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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heel Transfer Portal Update as Initial Window Closes

Wednesday was the deadline for players to enter the transfer portal in this initial transfer period and it came and went relatively quietly on the Tar Heel front. The only late move that the team saw was the entry of Wisdom Asaboro, who had made the move to medically retire before the season, but is attempting a comeback. As we now sit in the middle of the portal dead period, here is a look at all of the moves that happened during the 45-day window.

Rich Storry- USA Today Sports


OL/DL Wisdom Asaboro: Transferring to TBD

As we mentioned above, Asaboro was a late entry in the portal, officially announcing via social media that he was heading elsewhere for his final two seasons of eligibility. It is unclear, however, if he was in there during the initial window or if he will have to wait till May 1st to have his name officially put in. There are some rumors that the former offensive and defensive lineman has lost some weight and could possibly be looking to play tight end wherever he ends up.

CB Dontae Balfour: Transferring to Charlotte

Balfour was one of the team’s early entries when the window first opened and the move makes a lot of sense for him. He played in just one game on defense this season, a game where he was lit up on the outside against Florida A&M, leading to him being passed over on the depth chart. Now, he will get a fresh start with new coach Biff Poggi and the Charlotte 49ers, who are going to have plenty of competition for roster spots under a new staff.

CB Tymir Brown: Transferring to East Carolina

Brown was another player who entered the portal almost immediately after it opened and it was a move that made a ton of sense for him. He spent each of his two seasons buried on the Tar Heel depth chart and the influx of players to the group already this offseason was going to be tough for him to navigate once again. He’ll now head to East Carolina, where he will have three years of eligibility remaining and a much better chance to earn a significant role.

EDGE Chris Collins: Transferring to Minnesota

Collins was one of the first starters from the ACC Championship Game to enter the portal and it’s probably what’s best for both sides. While he has started plenty of games in the last couple of seasons, he wasn’t nearly as impactful as the team needed him to be. He will now get a change of scenery for his final season of eligibility in hopes of finding a better fit in Minneapolis.

QB Jacolby Criswell: Transferring to Arkansas

This might have been the most predictable of the portal entries after the season that Drake Maye had after winning the quarterback battle. The only thing that may have been more predictable was his destination. Even with KJ Jefferson firmly established as the Razorbacks' starter, Criswell heads back home and could have a good shot to take over the starting job when Jefferson departs.

LB RaRa Dillworth: Transferring to East Carolina

Dillworth was one of the more shocking entries, but with how good Cedric Gray and Power Echols were ahead of him, it makes some sense. He showed some flashes in his time at Carolina, but ultimately his tackling struggles were the reason that he lost the rotational reps that he saw earlier in the season. Heading to East Carolina should give him a great opportunity not only to play, but start, almost immediately.

CB Storm Duck: Transferring to Penn State

Duck was probably the most surprising departure for the Tar Heels in this window after his strong finish to the season. He was slated to be the team’s lead corner, but will instead be heading to Happy Valley where he will have to compete for reps. If he plays the way he did at the end of the season, though, he’ll have a chance to be a major contributor for a Nittany Lions team that will compete for a Big Ten title next season.

CB Tony Grimes: Transferring to Texas A&M

Grimes was the biggest name to enter in the few days after the ACC Championship Game and it felt like this was a move that was coming as the season progressed. He steadily declined in each of his three seasons on campus after being one of the team’s highest-rated prospects ever coming out of high school. His entering the portal is probably what is best for both sides in this situation and it gives Grimes the chance to jumpstart his career with a team that is badly in need of an overhaul.

TE Kendall Karr: Transferring to Coastal Carolina

Karr’s Tar Heel career never was really able to get off the ground because of injury and he’ll now get a fresh start. With the success that the trio in front of him on the depth chart had this season and the fact that they all return, he had to go elsewhere to have any real chance of playing in the final two years of his college. He’ll now have a chance to earn playing time at Coastal Carolina, which has a lot of questions at the tight end position under new head coach Tim Beck.

S Cam’Ron Kelly: Transferring to Virginia

Kelly is another former starter whose departure feels like what’s best for both sides. Kelly was a starter for this team at free safety for the last two and half years but he had chronic issues with allowing explosive plays down the field. He’ll hope to reinvigorate himself in Charlottesville with Tony Elliot and company.

K Jonathan Kim: Transferring to Michigan State

Kim was a midseason portal entry for the Tar Heels after a tremendous run as the team’s kickoff specialist. He had multiple opportunities to take hold of the placekicking job, as well, but was never able to capitalize on them. He will hope to finally become a full time placekicker in East Lansing for a team that needs a spark there.

S Dontavius Nash: Transferring to East Carolina

Nash, like Brown, sparingly played for the team in his two seasons with the team and did not hesitate to enter when the window opened. He was a big part of the secondary in the spring due to all the injuries the team was dealing with back there, but he clearly didn’t show the staff enough to earn as much as a depth role. He’ll have a better chance to earn a role as he takes a step down in competition level with the Pirates.

