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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Land Commitment from Transfer Edge Rusher


Michael Reaves- Getty Images

Mack Brown said earlier this year that the Tar Heels were expecting to be more aggressive in the transfer portal this season. On Monday, the Tar Heels landed their second transfer commitment of the month, this time at a major position of need on the defensive side of the football.


Earlier this afternoon, former Virginia edge rusher Noah Taylor committed to the Tar Heels, a move confirmed by both Taylor and the football program on the respective social media pages. Taylor brings plenty of experience with him from Virginia, having played in 44 games for them since 2018, starting 31 of those games during that span as an edge rusher. In those four years, Taylor racked up 169 total tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, three interceptions and ten pass deflections. Taylor has been a productive part of the Virginia defense for each of the last three seasons, finishing each one with at least 40 total tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks. This is a nice addition to a Tar Heel edge rusher room that is in need of experience this offseason.


Taylor now becomes the veteran presence of a group that is in need of it as well as more production from a group that simply didn’t produce outside of Tomon Fox this past season. Fox and Tyrone Hopper have both played their final games in Tar Heel uniforms, leaving Chris Collins and Des Evans as the only players to have taken 100+ snaps as a standup edge rushers in their careers. The hope should be that you can find enough production on the interior of the defensive line and can kick Kaimon Rucker out to stand up edge rusher full time. Without Taylor, it would have made it critical that Collins and Evans both took major steps forward and would have put pressure on the underclassmen, including the incoming true freshmen trio to play some significant roles this upcoming season. Taylor gives them a veteran pass rusher that fits the system very well and should allow the Tar Heels to be more creative about dropping an edge rusher into coverage. Needless to say, this is an extremely important addition to this 2022 Tar Heel defense.


The Tar Heels have now addressed two of their biggest needs in the transfer portal so far and landed two of the three transfers that they hosted a couple of weeks ago. They could still use some veteran additions at wide receiver and safety, but this is a strong start that combines well with this historic early signing class that the Tar Heels are bringing in this offseason.

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