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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Getting Veteran DT Back for 2022

Grant Halverson- Getty Images

The Tar Heels defense will be going over a major overhaul this offseason with Gene Chizik and Charlton Warren replacing Jay Bateman. One of the first orders of business will be to sure up a defensive line group that simply hasn’t gotten consistent push for the last couple of seasons. On Monday afternoon, senior defensive tackle Raymond Vohasek announced that he was taking advantage of the extra year award because of the 2020 COVID season to return for 2022.

Vohasek is coming off a solid 2021 season in the middle of the Tar Heel defense. He finished tied with Myles Murphy for the most tackles amongst defensive linemen on the team, tallying 38 total tackles, 4.0 sacks and 1.0 tackle for a loss. This was his least successful season, as a Tar Heel, though, and the hope is that he can return to his 2020 form, where he had 29 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. In his three seasons with the team to this point, Vohasek has racked up 82 total tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

The hope is that Vohasek can thrive more in a new scheme than he did under the prior staff towards the end. He played a lot of nose tackle in the middle of the three man front that the Tar Heels primarily ran the past three seasons, which meant he needed to be a two gap defender and saw a ton of double teams. In the four man defensive front that Chizik is expected to implement, he wouldn’t face nearly as many double teams and would only have the responsibility of one gap, allowing him to focus more on getting downhill to get to ball carriers and quarterbacks.

Vohasek will also bring a veteran presence to the Tar Heel defense that lacks many coming into the season with all that has left this offseason. He will also be a big veteran addition to the defensive line that will definitely be one of the deeper units heading into the season. Vohasek will likely be the starter at one of the defensive tackle spots alongside of Myles Murphy as part of a group that will also have young rotational options such Jahavaree Ritzie, Kevin Hester Jr., Jahlil Taylor, Kedrick Bingley-Jones and Travis Shaw at tackle. The end spots are more up in the air in the scheme change, especially with Tomon Fox now off to the NFL.


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