The transfer portal has wreaked havoc on the Tar Heels roster so far this season, as the team has lost twelve scholarship players since the opening of the free transfer window last Monday. On Sunday, the team used the portal to get their advantage for the first time this cycle, landing their first commitment.
Earlier this afternoon, Inside Carolina reported that the Tar Heels had landed a commitment from OL Willie Lampkin, a Coastal Carolina transfer. His commitment gives the Tar Heels a veteran piece along the offensive line after starting each of the last three seasons on the interior for the Chanticleers.
As a true freshman back in 2020, Lampkin started all twelve games for a Coastal Carolina offense that averaged 37.2 points per game, 449.8 total yards per game, 218.3 rushing yards per game, and 231.5 passing yards per game. He allowed just one sack this entire season and he graded out as the fourth-best freshman offensive lineman according to Pro Football Focus. He also took home Freshman All-American honors from the FWAA and second team All-Sun Belt honors as part of an offensive line unit that was a semifinalist for the Joe Moore Award.
In his second season in Conway, Lampkin kicked over to right tackle where he had another outstanding season. He started all 13 games, grading out as the top offensive lineman for the team eight times and registering a team-high 20 knockdowns on the season. He earned All-Sun Belt honors for the second straight season after grading out at 90% or better in eight of his 13 starts.
This season, Lampkin was expected to move back to guard but was kicked over to center in spring practice. He earned first team All-Sun Belt honors and was named the conference offensive lineman of the year by College Football Network in another dominant season at the third different position of his career. He graded out as the team’s best offensive lineman in six of the team’s eleven games of the regular season, allowing just one sack the entire season and only six other quarterback pressures.
It can not be understated just how big of a pickup this is for the Tar Heels and new offensive line coach Randy Clements. His versatility might be the most valuable thing that he brings for an offensive line that has a couple of areas throughout that need to be plugged. Wherever the Tar Heels play him at, though, he has shown the capabilities to be extremely effective, especially in pass protection where this team has struggled the most the last two years. The focus now needs to start landing some transfer portal commitments on the defensive side of the football at corner and edge rusher to add talent and depth to those rooms.