defender struggles were one of the major issues with the defense this season, especially against running quarterbacks. If the staff doesn’t feel confident about what they see from the group in the spring, don’t be shocked if they did into this group of edge defenders that will likely grow as the offseason begins.
The Tar Heels have some talent, young players here, but there is no denying that there have been some big plays allowed in the middle of the field so far in 2020. Trey Morrison, Don Chapman and Cam’Ron Kelly have been the primary rotation at safety for the Tar Heels since Myles Wolfolk was deemed academically ineligible earlier in the season and it would seem that that same rotation will be favored to play a bulk of the snaps there again in 2021. If the group can’t show improvement or if there is a defensive playmaker at the position that the staff feels could help the group, don’t be shocked if there is an addition to help sure this unit up.
This one is a bit more of a reach, especially if Javonte Williams was to return. If Williams was to join Michael Carter in leaving this offseason for the NFL, though, the Tar Heels may look to the transfer portal to see if they can find a veteran presence to help out a group of young guys that would need to play a big role in the backfield. This is another spot where the Tar Heels would likely wait until they go through spring camp and look at the group that they have and the prospects that are available at the time to see if that is something they could use.