The Tar Heels have now lost two members of their defense to the NFL and the second one that happened just minutes after the first was a bit of a surprise.
Earlier this afternoon, just moments after Cedric Gray had announced that he will be heading to the NFL, senior defensive tackle Myles Murphy revealed via social media that he will be forgoing his final year in Chapel Hill, as well, in the hopes of being drafted. In that same statement, he did say that he will play one final time for the team in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl against West Virginia.
Murphy finished this season with 23 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, 14 quarterback pressures and one fumble recovery. Those numbers were part of a rebound from a down 2022 season after he appeared to breakout as a sophomore in 2021. He finishes his career with 98 total tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, 44 quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery and four pass deflections.
With Murphy departing, the Tar Heels are guaranteed to have at least one new starter in the middle of the defensive line next year. Kevin Hester Jr. and Jahvaree Ritzie are the two members of the rotation the team used at the defensive tackle spots that are expected to be back to lead the charge. This also leaves the door wide open for Travis Shaw to step up and play his most significant role yet and will give current true freshmen Joel Starlings and Rodney Lora opportunities to join the rotation with Kedrick Bingley-Jones gone to the portal and Tomari Fox graduating alongside Murphy. Don’t be shocked if this is a position where the Tar Heels look to add a body in through the transfer portal in the next couple of weeks.