WR Justin Olson: Transferring to Middle Tennessee State

Olson was one of the last players to depart in the window. After starting in seven games for the team in 2021, he was buried on the depth chart this season, playing just 29 snaps on offense. He took an official visit to Middle Tennessee State this past weekend and committed to head coach Rick Stockstill on Tuesday. That step down to the Group of 5 level feels like a good move from him and could be just what he needs to jumpstart his college career.

DL Keeshawn Silver: Transferring to Kentucky

Silver was one of the more surprising players to exit the program in the window and was the second former top prospect in a recent recruiting class to transfer. He played in just six games in his two seasons with the team and was buried on the depth chart at the defensive tackle position this past year. He will now head to Kentucky hoping to be able to make the type of impact Tar Heel fans thought he could coming out of high school.

DL Jahlil Taylor: Transferring to Old Dominion

Taylor missed most of this season recovering from a lower body injury and there was a time when it looked like his college career might be over. He played a rotational role for the team and even started some games in 2019 and 2020, but saw his role reduced heavily reduced even before the injury last season. He will now head to Old Dominion, which should provide him with a good chance to play and start in his final season of eligibility.

Todd Kirkland- Getty Images


S Derrik Allen: Transferring from Georgia Tech

Allen will join his brother in Chapel Hill after three seasons with the Yellow Jackets. The former 4✮ prospect has struggled to establish himself as more than a rotational player so far, but maybe his reunion with his brother is the spark he needs. Regardless, if he can help this team as a rotational option at the safety similar to how he did in Atlanta, that would be a big help for this Tar Heel secondary.

CB Armani Chatman: Transferring from Virginia Tech

Chatman is another veteran option in the secondary that could play some important snaps for the Tar Heels in 2023. The team was in desperate need of experienced help at the cornerback position after the rash of departures that they had there and his four years as a contributor at Virginia Tech certainly fits that description. He provides this room with some nice insurance and a guy who should push for a starting role in his one season of eligibility.

K Ryan Coe: Transferring from Cincinnati

The Tar Heels suffered through some kicking woes again in 2022 and they are hoping that Coe be the solution to them. In his lone season at Cincinnati, he had the most accurate season of his career after a strong start to his career at Delaware. He should be able to beat out incumbent Noah Burnette and hopefully stablize this kicking game that has been looking for that since Nick Weiler left.

EDGE Amari Gainer: Transferring from Florida State

It’s no secret that the Tar Heels are in desperate need of some pass rushers after a brutal season for the team’s defensive front. Gainer split his time between edge rusher and off-ball linebacker in his time in Tallahassee, but his most success came when he was playing off the edge. His skillset fits the JACK position perfectly and he should be a major part of that Tar Heel defensive front in 2023. 

CB Alijah Huzzie: Transferring from East Tennessee State

Huzzie is one of the most exciting and unpredictable additions of the group joining this team. He was named an FCS All-American after an absolutely dominant season at East Tennessee State, but the transition from that level to the P5 level is a big unknown. Expect him to challenge for a big role with this team somewhere at corner this season, though, especially if he can continue to make plays on the ball the way he did in the first three years of his career.

IOL Willie Lampkin: Transferring from Coastal Carolina

The Tar Heels are losing both of their starters on the left side of the offensive line and this addition will help to fill the hole at left guard. Lampkin has played all over the line throughout his college career with arguably his best season coming in 2021 at guard. He too will have to make a transition from the G5 to the P5 level, but it’s hard to think he won’t be a major contributor for this offensive line next season.

S Antavious Lane: Transferring from Georgia State

Lane was the latest addition to this overhaul of the secondary. Like Huzzie, he is a guy who has made a name for himself with his ability to create turnovers, something that this defense has been in search of since Chizik’s first stint in Chapel Hill. If that ability can translate to his time at Carolina, it’s hard to imagine he won’t a pretty substantial role for the team this upcoming season.

P Tom Maginness: Transferring from Australia

This was another late addition that was rather interesting. While this may be a move to add some depth to the room, it does make you wonder whether or not Ben Kiernan will be back next season. If he isn’t, Maginness, the Australian rules football standout will have a chance to earn a starting role right off the back if he beat out Cole Maynard. 

WR Nate McCollum: Transferring from Georgia Tech

The Tar Heels will enter next season looking for some new stars at the wide receiver position after the departures of Josh Downs and Antoine Green. McCollum will help to fill the shoes Downs leaves behind in the slot after a extremely productive sophomore season at Georgia Tech in 2022. In a more modern offense, he could improve upon those numbers in his two seasons in Chapel Hill.

WR Devontez Walker: Transferring from Kent State

Walker will be the guy tasked with helping to fill the shoes that Green leaves behind. He had a huge season in 2022 with Kent State and his speed will give people issues even at the P5 level. Expect him to be a big part of the Tar Heels deep passing attack in 2023 as the team looks to remain explosive under new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey.

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